Watseka Theatre

218 E. Walnut Street,
Watseka, IL 60970

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TCI's Mitchell Karduna, Comedian Ralphie May & Watseka Theatre's Chuck Gomez

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Louis Skidmore (1897-1962), the architect for the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower in Chicago, designed this Art Deco style movie house on Walnut Street, next to the Odd Fellows Building. It opened in 1931, but started to fall on hard times in the 1960’s and early-1970’s. Those hard times forced its closing in 1998.

Former music teacher Charles Gomez purchased the theatre in the spring of 2007. Gomez used original blueprints to return the theatre’s original appearance, though sometimes using more affordable materials. The theatre will be used for live performances.

The Watseka Theatre/Iroquois Performing Arts Center had a New Years Eve 2007 grand re-opening gala with musical acts and a dinner. The building has a new bar, cafe, lounge and banquet room.

Originally seating 660 and later seating 580, the Watseka Theatre now seats 425 and has a stage. The theatre features hand painted murals, brass and frosted glass chandeliers with matching wall sconces, terrazzo floors and stairways, an original black marble ticket booth, and a neon marquee from the golden age of entertainment.

Contributed by Watseka Theatre, Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

rocmaven
rocmaven on May 1, 2011 at 2:55 am

Classic Country Music Legends, Bellamy Brothers in concert @ Watseka Theatre, 218 East Walnut Street, Watseka IL on Friday, July 15, 2011 @ 8:00 PM. The Bellamy Brothers are an American pop and country music duo brothers David Milton Bellamy and Homer Howard Bellamy from Darby, Fl. The duo had considerable musical success in the 1970s and 1980s, starting with the release of their crossover hit “Let Your Love Flow” in 1976, a Number One single on the Billboard Hot 100. Starting in the late 1970s, the Bellamy Brothers found success in country music as well, charting twenty Number One singles and more than fifty hits overall on the country charts. To date, they have released more than fifty albums, primarily on Curb Records. “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me” , “Redneck Girl”; “I Need More Of You”, “Santa Fe”, “Old Hippie”, “Kids of the Baby Boom.”,“Guilty Of The Crime”, “When I’m Away from You”, “Some Broken Hearts” & “Jalepenos” are among their classic hits. The Watseka Theatre is a 1931 beautiful restored 375 seat art deco theatre located 92 miles south of Chicago. The theatre features a gourmet restaurant as well as a full bar. Tickets $25., $35. & $60. are available at the theatre, by phone (815) 993- 6585 or on line at www.watsekatheatre.com .All Ages are admitted to concerts.

rocmaven
rocmaven on May 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

Country music Icon Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder “Treasure Chest Tour” @ Watseka Theatre, 218 East Walnut Street, Watseka, IL on Friday August 26, 2011 @ 7:00 PM. Ricky Skaggs has won 14 Grammy Awards, 8 Country Music Association Awards, 8 ACM Awards, 11 IBMA Awards, 2 Dove Awards & Countless others. In 1982, Ricky was made the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry at that time. He made his television debut at the age of 7, performing with bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on their popular syndicated television show and earning his first paycheck ever for a musical performance. At 15, Ricky became a member of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley’s backing band, The Clinch Mountain Boys. Ricky and his ace backing band, Kentucky Thunder, have won 8 Instrumental Group of the Year awards from the IBMA. Ricky has had 12 #1 singles on the Billboard Country charts and 12 Top 20 Country albums. Ricky collaborated with the Raconteurs and Ashley Monroe on a Bluegrass-inspired version of the Raconteurs track “Old Enough.” His album, Ricky Skaggs Solo Songs My Dad Loved, released in 2009, was nominated in the Best Traditional Folk Album category for the 2010 GRAMMY awards. Ricky played all of the notes and sang all of the songs on this project. Solo is a musical tribute to the man who caused him to fall in love with musicâ€\"his father. Current album, Mosaic, is a return to a full band sound that mixes elements of Country music with Beatles-esque melody and lyrics that speak to Skaggs’ faith, making “music that is in my head and in my heart,” as Ricky says. It was co-produced by Grammy winning songwriter/producer Gordon Kennedy. In 2010, Mosaic was nominated for two GRAMMY’s in Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album & Best Gospel Song categories (for “Return to Sender”). Greatest songs include; “Country Boy”,“Highway 40 Blues”, “I’m Ready To Go”, “Cajun Moon” & “Uncle Pen”. Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 art deco 375 seat venue located 92 miles south of Chicago. The theatre features a gourmet restaurant and full bar. This concert is open to all ages. Tickets $85.,$65.,$40. are on sale at the theatre, by phone (815) 993-6585 or on line www.watsekatheatre.com .
More concerts to be announced next week.

rocmaven
rocmaven on May 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Hot Country Music Artist Josh Thompson @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL will perform in concert on Friday August 5, 2011 @ 7:30PM.
Josh Thompson’s sensational debut CD has produced three top 40 hits for him on the charts: “Beer on the Table”, “Way Out Here” and “Won’t Be Lonely Long”. Come see this great concert at the historic Watseka Theatre Watseka Illinois on Friday August 5, 2011. A native of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, Josh Thompson began pouring concrete with his father at the age of 12, giving him first hand insight about the trials of hard-working men everywhere. After arriving in Nashville in 2005, Thompson instantly began writing and quickly established himself as a country artist on the rise. He received his first major songwriter credit with a song called “Growing Up Is Getting Old” which is the title track of Jason Michael Carroll’s current album. Thompson formed a band and drew in a huge fan base by playing raucous, energetic live shows all over the country. Josh’s raw talent, in both songwriting and performing, caught the attention of hit songwriters and eventually led to a major record deal with Columbia Nashville. Thompson’s blue collar lifestyle influences every song he has written, as he tells his stories with candor, honesty and a good-natured spirit. His debut single, “Beer On The Table,” is one of the most down-to-earth working man’s anthems in years, a look at the dance between work and play, and the hard-won, easy-go nature of money that ties them together. That work ethic, the honesty in his writing and the energy in his performances have combined to make Josh a powerful new voice in country music. His Columbia Nashville debut, Way Out Here, showcases a man who has lived the music he makes. Produced by Michael Knox (Jason Aldean) Way Out Here features 10 songs solely written or cowritten by Josh. Check out www.joshthompsonofficial.com . The Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 restored 375 seat art deco venue. It features a gourmet restaurant and full bar. Watseka is located 92 miles south of Chicago. All ages are admitted. Tickets are $55.,$45.,$35.,$25. available at the theatre, by phone (815) 993-6585 or on line at www.watsekatheatre.com .

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on November 4, 2014 at 8:20 am

Leon Russell @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee, Legend…One of most talent musicians of all time! Million Selling Award Winning Hits include; “A Song For You”, “This Masquerade”, “Tight Rope”, “Superstar”, “Delta Lady” & #1 hit “Heartbreak Hotel”. Russell began his musical career at the age of 14 in Tulsa. He studied guitar with James Burton (Elvis Presley & Ricky Nelson). Known mostly as a session musician early in his career, playing with artists as varied as Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis, George Harrison, Gram Parsons, Delaney Bramlett, Ringo Starr, Doris Day, Elton John, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Ventures, Willie Nelson, Badfinger, Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass, Frank Sinatra, The Band, Bob Dylan, J.J. Cale, B.B. King,Dave Mason, Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker and The Rolling Stones. In 2010 Elton John/ Leon Russell “The Reunion” # 3 hit album was released. They performed together on Saturday Night Live. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & Full bar. Show 7pm. Tix $40. at the theatre, by phone 815 993-6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre, 218 East Walnut Street, Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 993-6585

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on November 19, 2014 at 6:25 am

Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Country Music Celebration with LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS. One of country music’s most successful acts of the 1970s and 1980s. Gatlins had a total of 33 Top 40 singles. Their biggest hits together include “Broken Lady”, “All the Gold in California”, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You)”, “She Used to Be Somebody’s Baby”, and “Talkin' to the Moon”. Larry Gatlin is known for his rich tenor voice and for the string of pop-inflected hit songs he wrote and recorded throughout the 1970s and 80s. During this time, country music trended heavily towards polished pop music arrangements in a style that came to be known as Countrypolitan. This is a rare chance for the Gatlins fans to see them in concert in Central Illinois. No seat is further than 50 ft from the stage. Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre located 92 miles south of Chicago. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner and full bar. Showtime 7pm. Tix are on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre 218 East Walnut Street Watseka, IL 60970 Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & full bar, show time 7pm All Ages (815) 993-6585

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on December 20, 2014 at 9:22 am

Mickey Gilley @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Sat, Oct 24, 2015

Country Music Legend, “Mr. Urban Cowboy” MICKEY GILLEY headlines Watseka Theatre. Award Winner, Movie & TV Star with Multi Million Selling hit songs including “Stand By Me”, “Room Full Of Roses”, “Don’t The Girls All Look Prettier At Closing Time”, “City Lights”, “Window Up Above”, “Bring It On Home to Me”, “Chains of Love” ,“Honky Tonk Memories” , “She’s Pulling Me Back Again” & “Here Comes the Hurt Again” .“ The Iconic Movie, "Urban Cowboy” was filmed at Gilley’s Place in Pasadena TX. It stared John Travolta, Mickey Gilley and America saw The Mechanical Bull for the first time! Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre located 92 miles (2 hrs) south of Chicago. All Ages. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & full bar. Showtime 7pm. Tix on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre
218 East Walnut Street
Watseka, IL 60970

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on December 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

Riders In The Sky @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Salute To The King of The Cowboys, Roy Rogers. Outragous, wonderful, The Ultimate Entertainment Experience- Country Western Music, TV, Movie Stars, Two Time Grammy Award Winners, RIDERS IN THE SKY headline Watseka Theatre. RITS music has been featured in Toy Story 2 & Monsters Inc. Say No More It’s Freddy Labour opens the concert. How many times can I say, Wonderful ! All Ages. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & bar. Showtime 7pm. Tix $45. on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre
218 East Walnut Street
Watseka, IL 60970

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on January 12, 2015 at 2:49 am

Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One of the greatest musicians of all time. Dave Mason is British singer-songwriter- guitarist, who first found fame with the rock band Traffic. In his long career, Mason has played and recorded with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Steve Winwood, Fleetwood Mac, Delaney Bramlett, and Cass Elliot. Mason’s best known song is “Feelin' Alright”, recorded by Traffic in 1968 and later by many other performers, including Joe Cocker, who had a major hit with the song in 1969. For Traffic, he also wrote “Hole in My Shoe”, a psychedelic pop song that became a hit in its own right. “We Just Disagree”, Mason’s 1977 solo US hit , has become a staple of US Classic Hits and AC radio. In 2004, Mason was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of Traffic. Mason was a friend of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, whose career was launched in England in 1966. Hendrix first heard the song “All Along the Watchtower”, by Bob Dylan, at a party to which he was invited by Mason, and promptly decided to record his own version. That night he recorded the song at Olympic Studios, South West London, with Mason playing 12-string acoustic guitar. Watseka Theatre is a 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre. No seat is further than 50 ft from the stage. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & full bar. Tickets are on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or on line at www.watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre 218 East Walnut Street Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 993-6585

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on January 24, 2015 at 1:40 am

Shoji Tabuchi @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Branson’s #1 Boxoffice Attraction for over 20 years, Shoji Tabuchi headlines Watseka Theatre Watseka IL. Don’t miss the fantastic Shoji Tabuchi Road Show. Tickets $50. at the theatre boxoffice, charge by phone or on line at http://www.watsekatheatre.com. All Ages. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner and full bar. Showtime 7:00pm. Watseka Theatre is a 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre located 92 miles south of Chicago. No seat is further than 50 feet from the stage.

Watseka Theatre,218 East Walnut Street,Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 993-6585

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on February 28, 2015 at 4:15 am

The Marshall Tucker Band @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Back by popular demand! 4th time at Watseka Theatre. Classic Southern Rock Million selling hit songs including “Can’t You See”, “Heard It In A Love Song”& “Fire On A Mountain”. Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 Art Deco 375 seat theatre. Its located 92 miles (2 hours) South of Chicago. No seat is further than 50 ft from the stage. All Ages. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & full bar. Showtime 7:00 pm. Tickets are on sale at the theatre, by phone 815 993 6585 or online www.watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre
218 East Walnut Street
Watseka, IL 60970

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