Rodgers Theatre

119 W. Vienna Street,
Anna, IL 62906

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

The Rodgers Theatre opened in February, 1938, according to the 1954 book 100 Years of Progress: The Centennial History of Anna, Illinois.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Nice pictures Chuck.

Patsy
Patsy on June 14, 2008 at 12:14 pm

“despite attempts to save”…famous last words.

bodkin6071
bodkin6071 on June 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Bought by the Kerasotes chain sometime in the late 1960’s. Kerasotes closed the Rodgers July 31, 1980 on account of slumping business.

Patsy
Patsy on April 16, 2006 at 6:39 am

As I scrolled down to read the latest post on this theatre I feared what I would read. So very very sad and so today’s youth will continue to go to the malls and multiplexes of their generation.

melders
melders on April 15, 2006 at 10:12 pm

The theater was finally demolished this past week.

melders
melders on March 14, 2006 at 10:38 pm

The paper recently said demolition work will start soon on this theater. I just wish that they will save the buildings marquee.

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2006 at 7:47 am

Kurt: I plan to write the Mayor of Anna, Steve Hartline a letter in support of saving the Rodgers Theatre and I hope that many other fellow CT members and especially those who are in the Anna Illinois area will do the same as the Mayor’s address can be found on your June 29, 2005 post. Thank you as your support could possibly make the difference between a bad decision and a good decision.

Patsy
Patsy on January 29, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Kurt: CT only lists 3 Rodgers Theatres and besides the Rodgers in Illinois and the one listed in MO there is one listed in Corning California. Could this one be a Issac Rodgers theatre even though you didn’t include CA as one of the States “between IL, MO, and KY”.

Patsy
Patsy on January 29, 2006 at 4:44 pm

“Isaac Walter Rodgers owned this theatre along with about 5 others spread out between IL, MO, and KY.” Are any of the other Rodgers Theatres still open and have any of them been restored? If so, it might be wise to contact these other theatres and see if they can be of any help in saving and restoring the Rodgers in Anna! BTW, I’m trying to find an email address for the Mayor of Anna!

Patsy
Patsy on January 27, 2006 at 11:26 am

“Most people here would rather spend more money on the local high school football team than a building of historical and cultural significance.” That is so unfortunate as local football teams come and go, but when an historical/cultural building is gone, it is gone forever!

kpetrich
kpetrich on January 27, 2006 at 10:42 am

To my knowledge, the Rodgers here in Anna has no connection with your theatre in NC. Isaac Walter Rodgers owned this theatre along with about 5 others spread out between IL, MO, and KY. I found another theatre named Rodgers in/near Mattoon IL but later found it was named after Will Rodgers. I recently found the married name of Isaac’s granddaughter so I will soon be trying to track her down for more information on the family and their chain of theatres.

As far as a local group to help with the preservation, you would be hard pressed to find it. We have two groups here in town. One is the Union County Historical Society which isn’t very large and all of their time, money, and energy are going into restoring the DuBois building in Cobden to use as a museum. The other is the P.A.S.T organization which is in the same boat except with St.Annes church in Anna. Our theatre’s demise can be attributed to previous owners, lack of available money, and most of all lack of community support. Most people here would rather spend more money on the local high school football team than a building of historical and cultural significance.

Patsy
Patsy on January 26, 2006 at 6:22 pm

I have a digital photo of the Rodgers Theatre that is in Shelby NC and I will look to see if there are any physical design similarities. And the theatre in Shelby is not listed on CT.

Patsy
Patsy on January 26, 2006 at 6:17 pm

There must be a grass roots local group that has or can band together and save the art deco Rodgers!

Patsy
Patsy on January 26, 2006 at 4:33 pm

“It closed in 1998 and recently has become in danger of being razed by the city of Anna despite its owner’s attempts at saving the Rodgers.” I hope the City of Anna doesn’t win the battle to raze the theatre and that the owner is able to save the Rodgers! Does the area have a local preservation group?

Patsy
Patsy on January 26, 2006 at 8:26 am

Ken: None of the above sites “from a blog” seemed to work. I know of a theatre named Rodgers in Shelby NC…wonder if there is any connection? And I think that one is CT listed.

Patsy
Patsy on October 24, 2005 at 7:29 pm

It’s sad to read about a theatre such as this one in need of some TLC and community support along with perhaps some hidden issues….“It seems to me that there is something more to this case than just the city wanting to be rid of a dangerous building.” so I hope that in the near future “melders” and others will make time to get involved!

melders
melders on July 11, 2005 at 11:27 pm

Just looking at the theater it is obvious that the theater is not going to fall over. It seems to me that there is something more to this case than just the city wanting to be rid of a dangerous building. Perhaps someone connected with the government wants it demolished for some reason. Just look at the case of West Frankfort’s old City Hall, which the mayor wanted to demolish so his business could have parking. I would love to help you, but I really don’t have the time to be involved at this time.

kpetrich
kpetrich on July 8, 2005 at 11:03 am

This theatre can still be saved! I have a copy of the structural engineers report that states the building isnt going to fall over like the city is claiming. The roof needs to be fixed (which nobody is arguing) and the front corner of the building needs to be repaired where they city damaged it during demolition of the adjacent building. I am working with the Illinois Landmarks Council and the Lt. Gov’s office to try and save our theatre.

Melders- Please email me at .il.us It seems like you are local and could be a great help to our movement.

melders
melders on July 1, 2005 at 11:48 pm

I would like to comment on the bar owner. She has no reason to want the destruction of the Rodgers. She recently got a bigger parking lot when the building between her bar and the Rodgers burned down. When she was interviewed on TV, she seemed more concerned about getting the Rodgers torn down than finding out why the city had already planned demolishing the theater and not the abandoned building next door.

kpetrich
kpetrich on June 29, 2005 at 11:54 am

Please write the city of Anna and let them know how important this theatre is. I.W. Rodgers was listed in a December 16th, 1922 magazine called Moving Picture World as one of the top three most important pioneers in the movie theatre business. This is one of the last two surviving Rodgers Theatres and because of a neighboring bar and funeral home pulling the strings on the city council, the theater needs your help now more than ever. Please email me if you have any questions at .il.us

City of Anna
Mayor Steve Hartline
103 Market St
Anna, IL 62906

dmoutell
dmoutell on December 4, 2004 at 5:13 pm

My father has been trying to salvage parts of this theater because of its fate. He knows the current and last owner. The pressure to destroy this poor theater has been too much. The internal damage from years of a leaking roof is pretty bad – but my father (a lifelong building contracter) said the structure as a whole is no worse than other structures nearby. I have always loved this theater. Its beauty influenced me to love this style. I have an outside picture of this theater when it was at its finest. It was just as impressive on the inside. I remember every detail. I cannot bear to see it destroyed!!!