Madison Theatre

107 NE Madison Avenue,
Peoria, IL 61602

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

Mark
Mark on August 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Here’s a link to a great, eight minute video on Conrad Schmitt Studios. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39zxhmQJxUU

Mark
Mark on August 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Speaking on artisans who could properly restore the Madison to opening day (1921) condition: as of 2013 two firms with histories predating the golden age of movie palace’s still exsist today. 1. Conrad Schmitt of New Berlin, WI was founded in 1889 and has been an industry leader as first, a decorating company during the architectural boom of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s and second, as a leader in the restoration of many of those same properties decades later. Conrad Schmitt also has the most theater/auditorium retorations under their belt, numbering in the hundreds. Their history and portfolio can be found at conradschmitt.com. 2. Rambusch Studios, of New York, NY was founded in 1898 and has a long and venerable project/client list mirroring that of Conrad Schmitt. They can be found at rambusch.com.
Evergreene Architectural Arts also of New York, NY was founded in 1978 and quickly became a leader in the revitalizing of historic art and architecture. Evergreene is the first choice among several prominent historic preservationist architectural firms. They can be found at evergreene.com.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on January 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I recently photographed the Madison Theater check out the post at After the Final Curtain

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Pictured in this 1938 trade journal: Boxoffice

JudithK
JudithK on July 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I’m surprised that neither theatre was kept secure. Looking forward to seeing photos of the Rialto as I never visited it. I agree with you about “Star Trek 1”; it was not a good film (“Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan” was much better).

jackiskin
jackiskin on July 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm

i will add ..we actually only pulled the alley doors open they were not locked at either theater…the only time us poor kids ever snuck in free at the rialto we got caught in 5 minutes…we didnt do any damage to either theater as well…i signed the 1980 petition to save the palace..but to no avail..shame.. there are so many empty lots downtown that the towrs could of been built on instead. just here cause im trying to find a pic of the rialto with star wars on the marquee

jackiskin
jackiskin on July 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Winchurch…. i broke into the madison theater around febuary of 1980. me and a friend snuck into the madison[ many times] via the fire escape in the ally that led to the closed balcony. the movie that was playing was star trek 1..but we just snuck in to watch the trailer for empire strikes back , the trek movie was poor. we did end up staying until everyone left after closing..got bags of popcorn..and oddly enough also broke into the palace that night..maybe we got the popcorn there..we were only 16 or so..it was fun..last movie we saw at madison was blade runner.

Mark
Mark on July 14, 2012 at 12:30 am

New facebook page dedicated to Peoria’s palaces: http://www.facebook.com/#!/PEORIASPICTUREPALACES

Broan
Broan on July 5, 2012 at 12:09 am

The NR doesn’t restrict anything. Only if it was a tax credit funded rehabilitation

JudithK
JudithK on July 5, 2012 at 12:06 am

The Majestic Theatre in Kankakee, IL has been renovated and has re-opened as a conference center. Photos from their webpage: http://www.k3majestictheatre.com show it to have been in poor condition. The Madison has National Register of Historic Places status, however, so that may affect the type and scope of renovations that can be done to it.

JudithK
JudithK on July 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I agree. It would be challenging to find people to do the artisan renovations, but they are out there if they worked or work on the Chicago Theatre, Oriental/Ford Theatre for the Performing Arts and Rialto Square Theatre.

Broan
Broan on July 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RnlSnXqkFc Here’s that video. I don’t see too much water damage really. It would take some money to reopen but it could be much worse.

JudithK
JudithK on July 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm

This is a link to what I found in the Peoria Journal Star: http://www.pjstar.com/news/x484739208/Future-of-historic-Madison-Theater-uncertain?zc_p=0. I did watch the You Tube video. My salute to the chutzpah of the videographer and canine friend! I have visited four theatres in the Chicago Metro area which have found investors: the Auditorium Theatre; The Chicago Theatre; the Oriental/Ford Center for the Performing Arts; and the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, IL, all of which have fallen into extreme disrepair and which have been renovated. I was in the Chicago Theatre before it was renovated and it was in similar shape to what was shown on the You Tube video. I hope someday to be able to revisit the Madison Theatre. Note: as you know – but others may not – it does have a Facebook page.

Winchurch
Winchurch on July 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I managed the Madison Theatre from 1976 to 1983 when the independent operator who took it over in December, 1982 failed. loved the Madison,but I had to watch it go from being the A house for our company to becoming the ignored house. What I recently saw on You Tube scared me. What has happened to the Madison?

Winchurch
Winchurch on July 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I managed the Madison Theatre from 1976 to 1983 when the independent operator who took it over in December, 1982 failed. loved the Madison,but I had to watch it go from being the A house for our company to becoming the ignored house. What I recently saw on You Tube scared me. What has happened to the Madison?

JKM
JKM on November 17, 2010 at 12:52 am

I hope that the City of Peoria finds someone with deep pockets (pretty scarce right now) or a sense of creativity to utilize the site again.

jmp61616
jmp61616 on November 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm

The Madison has been closed since 2003. It is incorrectly listed on this site as open and restored. Neither is true. The theatre is in poor condition and if it does re-open the renovation will take some time. See website below:

www.themadisontheatre.com

JudithK
JudithK on May 16, 2010 at 6:52 am

I was at a family function not too many years ago (during the horrible bridge reconstruction project on 74 in Peoria) and stayed at the Pere Marquette Hotel. When I had breakfast just before I headed for home I was gazing at a building which looked oddly familiar and which I later realized was one of the sides of the Madison Theater building. It really had been a long time since I’d been in downtown Peoria!

I understand that the Madison has been used theatrically but not for some time. I hope that it becomes a venue once more. If the Oriental Theatre in Chicago can be re-opened, so can the Madison.

JeffCarlson
JeffCarlson on May 16, 2010 at 5:59 am

The Madison is on the East side of Main St. and the Palace was across from it and down a bit on the West side.

JudithK
JudithK on May 16, 2010 at 1:11 am

My grandparents lived in Peoria, IL which was a first-run theatre town. Thus we were able to see films well ahead of their release in our town at the Palace and the Madison Theatres. At this point my memory is fuzzy separating the two but I do remember the wide sight lines, excellent projection, air conditioning (all-important during hot Peoria summers) and sound, and lovely lobbies. The years when I visited the two theatres were approximately 1961-1975.

JeffCarlson
JeffCarlson on December 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm

And some additional historic info:

Madison Theater architect Klein was based in Peoria and his main offices were just a couple blocks down from this theater on Main St.

The original general contractor for this building was a local firm – Fred Harbers and Sons.

The first general manager of this theater was Herbert D. McNally, formerly of the old Empress theater which was a couple blocks down from the Palace Theater.

JeffCarlson
JeffCarlson on December 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Here’s a photo circa 1925

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 25, 2009 at 2:05 am

The old show-biz saying,Will it play in Peoria.

spectrum
spectrum on June 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Another website for the Madison Theater:

View link