Roxy Theatre

419 S. Fifth Street,
Springfield, IL 62701

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Originally opened in 1907 on Springfield’s Fifth Street, which later became its “Theatre Row”, the Majestic was built for legitimate theater.

In 1914, it became a vaudeville house, and in the late 1920’s, switched to movies.

In the 1930’s, it received a new name, the Roxy, and a new look. In the early 1940’s it is listed as being operated by the Frisina Amusement Co.

The Roxy continued on as a movie theater until its closure in 1978. After more than seven decades of entertaining the citizens of Illinois' capital city it was demolished in 1979.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

JimRankin
JimRankin on May 27, 2004 at 2:59 am

It is amazing how many theatres are named ROXY in imitation of the once famous name of the New York City panjandrum of the movie palace: Samual Lionel Rothapfel = “Roxy”. His namesake was the famous ROXY THEATRE in NYC, which outlasted him by only 25 years when it was demolished in 1960. The whole story is in that landmark book “The Best Remaining Seats: The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace” by the late Ben M. Hall in 1961. Various editions of it are sometimes available from www.Amazon.com, but only the first edition contains the color plates.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 28, 2005 at 4:03 pm

lostmemory;
That is the correct Majestic Theatre, when it was re-modelled as the Roxy Theatre the seating capacity stated in Film Daily Yearbooks is given as 1,100.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 29, 2005 at 2:11 am

lostmemory;
I am not sure where Bryan Kreft got the 1884 opening date from in the opening description. The THSA Marquee magazine Vol 7 #2 has an article on Springfield IL theatres which states the Majestic Theatre was built in 1906 as a ‘legit’ theatre. So the May 1907 opening date you have sounds about right. In 1914 it went over to vaudeville and played the Orpheum Circuit bookings until the new Orpheum Theatre opened in April 1927. Then re-modelled as the Roxy Theatre in the 1930’s.

Patsy
Patsy on August 27, 2005 at 1:59 pm

I see that this theatre is listed as ‘closed’ so is it still standing and is there any restoration group interested in restoring it?

HOUDINI1974
HOUDINI1974 on December 7, 2005 at 9:05 am

HOUDINI played here Feb 7-9th 1924.

Patsy
Patsy on December 7, 2005 at 10:42 am

Escapologist: What does that word mean? Does it have anything to do with magic and the type of escape magic Houdini pulled off? Harry Houdini was a BIG name to appear in Springfield Illinois!

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