Toler Cinema

911 W. Washington Street,
Benton, IL 62812

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Toler Cinema

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Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

bodkin6071 on November 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Theater opened in November 1972.
Kearsotes took over operations sometime in the 1980’s.
Operations were taken over by AMC in June 2010.

bodkin6071 on July 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

By word of Facebook, the Toler 2 is scheduled to close July 28th.

“Tommy Hammond I wanted to let everyone know that The Movie Theater in Benton is closing it’s doors July 28th. It is the last Movie Theater in Franklin County, and is being closed by AMC Theaters even though is turns a profit! The employees are not even being guaranteed work at other area AMC Theaters. the customer service hotline for AMC is: 877-262-4450 Let’s make a real effort to call and try to keep our Movie Theater!!!”

bodkin6071 on July 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

The theater is up for sale too. For only $285,000 it is yours!

There are pictures of both auditoriums.

bodkin6071 on July 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Franklin County left without a cinema after the Toler 2 shuts its doors

Read more:

Longtime patrons of AMC Toler 2 bid goodbye to the big screens as the last movie theater in Franklin County closed at the end of business Thursday.

Toler Cinema was a draw for movie lovers since its opening by Charles Toler in the early 1970s, but AMC Theatres, which bought the cinema from Kerasotes Theatres in May 2010, targeted the two-screen theater for closure this summer.

“AMC continually upgrades the quality of our theatre circuit by adding new screens and by disposing of older screens through closures and sales,” AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan said in an e-mail. “We do, however, look at our theatres on an individual basis. AMC Toler 2 has been identified as a theatre that no longer competes effectively in the marketplace and will close at the end of business on July 28.”

The decision left many movie-goers upset and the county without a theater for the first time in decades.

“I just hate it,” said Maranda Rush of Benton. “I’ve called AMC, the real estate agency, the historic society, and tried to raise awareness on Facebook. I even tried to get them (AMC) to let me run it on a lease program but they’re just not interested. It’s the last theater in the county but they’re about the bottom line – money.”

Rush said she worked for the theater in the past and was a frequent patron.

“I loved every minute of it. It was the most family-oriented place you could think of. There was a great rapport with customers and they were treated with kindness and respect,” she said. “It’s the most convenient and cost-effective place to see a movie for a lot of us.”

Rebecca Harkins of West City attended one of the final showings of the latest Harry Potter movie at the theater. She said she doesn’t want to travel to Marion or Mount Vernon to watch a movie.

“I’m going to miss it,” she said. “I don’t go to the show that often but when I do, I don’t want to have to go out of town.”

While some patrons started a call-in campaign to complain to AMC about the closure, Noonan said the theater will not reopen under AMC.

“We do not intend to change our plans,” he said.


On Twitter: @beckymalkovich

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bodkin6071 on July 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Looking at the pictures, I wonder if this was originally a Jerry Lewis Theater…

John Fink
John Fink on December 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

It looks like there is some interest in reopening these theaters:

Trolleyguy on May 16, 2016 at 10:14 am

Status should be closed.

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