Watseka Theatre

218 E. Walnut Street,
Watseka, IL 60970

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Marshall Tucker Band lead singer Doug Grey on stage Watseka Theatre

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

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rocmaven on May 1, 2011 at 7:55 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 on May 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

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 on May 28, 2011 at 3:14 am

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 on May 8, 2016 at 7:39 pm

Ronnie Milsap @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Country Music Giant, RONNIE MILSAP returns to Watseka Theatre. Six time Grammy Award Winner. Forty #1 Hit Songs! One of the most successful and versatile country “crossover” singers of his time, appealing to both country and pop music with hit songs that incorporated pop, R and B, and rock and roll elements. Million selling hits include “Pure Love”, “It Was Almost Like a Song”, “Smoky Mountain Rain”, “(There’s) No Gettin' Over Me”, “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World”, “Any Day Now”, and “Stranger in My House”. Ronnie was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014. The man is a living legend. All Ages. No seat is further than 50 ft from the stage. Doors Open 5:30pm for restaurant and bar. Showtime 7pm. Advance tickets on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre, 218 East Walnut Street, Watseka, IL 60970

Additional Features: Bar, Food, Gate Admission, Handicapped Access Hours:Doors Open 5:30pm; Showtime 7:00pm Advance Reserved Seats $60., $85. Attendance:375 Phone Number:(815) 993-6585

DJMitchell on August 26, 2016 at 6:36 am

Rick Springfield @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL


Friday, October 7, 2016

Rick Springfield @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL…Friday October 7, 2016..This is a Rick Springfield ‘Stripped Down’ show: An intimate solo performance with music and storytelling. No seat is further than 50 ft from the stage. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & bar. Showtime 7pm. Fan Club Pre-sale 8/29. Tix to General Public on sale 8/31. watsekatheatre.com or (815) 993-6585 . Over the past three decades, Rick Springfield has worn many hats as an entertainer and performer. The creator of some of the finest power-pop of the ‘80s, he’s a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold 25 million albums and scored 17 U.S. Top 40 hits, including “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody,” and “Human Touch.” He’s an accomplished actor who most recently starred opposite Meryl Streep in the feature film Ricki and the Flash and gave a chameleonic performance as the creepy Dr. Pitlor in HBO’s prestige drama True Detective. He’s also a talented author — both his candid 2010 memoir Late, Late at Night (which Rolling Stone named one of the 25 greatest rock memoirs of all time) and his 2014 comedic novel Magnificent Vibration earned rave reviews and spots on the New York Times Best Sellers’ list. In 2013, Springfield wrote and recorded “The Man That Never Was” with Dave Grohl for the soundtrack to Sound City — the Foo Fighters' frontman’s documentary about the San Fernando Valley recording studio that was Springfield’s home away from home (his manager owned the building). Rolling Stone called Springfield’s touching interview in the film its “breakout story.” In 2014, Springfield was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located around the corner from the first apartment he lived in when he first arrived in the U.S. from Australia in 1971. That Springfield has not only enjoyed longevity, but remained vibrant and relevant at a time when many veteran artists would be resting on past laurels led Rolling Stone to dub this stage of his career “The Rickonaissance.” “I guess it may appear like that, but in my head, I’ve never really left,” Springfield says. “I think it’s really important to stay connected to the vitality of your career. I have a certain pride that I’m not a total nostalgia act. I’ve never been the guy who hung the platinum albums on my walls because, to me, it was looking back. I’m very passionate about moving forward. I have to write new music. I have to record. I’m always working on the live shows. I have to always be working, otherwise I think I’d just turn to smoke and disappear.” Springfield’s latest musical effort is Rocket Science, his 18th studio album, which he will release in February through Frontiers Music. Written largely with his longtime collaborator and former bass player Matt Bissonette, the album delivers the expertly crafted wide-ranging pop-rock songs Springfield is known for. “I wanted the album to be very open and electric — rock and roll with some country elements, and always with great hooks,” he says. The lyrics largely address matters of the heart with the irreverence, wit, and dark humor that has always permeated his work. “The songs usually start with titles for me,” Springfield says. “A title will catch my eye and inspire a lyric. Both Matt and I are happily married, but there’s some heartache on this one. You can’t just write about how everything is all good and bore people out of their minds. When different emotions come up, I just go with that. I don’t set out to write about anything in particular. I just look for something that feels true and that I can hopefully say in an interesting way.” While on a rare vacation in Tahiti, Springfield wrote the rollicking first single “Light This Party Up,” which he describes as “a song about redemption and how life sometimes feels like one long fall from grace.” He wrote “Down,” a song about disillusionment and commitment, with Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus while traveling on DeMarcus' tour bus to Atlanta, where the two were filming an episode of Drop Dead Diva. “Jay came up with the title ‘Down’ and we were off to the races,” Springfield says. “By the time we were halfway to Nashville the melody and structure of the song were complete, as if by magic. I love it when that happens.” Written with Bissonette, “That One” has a vulnerability characteristic of Springfield’s most emotionally resonant songs. “Who of us hasn’t had some heartless lover crap on us and our tender feelings?” he says. “This song hits home for me both as the protagonist and the victim. I have been both the crapee and the craper, I’m ashamed to admit.” A dobro guitar lends down-home flair to the rock stomper “Miss Mayhem,” which Springfield wrote with The Hold Steady’s Tad Kubler. “Ah, Miss Mayhem,” he says. “We have all met her or him at some point in our romantic past. A burning hot, amazing-in-bed, beautiful/handsome, wack-job!” Songs like “Pay It Forward,” “Crowded Solitude,” and “We Connect” are imbued with a sense of spirituality that has been reflected in Springfield’s songwriting since his album Living in Oz. “I’ve been sneaking it in there since 1983,” he says. Music has always been a healing force in the Australian-born Springfield’s life. The son of an Army officer, Rick and his family moved every two years. “Which meant every time I made a friend, I knew I’d be leaving him,” he says. “It was super stressful for me. I’d go to a new school and go through the trauma of trying to fit in.” Books and records became his savior. Then at age 11, he encountered his first guitar. “This kid brought one to a Christmas fair at my school in England and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen,” Springfield recalls. “He let me hold it. I hit two strings and the two strings happened to be the first couple of notes of the theme song to my favorite cowboy show at the time, Cheyenne. I realized instantly I could play the guitar. Some guys fall in love with cars, some with football teams. I fell in love with guitars.” It has been a long and fruitful affair, and one that has gifted him with a powerful connection to his legions of devoted fans, who pack his annual fan getaway events, as well as the nearly 100 shows a year he performs both with his band and solo in an intimate “storyteller” setting that he captured on the 2015 CD/DVD and concert film Stripped Down. Though too self-deprecating to discuss his immense appeal, he will acknowledge that the fans connect with him through the music. “I guess they think I’m honest,” he says. “They must like my approach, what I write about. I think they like that I have a sense of humor in it at times. Because the ‘cute’ thing isn’t going to last forever.”

Watseka Theatre, 218 East Walnut Street, Watseka, IL 60970

Additional Features: Bar, Food, Gate Admission, Handicapped Access Hours:Doors Open 5:30pm; Showtime 7:00pm Reserved Seats: $115. & $75.

Phone Number:(815) 993-6585

DJMitchell on September 14, 2016 at 4:09 am

Jackyl…Nov 19, 2016 @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL http://www.watsekatheatre.com

5th time in Watseka! Back by Popular demand! Equal parts hard rock, heavy metal and Southern rock, JACKYL with the hottest new CD, ROWYCO. Witness the outragous Jackyl show with all the Million Selling hit songs including “The Lumberjack”. Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre. Located 92 miles south of Chicago. All Ages. It features a great restaurant and full bar. Doors Open 5:30pm, Showtime 7pm. Tickets are on sale at the theatre, by phone 815 993 2880 or watsekatheatre.com

Watseka Theatre, 218 East Walnut Street, Watseka, IL 60970 Additional Features: Bar, Food, Gate Admission, Handicapped Access, Reserved Advance Tickets Hours:Doors Open 5:30pm; Showtime 7:00pm Admission:$55. Phone Number: (815) 993-6585

DJMitchell on January 7, 2017 at 5:17 am


The legendary classic rock band Head East has long set the standard for authentic, full-vocal, goodtime rock harmonies that few bands can equal. Their high-energy shows are filled with superb vocals, flashy guitar work and memorable keyboard melodies that continue to rock audiences of all ages. Their signature song, “THERE’S NEVER BEEN ANY REASON (Save My Life)“ has long-been considered by many radio stations across the country as "The Rock & Roll National Anthem.” For more than four decades the band has brought classic rock to countless audiences all across North America. According to founding member and keyboardist Roger Boyd, Head East will continue to bring their brand of dance and shout, good-time rock and roll to audiences of all ages for many years to come. “As long as I can lift my synthesizer over my head and the audience goes wild, we’ll keep rockin’ on!” . Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner and full bar. Showtime 7pm. Watseka Theatre is 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre located 92 miles south of Chicago. Tickets $35. are on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993-6585 or watsekatheatre.com

DJMitchell on January 12, 2017 at 6:10 am


Valentines Weekend Concert! Celebrating their Golden (50th) Anniversary together, the iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entiremovement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, continues to add to their legendary status. With multi-­‐platinum and gold records, strings of top ten hits such as “Fishin'InTheDark” and “Mr.Bojangles”, multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, the band’s accolades continue to accumulate. Their groundbreaking “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” album has been inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress as well as the Grammy Hall of Fame. NGDB’s recording of “Mr.Bojangles” was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2014 “Fishin' In the Dark” was certified platinum for digital downloads by the RIAA. Today, NGDB (Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, John McEuen) continue their non-­‐stop touring in their 50th year together. Recent tour stops included Stagecoach, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and many more. The plans for their 50th Anniversary will be extensive! On September 14th, 2015 they played to a Sold out Crowd at The Historic Ryman Auditorium with some close friends to film a 50th Anniversary Special which airs on PBS. Watseka Theatre is 1931 Art Deco 375 seat theatre located in Central Illinois, 92 miles from Chicago. All Ages. Doors open at 5:30pm for dinner & bar. Showtime is 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale at the theatre, by phone 815 993 6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com

DJMitchell on January 24, 2017 at 8:45 am

The Marshall Tucker Band … June 3, 2017 @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

Back By Popular Demand! 45th Anniversary Tour! One of the greatest Southern classic rock bands return to Watseka Theatre. Hits include “Cant You See”, “Heard It In A Love Song”, “Fire On A Mountain” & “Ramblin”. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & bar. Show 7pm. Tickets on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com

DJMitchell on January 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm


Multi Platnium MTV Classic Rock Band WARRANT plays Watseka Theatre Watseka IL on St Patricks Day Saturday March 18, 2017. Huge hits include “Cherry Pie”, “Heaven”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “Sometimes When She Cries”, “I Saw Red”, “Down Boys”, “Blind Faith”, “Big Talk”, “We Will Rock You”, & “The Bitter Pill”. Get ready for a rockin St Pattys Day Party! Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre located 92 miles south of Chicago. All Ages. Doors Open 5:30pm for Bar & Restaurant. Showtime 7:00 pm. Tickets $50. on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993-6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com

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