Plano Theatre

16 North Center Street,
Plano, IL 60545

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Interior of the Grand Opera House Theatre, Plano, Ill in 1922

The Plano Theatre was built in 1912 as the Grand Opera House and converted into a movie theatre in the 1940’s. It had a balcony and pressed tin ceiling in the auditorium. It also had a full back stage area with back drop loft.

The Plano Theatre closed in the late 1970’s and has since been torn down and replaced with a convenience store.

Contributed by Joe M. Smith

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

carbonarcboy on October 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm

This was where I learned to be a projectionist. Operating Brenkert carbon arcs, Simplex Standards and RCA 9030’s. Manual changerovers running 2000 foot reels. This was back in the day when being a projectionist was a profession. I have always had a special place in my heart for this great old theatre. Started out at $1.50 an hour in 1973. One Sunday afternoon my little brother, Jeff at 9 years old came to the Matinee. I took him up to the booth to see how the projectors operated. You should have seen his wide eyes. He watched part of the movie form the booth. I had to run all day and later that eveing I heard the fire sirens go off. The theatre being only about 150 feet from the fire station made the siren sound come right down the exhaust for the lamps. When I got home that night I walked into the house to find my mother crying. My little brother was hit by a freight train and killed. So the last place I saw my brother was at the Plano. A couple years later my wife who was the manager,and myself purchased the theatre. I was so proud to annouce the birth of our first child on that great old Marquee. “IT’S A GIRL 7LB 9 OUNCES” on the bottom line right above the chasing lights.
The Plano is gone now and I cannot as of this day drive down 16 North Center Street in Plano without getting very emotional. I just hope that all theatre people out there can love their theatre as I have loved the Plano.

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