Fischer Theater

158 N. Vermillion Street,
Danville, IL 61832

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DavidAE on October 2, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Should be reopening in weeks according to this article.

AndrewBarrett on September 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Hey! That’s fantastic that this theatre still exists and is being restored. I wish the team all the best and hope to come visit when it’s finished! According to “the Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr David Junchen, pg 629, the “Fischer Th.” in Danville, Illinois, had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point. No date of installation is given in the book, but I would assume it was before 1929 when the four rank Robert Morton organ was installed. No other information about this Smith organ is in the book, including size (number of manuals / number of ranks), nameplate (Seeburg-Smith, Smith, or Smith-Geneva), or blower info, probably because none of this was known to the author at the time of publication.

Does anyone know more about this organ and where it, or its parts, are today? Thanks!

At least one other Smith organ was traded in for a Robert Morton organ: the one in the California Theatre in Pittsburgh, California. Interestingly, both organs still exist: the ten-rank Morton is currently being restored and reinstalled in that theatre, while the Smith is currently with a private owner, having spent time as a church organ in the interim.

I’m wondering if a similar situation could exist here: do both the Smith and Robert Morton organs from the Fischer Theatre still exist?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 13, 2009 at 10:59 am

As the Grand Opera House, this theater is listed under Danville IL in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. A.W. Heinly was Mgr., and the seating capacity was 1,000. The theater was on the first floor, had both gas and electric illumination and ticket prices ranging from 25 cents to $1. The proscenium opening was 32 feet square, and the stage was 40 feet deep. There were 7 members of the house orchestra. There were 3 daily newspapers and one German weekly. The hotel for show folk was the Aetna House, and the railroad was the Chicago & Eastern Illinois. The 1897 population of Danville was 18,000.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on November 13, 2009 at 10:36 am

The link above is the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston (20 miles or so north of Danville). Here are some links to my pictures of the Fischer:

View link
View link

kencmcintyre on April 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm

There’s an extra L in Vermilion, in the title, so it doesn’t map correctly.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 13, 2008 at 4:24 am

A 1996 view of the Fischer Theater in Danville here and here. An enlarged view here and here.

DeanHickstein on December 25, 2006 at 6:04 pm

Clear icicle lights hang from the Fischer Theatre, celebrating the holiday season.
But the lights remain off inside, and the theater remains closed as city officials and arts supporters look at how to keep the building viable.
The Danville City Council is expected to act on an agreement this month to take over ownership from the Vermilion Heritage Foundation, which oversees the Fischer.

Click on link to see my slide show of pictures taken December 23rd, 2006.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 4, 2006 at 4:36 pm

Hey that’s pretty sweet. Nice job on the marquee!

johnlauter on January 13, 2005 at 11:09 pm

I was in the Fischer in 1979, passing through town, A friend and I talked our way in. Nice small town theatre. 2 manual Robert Morton theatre pipe organ was still there, We did not see the chambers to know if it was complete.

pwstrain on August 4, 2004 at 11:06 am

Donated seats have been added. Major work was done on stage lighting to accomodate live performances. The lobby has been restored, with work still to be done on the tile floor. Open from ~8:00 to ~5:00 for the summer during the week. More exterior, interior views available on website.