Lawford Theatre

225 W. Main Street,
Havana, IL 62644

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Showing 1 - 25 of 133 comments

Trolleyguy on May 18, 2016 at 3:58 pm

No longer showing movies according to their Facebook page. Live country music shows and wrestling are listed.

rogs49 on June 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

who can I contact I want to do a free investigation with our paranormal group have someone contact me at

kylejm2008 on January 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Wow, I hadn’t realized our little theater had generated this much conversation. Because it was before my time, I didn’t have much exposure to those above who have previously rented the Lawford. However, I know the “renovations” they speak of consisted of painting over existing paint and generally making actual, real renovations harder. To make a long story short, Summer 2010 will mark about a year since an actual, longterm renovation began in the theater. Although it will take a few years, I am condfident the Lawford will undergo a complete restoration. If you are of the area, stop in from time to time to see our progress and support the effort.

kpdennis on April 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Wow, I had no idea the old Lawford was going to be such a hot, hot topic when we passed through Havana in the summer of 1995 – it looked pretty forlorn then:
View link

kencmcintyre on December 24, 2008 at 11:01 am

The theater recently reopened after being closed several weeks for repairs.

LAE27 on August 12, 2007 at 9:02 pm

i love the lawford theater. I have had no problems each time that i have went. i would take my children there any day. I happen to love the way it is set up and i think that the only reason that people complain is because of the fact that they want everything to be like the big theaters that are newly built. this place has historic values and it should stay that way other than the wiring and other small things throughout. the lawford wasnt built 10 years ago it was built before the time of air conditioning so if you want to stay cool like the new whinny generation like yourselves then dont come. and by the way the popcorn is delicious.

longislandmovies on June 13, 2007 at 11:56 am

still listed for sale …….

floridachalet on March 10, 2007 at 10:20 am

It is doubtful you ever will with the current owner ‘frank’ he just takes the money and keeps the doors open, its needs 1000’s of dollars of money to fix the heating, roofing, etc, it will never be a good theater until the town supports it or better yet, the city buys it and restores it, at this moment with all the BAD wiring it could burn down at any minute, you should see behind the stage where ‘open’ wires are and in the control booth, i am somewhat surprised the city has not closed it for violations but i guess if it takes somebody suing and or losing there life then that is what it will take.

CRG on March 9, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I live in Havana. I don’t care who owns the Lawford or who runs it, and I certainly do not have any interest in the incendiary discussions that have occurred in this thread.

The Lawford has great potential, however:

1.It still smells funky.
2.The popcorn is usually disgusting.
3.The environment (seats, lighting, screen, sound, etc.) still has more of a
“we-don’t-really-care-if-you-are-comfortable-and-enjoy-the-show-because-we-already-took-your-money” motif than what I am willing to continue supporting.
4. The majority of the films chosen are not suitable to the culture and needs of this community.

For future ideas on how to improve the Lawford, I would suggest that the owners,etc. go down the road to Mason City and check out the Arlee. Unfortunately for the Lawford, that is where we currently take most of our business. Maybe someday we will be able to speak of the Lawford with pride…

ChaletTheatersLLC on November 16, 2006 at 9:38 am

You know because i got you in something that you wanted to do bad, i know exatly who you are, and since your a newbie, it shows who it ws from :)

marj on November 16, 2006 at 9:15 am

….Yes that Robert Brennan is a slick customer. Ask me how I know!!!!!!!!! Anyway, don’t take my word, just check him out.

bloosoda on November 14, 2006 at 10:05 pm

BTW, in the 9/30/06 issue of the Pekin (IL) Times newspaper, there is an article about the latest at the Lawford Theatre in Havana. I didn’t want to pay for the archive access but if someone really wants to or already has a pass to access such, just go to and check it out.

The article starts: “Lawford Theatre saga continues
Times staff writer HAVANA The saga of the Lawford Theater over the last two years has contained as much drama, conflict and controversy as many of the films it has shown in its 90-plus-year history. From August 2004 to March 2005, the theater chang…
6.4K – Sep. 30, 2006;

bloosoda on November 14, 2006 at 9:31 pm

From WKBN TV27 Youngstown 11/9/06
(I have no comment, just FYI. I hope, if this deal goes through, that it succeeds for all parties involved.)

Local Leaders Divulge on Theater Renovations
A Chicago developer has told Youngstown he will renovate an old theater here, but First News has learned from sources in the theater business that he may not be what he seems. We talked to local leaders to find out if Paul Warshauer is the real deal.

A month ago, Paul Warshauer was the talk of the town, as the Chicago businessman announced plans to renovate the neglected Liberty Theater in Youngstown. People are still talking, mostly on the Internet, about Warshauer’s failure to renovate a single theater. So we called him.

He says he’s done five renovations, but it’s hard to find his name on them. He claims to have sincere belief in the theatre. Local folks working with Warshauer, like the architect on the job, believe he is the real deal. At the very least he’s launching something that has waited in the wings too long.

Now a multi-use venue, the symphony board is always developing a new product, like the Ford Recital Hall, to keep community support flowing.

Local architect, Ron Faniro, believes there is enough support to go around, or at least down the block.

Warshauer says a local group called Friends of the Liberty is establishing non profit status to support the theater. He is currently taking steps to secure the roof of the building and make it safe for visitors.

longislandmovies on November 6, 2006 at 1:58 pm

large, big ……………

ChaletTheatersLLC on October 31, 2006 at 12:53 am

lol what do you men big? Peoria would be at 50 miles

longislandmovies on October 31, 2006 at 12:42 am

Whats the biggest town to Havana/

ChaletTheatersLLC on October 20, 2006 at 9:19 am

You got that right Paul, and a whole bunch more, hope your doing fine!

rroberts on October 20, 2006 at 9:12 am

…and the Lawford needs loving management. It could be successful but someone must truly adopt it and the City of Havana. This could be a great opportunity for retired couple.

ChaletTheatersLLC on October 19, 2006 at 11:29 am


mp775 on October 19, 2006 at 11:21 am

How does a theater that was restored in 1997, then remodeled and given a new sound system in 2004 need a “complete rehab”?

ChaletTheatersLLC on October 19, 2006 at 1:18 am

The Theater needs to much work for it to be a viable business, it needs a complete rehab.

KiplingsCat on September 27, 2006 at 7:12 pm

To “Agent86"
As one of the actors from the very first show during the live theatre days (1997-2001) to the last show that was rehearsed but never performed at the theatre, I’ve heard most of the stories and experienced several of the more interesting incidents. The theatre was empty during a majority of the 1990’s, but it was opened as a live theatre venue in 1997 with the production of The Miracle Worker (I was a cast member of that show). It had several seasons, most notable it’s yearly holiday productions of A Christmas Carol, but due to rising utility costs, was unable to perform it’s last show All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten at the Lawford in 2001.
Now, on to the spooks:
There is a shadowy figure that prowls catwalk of the old fly-system; I’ve personally felt the cold spots during the 80-90 degree heat, and I have felt a hand upon my shoulder while waiting alone in the lobby for a cue. I am not the only one to have experienced these occurances. The rooms above the lobby were used as dressing rooms, and many times knocking on doors when only one person was up there happened.
In regards to the ghost in the basement,few were allowed down into the basement (for safety purposes), yet it still generated many stories. It has been described as foreboding and (according to a young castmate) just plain creepy!(sic). It was a shame that the live theatre was only able to remain there for less than five years, but at least this infighting and bickering did not occur.

And as to the continual bickering amongst certain people on this board: The people of Havana are glad to have the Lawford back up and running. I am thoroughly ashamed that this beautiful monument in my hometown has become a source of acrimony and vitriolic accusations between two groups. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

tammyhelman on July 13, 2006 at 9:08 am

I have just talked to the Owners of the Lawford Theatre in Havana and they gave me some news that I felt should be passed on to anyone interested in purchasing this Theatre.

They have reduced the asking price to $76,900. AND have asked me to advertise that they are willing to look at offers. They are just not wanting to be in the Theatre business (since they have other businesses that were already up and running) and they want to keep the Theatre open to help the sale of the Theatre and to show support for the community.

They have also rented the small office connected to the Theatre as a Barber Shop for $150 a month and added a small bathroom at the bottom of the steps for the shop. It now brings in a little extra income.

Please contact me if you would like further information:
Tammy Helman 309-231-8879

Jim Maloof / Realtors
2990 Court St.
Pekin, IL 61554

Lawford on April 16, 2006 at 9:39 am

Paul, wherever you go, we will be there, there are many comments we are arranging for the public to view, they consists of your former employees to government officals, your name and your company GRANDE VENUES will always be shown to have scammed, conned, and lied its way to people. You have scammed many honest people, the only bad thing is Mike Novelli got pulled in by you and knows of your past, its bad that he has to put up with your shamefull past and your current scams, someday soon, it will be more widespread of what you have done and what you continue to do, the site that is dedicated to your scams is getting quite a few hits a day, and more will be coming, as long as you post as long as you are around, it will keep coming,