Heart Theater

133 East Jefferson Avenue,
Effingham, IL 62401

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HEART Theatre, Effingham, Illinois.

An early example of adaptive reuse of an existing structure, the Heart Theater was built inside what had formerly been a garage and opened in 1941.

The theater originally contained 750 seats, but this number was downsized to 500 by Frisina Amusement Co. in the 1970’s.

The theater closed around 2002, reopened in 2003 and was closed again in 2007.

Contributed by Paul Salley, Colby Higgs

Recent comments (view all 48 comments)

Patsy on December 30, 2008 at 6:45 am

Bloo: Again, I say someone should approach Mike Yeager of Mid America Enterprises and see if he would be interested!! He is in Effingham!

kencmcintyre on January 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1940. The Hart spelling is theirs.

EFFINGHAM, ILL.-The Frisina Amusement Co. was scheduled to open its new theater, the Hart, here with appropriate ceremonies Thursday. Exhibitors from central Illinois were invited to attend.

soybean on February 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

What I read online the reason the deal fell through was when the building was inspected by an building inspector for the buyer. Mold was found in the building. The inside of the theater would had to be gutted & rebuilt before the theater could be reopen. The seller had the possible buyers believing the theater building would be a turn key operation. The buyer who pulled out believed untill the building inspector gave her the bad news about the building. There wouldn’t be much worked involved before reopening the theater. So who ever buys the theater will have to plan on spending a large amount of money in redoing the theater besides the price they paid for the

TLSLOEWS on July 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Nice photos of the Heart Theatre.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Nice theatre,I hate small marquees on theatres.

Packardgirl on November 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

I looked at the recent photos and was wondering if the pieces that were missing are vitrolite or terra cotta? I was by there in the Spring of ‘09 and it can’t remeber.Any other news on it?

travis518 on August 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Does anyone know who to contact about buying this cinema?

EdBaumgarten on March 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Travis518, if you’re still interested, contact Jeff Speer at the Effingham Remax office or one of his staff, they can probably give you the pertinent information. I’m a local photographer.

stormdog on January 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I was in Effingham to photograph the Heart Theater this past Summer and just got around to editing and posting my photos of her. Here’s a photo of the whole facade. You can see the rest of my shots adjacent to this one in my photostream.

Heart Theatre Facade

GeorgeStrum on February 25, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Contact the Theatre Historical Society.

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