Cameo Theatre

1622 Washington Avenue,
Alton, IL 62002

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Uptown theatre/ Cameo

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Opened in 1936, this Art Deco style movie house featured air-conditioning, modern projection and sound equipment and leather seats in the auditorium.

The Uptown Theatre was located just down the block from the older and smaller Gem Theatre, which it eventually forced out of business.

Opening night featured a vaudeville show, an 11-piece orchestra, newsreels, a comedy short and the main feature, “The Mystery Man”.

In the fall of 1954, a new “panoramic” screen was installed.

In 1967, the Uptown Theatre briefly closed for remodeling when it was acquired by Mid-American Theatres. It reopened later that year as the Cameo Theatre.

BAC operated the Cameo Theatre during the early 1980’s, and in 1987, it was sold to the Kerasotes chain. Within a few months, however, Kerasotes closed the Cameo Theatre, and it was afterwards torn down to make way for a fast-food restaurant.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 1, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Here is part of a 12/11/50 article in the Alton Evening Telegraph:

Fire that charred the interior of the Uptown Theater, Upper Alton, early Sunday morning caused a loss estimated at $30,000 by Fire Chief Lewis, who said the cause of the blaze has not been determined. The blaze started in the stage area and ate through the roof in the mid-section, meanwhile causing a terrific heat that charred the walls.

Police placed barricades to stop traffic in the block between College and Edwards street on Washington Avenue. Overall value of the Uptown building, the chief estimated, was $40,000, including all the seats and the stage with an additional $2800 value on the lobby and projection room. Heat and smoke caused what damage there was to projection equipment, which was not affected directly by fire and water.

Joseph Goldfarb, owner of the theater, told a reporter Sunday afternoon that he was called by the police sometime between 6 and 6:30 a.m. He said he would be unable to estimate the damage until
the Insurance adjuster had checked the loss.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Here is a July 1967 ad from the Alton Evening Telegraph:
http://tinyurl.com/dfdek4

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 6, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Here is a November 1986 ad from the Alton Telegraph:
http://tinyurl.com/nnaldj

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 7, 2009 at 12:07 am

That must be why the other ad says BAC Cine in 1986. I wasn’t sure what that was referring to.

JoeCameo
JoeCameo on March 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm

The fast food restaurant mentioned above was not a Jack In The Box as posted by Chuck1231, but a Hardee’s fast food restaurant. The Jack In The Box is across the street and down the block. The Hardee’s has since closed, been demolished and replaced with an O'Reilly Auto Parts store. Also the BAC Cine ad refers to the theatre in Roxana, Illinois, not the Cameo in Alton. Both were owned and operated by BAC at that time. The Cameo closed for good in the spring of 1988.

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