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 19 comments)

mp775
mp775 on January 6, 2008 at 6:09 am

Sounds like a first class restoration job; I can’t wait to get down there to check it out.

rocmaven
rocmaven on April 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm

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 2:41 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 4:14 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 19, 2014 at 1:25 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 4:22 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 February 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm

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

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on March 2, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Billy Bob Thornton And The Boxmasters @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Friday, April 17, 2015

Academy Award Winner, Billy Bob Thornton with, Teddy Andreadis, J.D. Andrew, & Brad Davis make up “The Boxmasters”; an American roots-rock band of seasoned musicians whose sound is rich in rhythm and story. Formed in 2007, the band released the self-titled debut record “The Boxmasters” to critical acclaim. This two-CD set was comprised of original songs – including the Americana Radio hit “The Poor House” – and eclectic covers of tunes by The Beatles, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mott The Hoople and Mel Tillis. The Boxmasters are back with a new album – “Somewhere Down The Road” – slated for release in the Spring of 2015, along with an aggressive tour schedule that kicks off with a slew of LIVE performances from Texas to Tennessee and throughout the South. Music highlights: • Have released three albums – “The Boxmasters,” “Modbilly,” “Christmas Cheer” on Vanguard Records; with a new record – “Somewhere Down The Road” – slated for release in 2015 • “Modbilly” reached #1 on the Americana Radio Chart for 2 weeks in 2009 and was #14 on the Americana Music Assn Top 100 Albums of the Year • Contributed cover of “Sylvia’s Mother” to the compilation “Twistable Turnable Man- A Tribute to Shel Silverstein” • “I’ll Give You a Ring” is featured in the film “The Winning Season” starring Sam Rockwell on Lionsgate Films • Contributed a version of “Little Boxes”, the theme song for the Showtime comedy “Weeds” second season. Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 Art deco 375 seat theatre located 92 miles south (2 hrs) from Chicago. No seat is further than 50 feet from the stage. All Ages. Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & full bar. Showtime 7pm. Tickets $50. are on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or on line http://www.watsekatheatre.com

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

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on March 7, 2015 at 7:36 am

Kristian Bush of Sugarland @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL

http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Saturday, July 18, 2015

For a decade, Kristian Bush built his reputation as one half of the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning country duo Sugarland. He steered the ship in many ways: playing multiple instruments, singing harmonies, co-producing the group’s platinum-selling albums, and co-writing an award-winning catalog of songs (including five No. 1 singles and nearly a dozen Top 10 hits) about life and love in the American South. On Southern Gravity, his first release as a solo artist — due April 7, 2015 on Streamsound Records — Bush occupies the spotlight himself, juggling the roles of vocalist, songwriter, bandleader and producer. The new album draws on the 300+ songs that Bush wrote during the past two years, after Sugarland embarked on an open-ended hiatus. Included in the mix is Southern Gravity’s lead single, “Trailer Hitch,” written with Tim Owens and Bush’s brother, Brandon. Bush’s success with Sugarland, sold more than 22 million albums during the ten years that followed. Along the way, launched five No. 1 singles, earned a well-deserved induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and took home trophies from the Grammys, AMAs, ACM Awards, CMT Music Awards and CMA Awards. Watseka Theatre is a beautiful 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre 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 7:00pm. Tix $30. on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993-6585 or on line at http://www.watsekatheatre.com

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

DJMitchell
DJMitchell on April 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Buckcherry @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL http://www.watsekatheatre.com

Friday, June 5, 2015

One of the hottest Live Rock bands in the world. Multi Platinium selling band, BUCKCHERRY returns by popular demand to the Watseka Theatre. This is a beautiful 1931 art deco 375 seat theatre. Located 92 miles south of Chicago. Doors Open 5;30pm for dinner and full bar. All Ages Admitted. Tickets $40. are on sale now at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993-6585 or on line at http://www.watsekatheatre.com

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

Doors Open 5:30pm for dinner & full bar, show time 7pm (815) 993-6585

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