Pekin Theater

21-29 S. Capitol Street,
Pekin, IL 61554

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The Pekin Theater continued the striking style of Elmer Behrns (the Egyptian in Dekalb, Illinois and the Arcada in St. Charles, Illinois). The interior decor was Oriental including ancient Chinese pogodas and Chinese goddess figures. Similiar to other theaters of the late 20’s, the ceiling “stars” delivered the atmosphere to compliment the decor.

The Pekin closed in 1980 and was demolished seven years later.

Contributed by Mark Lenaway

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 13, 2007 at 4:10 pm

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987

Pekin Theatre ** (added 1987 – Building – #82002601)
Also known as Pekin Theatre Building
21—29 S. Capitol St., Pekin
Historic Significance: Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Behrns,Elmer E.
Architectural Style: Other
Area of Significance: Architecture
Period of Significance: 1925-1949
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Recreation And Culture
Historic Sub-function: Museum
Current Function: Vacant/Not In Use

kencmcintyre on March 18, 2007 at 8:38 am

Here is a 1986 photo by Michael Putnam:

heyclerok on November 13, 2007 at 5:07 pm

From the book Silent Screens, I thought this was a neat anecdote about the demolition of the Pekin Theater:

[i]“They called me up and said they had found something, a wallet at the Pekin Theater,” Robert D. king, age 56, of 7 Florentine Court, said. “I said, ‘Yeah, it’s mine. I lost it in 1959 or 1960.’”

from a report in the Pekin Daily Times (December 30, 1986) on the salvage operations at the Pekin Theater, where coins, wallets, and a class ring were found in the concrete ducts running beneath the main floor.[/i]

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 6, 2008 at 4:09 pm

This is a circa 1929 postcard view of the Pekin Theater.

PLYMOUTH on July 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Check out this link for a couple pics.

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