Hiland Theatre

3100 23rd Avenue,
Moline, IL 61265

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Hiland Theater - post 1953.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Hiland Theatre was opened around 1941, and it closed in early-1952. It was operated by Brotman, M & Sons and seating was listed as 459

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

kencmcintyre on March 23, 2007 at 3:24 pm

This photo was in the Eberson 1947 book. The text doesn’t give the location, but it doesn’t look like the Hilands in Albuquerque or Michigan.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 24, 2007 at 7:09 am

Wow, that is a well-composed building design.

milesrich on June 27, 2008 at 11:59 pm

23rd Avenue, not 23rd Street. Owned by the Brotman’s.

0MichaelM on March 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm

milesrich is correct on both corrections. I can add only memories:
My mother worked there in the late 1940’s and would take me “to work” on Saturday mornings. I got to see all the serials, Superman, Roy Rogers, Sky King, etc., and was in the welcoming committee when Roy Rogers came to Moline. Terrific childhood memories there. I would like to find a post card to add to my collection … (?)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2009 at 12:25 am

I think the photo Ken linked to in the first comment above might depict the Hiland Theatre in Des Moines, Iowa. There’s a night shot of it on this weblog. The marquee is the same. Also, the architectural style is very similar to other theaters by architects Wetherell & Harrison, who designed the Des Moines Hiland.

chrisvandemore on April 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I never recognized this building as a former cinema until today. See the google street view here. Notice the places on the outside wall for movie posters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm

That’s a corner building, so if that was the Hiland then the photo Ken linked to in the first comment above can’t be of this theater.

The May 17, 1952, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Brotman Bros. Corp. had closed the Hiland Theatre and would use some of the seats to replace older ones at the circuit’s Paradise Theatre, also in Moline. The building was to be converted to some other use.

I’m not familiar with Moline, so I can’t say if the theater mentioned in this Boxoffice item from April 5, 1941, pertains tot he Hiland Theatre or not: “There’s a new business block on the program for the East Highland district in Moline, Ill., and it’s reported to include plans for a 900-seat theatre.” Then, from a column in the July 19 issue of Boxoffice: “You can mention that new Moline theatre and the Brotman Brothers in the same breath and nobody will look startled.” I wish the Boxoffice columnists had been less coy.

In any case, the earliest mention of the Hiland by name that I can find in Boxoffice comes from the October 10, 1942, issue, which only says that the Hiland’s owner, Bill Brotman, had been a guest at a party thrown by the Quad Cities Theatres Association.

BamBam on September 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I live in this building now, and am Fascinated with the history od it being a theater.. i walk through the building and try to imagine the layout of it… Does anybody know more about this? Pictures or anybody that went there that could tell me? :0)

dallasmovietheaters on September 11, 2015 at 6:36 am

BamBam: The theatre cost $75,000 to build and seated 500 at opening in October of 1941. Conservative streamline moderne was used to describe the post-deco theatre. Seating was on a radial curve and it eliminated line of sight blockage. W.I. Bill Brotman had been a manager of Moline’s Ritz Theatre for 15 years and moved to the Hiland at opening. The Brotmans had five theaters in the Quad Cities with the Roxy, the Paradise, the Rialto in Rock Island, the Ritz, and the Hiland. Not one of their more successful properties, it ran into financial troubles in the television era.

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