Normal Theater

209 W. North Street,
Normal, IL 61761

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Normal Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on November 17, 1937 with an original seating capacity of 691, the Normal Theater is owned by the Town of Normal, Illinois and is operated as a non-profit movie theater devoted to showing classic, independent and foreign films in an historically restored, Art Moderne movie palace. It has been completely restored and is open Thursdays through Sundays weekly.

The Normal Theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has won the Illinois Landmarks Preservation Council’s Preservation Project of the Year 1995. The theater is 100% restored to it’s original look. Black Vitrolite glass and a cream stucco exterior showcases the flashing red and green neon marquee. Inside, streamline design motifs include geometric wall sconces, a recessed double neon ceiling hoop through the auditorium, pluch carnelian vintage seats and a replica of the original carpet design, comprised of swirling swatches of cyan, yellow and magenta shapes.

Contributed by Dawn Riordan

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

jwballer on January 12, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Theatre appears on the 150 places to visit if you are in illinois at # 94

TLSLOEWS on March 2, 2010 at 1:38 am

What a great name.What is normal.

kpdennis on April 15, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Chuck, doesn’t look like the Normal, but the Castle in the posted link…

kpdennis on January 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm

How things continue to change…while the theater looks the same in those recent shots vs mine from 1995, the neighborhood around it has grown. In the 1995 shot, you can see a small older building next to the theater; the more recent shots, that structure is gone and something much bigger has replaced it.
1995: View link

Trolleyguy on October 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

A shot of this theater with the marquee and blade sign lit appears in a new Mitsubishi Automobile commercial.

TommyK on August 31, 2013 at 4:38 am

I took my wife on our first date over 30 years ago to The Normal. Coal Miner’s Daughter was the name of the movie. Afterwards, we stopped at Sandy’s Drive-In. on N. Main. That and I still had money left after puting gas in my car. I started out the night with 20 bucks!. If memory serves me, and sometimes it don’t, the movie was a dollar. The Normal’s greatest asset is location, location, location. Barely two blocks walk from ISU dorms.

rivest266 on July 11, 2015 at 1:01 am

November 18th, 1937 grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266 on July 11, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Had two screens, which opened on May 3rd, 1985 and closed in 1991. Reopened on October 7th, 1994 with one screen.

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