91 Worthington Street,
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The Bijou was the smallest of the downtown first run theaters. The area presenter for Columbia Pictures, this old palace was built on lower Worthington St. The original 1920’s style front still existed until the very end. At some point, part of an adjacant building was used for a new modern lobby and entrance.
The Bijou was the only Springfield theater without a marquee. There was an overhang with only the theater’s name. The auditorium was plain but well maintained. The screen was very large in proportion to the theater size which made for great viewing.
In 1953, it gained the ire of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield because it ran a movie called “The Moon Is Blue”, which evidentally briefly showed a female breast. It was “suggested” that parishoners take a pledge at Sunday masses not to attend the Bijou during this performance.
The Bijou later in the 60’s became a real porn palace and later met its demise to make way for the Federal Courthouse.
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