Artilla Theater

Hamilton, MO 64644

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The Artilla Theater was destroyed in a fire in February 1949. Some local newspapers at the time announced owner H.T. Till’s intention to rebuild the theater.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

TopCat
TopCat on February 19, 2009 at 7:47 am

The theater was rebuilt by Mr. Till. I spent many Saturday nights there during the 1960’s and early 1970’s when the re-built theater was known as the Civic. Don’t know who owned/managed the theater during this time (I think there were several owners/managers), but I do recall a Mrs. Trosper sold tickets for a time. She was a really sweet lady. The Civic eventually closed for good in the early 1970’s and sat vacant for several years. The community eventually bought the building, fixed it up, added on to the building and now uses it as a community theater. Hamilton is a nice place and the birthplace & boyhood home of J.C. Penney.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 19, 2009 at 9:30 am

Thanks for the info. I thought this address of Er Penny Drive was a typo, but some other sites have it as well.
http://tinyurl.com/dlb3df

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

If it’s a community theater, why is it listed as closed/demolished?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 19, 2009 at 10:04 am

I didn’t have any confirmation that the theater was rebuilt after the fire. Apparently it was.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 19, 2009 at 10:11 am

Apparently the information came from Boxoffice Magazine. Was this theater ever known as the Till Theater? There is a Till Theater listed in the 1955 Film Daily. I’m wondering if it’s the same theater.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 19, 2009 at 10:13 am

My information was taken from some local papers on newspaperarchives.com. There were two or three stories around the date of the fire, with the same information reported in each one.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 19, 2009 at 10:16 am

And as usual there is no follow up story.

TopCat
TopCat on February 20, 2009 at 6:19 am

This theater did burn and should probably be listed as closed/destroyed. I have always heard this theater referred to as the Till and have never heard it called the Artilla. It was replaced by a cinder block & brick building that may have been originally called the Till, but I only knew it as Civic. It is located on what is now call Penney Dr. J.C. Penney’s boyhood home sits across the street from the theater where the train depot used to stand. I’ve been told that the Artilla/Till was a reverse theater. When you entered the auditorium you were at the screen with the seats facing you. Considering the lay of the lot that makes sense. I would appreciate the link to the newspapers articles Ken Mc refers to.

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