Coronado Performing Arts Center

314 N. Main Street,
Rockford, IL 61101

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Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, IL - lobby

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The Coronado Theatre opened on October 8, 1927 as a lavish, 2,440-seat Atmospheric style movie palace rivaling those built in Chicago. The theater carried on its tradition of showing movies and stage shows well into the 1960’s, hosting stars such as Sammy Davis Jr., Milton Berle, and many more.

In 1970, Kerasotes Theatres purchased the Coronado Theatre. A few years later, in 1979, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. By 1984, the Coronado Theatre was forced to end the movie exhibition portion of its business due to declining revenues.

In 1997, the theatre was donated by the Kerasotes family to the city of Rockford and a multi-million renovation began. The 2,400-seat theater has now reopened and is used for concerts and stage shows.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 37 comments)

Patsy on January 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Lost: Great job, as usual!

DavidZornig on February 28, 2009 at 7:09 am

The marquee sort of mirrors that of the Genessee Theatre in Waukegan.
I didn’t know there was already a renovated performing arts theatre in Rockford, that is “hoping to break even”.
I guess that doesn’t bode well for any renovation hopes for either the Midway or the Times Theatre’s. On the Midway page it’s listed for sale, but it includes an entire building that would need attention and other tenants.

jwballer on January 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Theatre appears at # 31 on 150 places to visit if you are in illinois

jwballer on March 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm

A 4/17 Barton was installed in the theatre in 1927.

jwballer on November 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Why does it still have the Kerasotes on the marquee?

rivest266 on November 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

I have uploaded the full-page grand opening grand opening ad from October 8th, 1927 as well as an close-up of the text on that ad. It can be found on this theatre’s photo page.

R8teco on August 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Awesome theater! My masters graduation was there!!!

rockfordmidway on January 19, 2014 at 12:36 am

yes its awesome love the lighting

DavidZornig on April 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm

This article is about a theater seat dedicated to Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen due to his fund raising efforts for the Coronado.

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