Roxana Cine

400 N. Central Avenue,
Roxana, IL 62084

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Roxana Cine

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Although the Roxana Theatre survived a tornado in 1949 (which tore the roof off the building), competition ultimately proved to be a far greater threat.

The Roxana Cine showed its final film in February 2002 as Kerasotes Theatres closed the old movie house after six decades of delighting local audiences.

The theatre, which had been charging $2.50 per ticket, was no longer turning a profit.

The Roxana Cine is now used as a community center owned by a next-door church and presents live performances.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

tommorow123 on May 8, 2004 at 8:21 pm

This theatar is now owned by a church which is next door and is used for plays, dinner theaters and such.

mmiller on March 23, 2005 at 3:00 am

The theatre was once used for live shows early in its life. The backstage area still had evidence of this in the early 1980’s. The theatre also had an apartment upstairs where the early owners lived. This apartment had a viwing room where the shows could be watched from behind a window. I believe the theatre sat around 450 people in the early 80’s. It was a nice old place with many interesting features not found in modern theatres.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 16, 2006 at 12:38 am

A 2002 article about this theater closing:

“The Telegraph-Old-fashioned movie theater closing

CYNTHIA M. ELLIS, Telegraph staff writer 02/20/2002

ROXANA — The Roxana Cine, which has been showing movies for more than 60 years, will have its final curtain call Thursday night.

Kerasotes Theatres Inc. of Springfield is closing the theater because of financial difficulties, company officials said.

The theater doesn’t gross that much from the movies it shows, a company spokesman said.

Village officials and residents expressed disappointment.

“I used to work there when I was in high school,” village President Fred Hubbard said. “That was back in the mid 1960s.”

Hubbard said the theater was one of the first businesses in Roxana and originally was built for vaudeville shows.

“There are dressing rooms behind the screen,” he said.

Roxana Village Board member Nick Adams was in shock when he heard the news.

“It’s a real shame,” Adams said. “I take my family there, and I attended the theater since I was a kid.”

Adams said he and his wife, Kristi, and their two children ages, 3 and 5, attend movies only at the Cine.

“It’s a shame that it’s closing,” Roxana Village Clerk Nona Austin said. “More people go to the bigger theaters these days.”

Kerasotes has owned the Cine for more than 10 years. The company also has six other theaters in the region — in Jerseyville, East Alton, Granite City, Highland, Glen Carbon and Edwardsville.

The company’s founder, Gus Kerasotes, opened a storefront nickelodeon in 1909, and over the years, expanded the business by buying smaller theaters in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Minnesota. The company has 533 screens in 82 locations.

The Cine is one of the few movie theaters left that is just that, a movie theater. Over time, the swarm of new multiplexes in the region has overshadowed the single-screen theater.

A theater employee said all Cine employees had been offered jobs in either the Glen Carbon or Edwardsville theaters. The employee also said there has been a rumor that the Glen Carbon theater in the Cottonwood Mall is scheduled to close sometime this year.

Since being built in the early 1940s, the Roxana Cine has changed owners several times. The theater was closed for two years before it was sold in June 1968 from the estate of Albert Critchlow to Bloomer Amusement Co. of Belleville, which once owned the Starlight Theater in Alton.

At the time, the general manager of the purchasing company called the theater “one of the best theaters in the area as far as facilities are concerned and much better than anything in Alton.”

Even though the building has changed owners and undergone renovations, nothing compared to a tornado taking the roof off in 1949.

“The roof was replaced, and the theater kept going,” Hubbard said.

He said he doesn’t understand the reasoning for closing the theater, because it always seemed to be busy on weekends.

Alton resident Sandy Nolte was taking her friend’s children to see “Snow Dogs” Tuesday night and expressed her sorrow.

“It’s really sad that it’s closing,” Nolte said. “I was really upset, because this is where I like to come. I always wait until the movies come here before I go.”

Nolte said the reason she liked the Cine was because the price — $2.50 a ticket — was reasonable

“I wish it wasn’t happening,” Hubbard said. “It’s just a real shame.”

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm

According to this link: “In the late 1960s, it was closed for nearly two years before being sold in June 1968 from the estate of Albert Critchlow to Bloomer Amusement Co. of Belleville. It was thereafter operated as BAC Cine for many years. In 1992, the Cine was purchased by Kerasotes Theatres, Inc., of Springfield, Illinois, which operated it until its closing in February 2002”.

Should there be an aka name of BAC Cine?

kencmcintyre on March 14, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Here is an 11/19/49 item from the Alton Evening Telegraph:

The Roxana Theater will reopen Sundayâ€"and thereby will culminate a long, hard and successful fight against discouragement by Mr. and Mrs., Albert Critchlow, owners and operators of the motion-picture theater. Last May 21, when a tornado struck Wood River and a section of Roxana, the theater was badly damaged. The roof was blown off, and the theater was extensively damaged otherwise. Mr. and Mrs. Critchlow started as soon as possible on the job of rebuilding the theater. Delays now and then were discouraging, but they persevered. A new roof was constructed, other damage was repaired.

While the work was under way, Mr. and Mrs. Critchlow decided to add improvements to their popular theater. A new lounge has been added, and other alterations made. The theater has been completely redecorated. The result is that, the spacious Roxana is among the most beautiful and commoditious (sic) theaters in this section.

The reopening has been set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Programmed is a double featureâ€"Clark Gable and Alex Smith in “Any Number Can Play” and Loretta Young and Van Johnson in “Mother Is a Freshman.” Mr, and Mrs. Critchlow formerly operated the Temple Theater in Alton. They opened the Roxana Theater on Sept. 1, 1940, and operated continuously until last May, when the tornado struck.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Boxoffice of November 4, 1939, said that Albert Critchlow’s new theater at Roxana was being designed by St. Louis architect Oliver W. Stiegemeyer.

A 1949 Boxoffice item about the post-tornado repairs to the house said that, prior to opening the Roxana, Mr. and Mrs. Critchlow had operated the Temple Theatre in Alton, Illinois.

JoeCameo on March 17, 2010 at 1:50 am

The link referred to above which states that Kerasotes bought the theatre from BAC in 1992 is incorrect. Kerasotes purchased the theatre from BAC in 1987 and operated it until its closing.

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