Apollo Fine Arts & Entertainment Centre
311 Main Street,
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Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp.
Architects: Frederic J. Klein
Previous Names: Apollo Theatre
The Apollo opened in 1914 on the site of the Crescent Theater, which burned down a couple years earlier, not very long after it opened. The Apollo, like the Madison Theatre, was designed by noted Joliet architect Frederic J. Klein, who is best known for the spectacular Coronado Theatre in Rockford, Illinois.
The Apollo, inside the larger Lawyers Building, could accomodate over 800 in its auditorium, and was decorated in Art Nouveau style, including plaster cornucopias on its sidewalls. The Apollo orginally had a pipe organ and canaries were kept in its lobby!
Closed in 1958, the Apollo was briefly used for office space, and in 1960, a portion of the rear of the building was torn down when an adjacent parking lot was enlarged.
In 1988, by then practically in ruins, the Apollo was purchased and lovingly restored to its original appearance.
Since 2001, it has housed the Apollo International Film Group, which screens foreign, classic and independent movies in an early 20th century setting.
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