Watseka Theatre

218 E. Walnut Street,
Watseka, IL 60970

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DJMitchell on December 11, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Olate Dogs @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL


Sat, Feb 27, 2016

Doors Open 12 noon for lunch. Showtime 2pm. The Olate Dogs are the winning participants from Season 7 of America’s Got Talent, scooping up the $1,000,000 prize and headlining The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Led by Richard Olate and his son Nicholas Olate, the Olate Dogs (www.olatedogs.tv) are a high-energy, fast-paced canine theatrical act filled with amazing dog tricks, human acrobatics and humor. Embodying the American Dream, Richard grew up in South America in a poor family. He got his start as a young boy of 10 when he rescued his first street dogs and found he had a gift. He combined this gift of training dogs and compassion with incredible hard work. This enabled him to support his entire family by age 12 with his dog troupe. He came to the attention of a circus group and found himself performing in the United States at age 33. That is when the rise of the Olate Dogs began in earnest. Winning America’s Got Talent in 2012 was the beginning of their dreams comes true. Opening doors previously only imagined they are now America’s most recognized dog entertainers. They command Standing Ovations performing at high profile sporting events nationwide, including NBA, College Division 1, WNBA, MLB, MiLB and more. Richard’s dream of having his own dog variety show has come true as they have a praised new Variety Show touring the U.S.. They have even taken on a new type of performance, starring in a series of acclaimed short online films promoting shelter adoptions. They are also seen on National Television for programs such as FOX’s Cause for Paws, the TODAY Show and the Tonight Show. Nicholas Olate started working with his father at age 6 and for the family, while having a home base in Texas, home is truly on the road. The dogs, many of them rescues, are all pampered members of the family and travel in their own air conditioned, tricked out trailer. A singer and talent in his own right, Nicholas Olate has his debut album Think Big available on ITunes. The Dogs themselves have their own “Olate Dogs Christmas” CD barking the holiday classics, also available on ITunes. Come early for lunch. All Ages. VIP Tickets $50. includes meet & greet are also available. Tickets $20. are on sale now at the the theatre boxoffice, by phone 815 993 6585 or www.watsekatheatre.com .

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

Hours:Doors Open 12 noon; Show 2pm

Phone Number:(815) 993-6585

DJMitchell on September 24, 2015 at 9:26 pm

Mel Tillis @ Watseka Theatre Watseka IL


Sat, Feb 13, 2016

Country Music Icon, MEL TILLIS headlines Valentines Day Weekend at Watseka Theatre Watseka IL. His milestones include being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry & Country Music Hall Of Fame. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to country music. He also has won the CMA Awards' most coveted award, “Entertainer of the Year”. Sixty hit records including the multi million selling classics; “Ruby Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” (which he wrote for Kenny Rogers), “I Ain’t Never”, “Crazy Wild Desire”, “Steppin Out”, “These Lonely Hands of Mine”, “She’ll Be Hanging Around Somewhere” , “Heart Over Mind,” “Heaven Everyday”, “Commercial Affection”, “Arms of a Fool” , “Take My Hand”,“Brand New Mister Me” “Neon Rose,”“Sawmill,” “Midnight, Me and the Blues” “Stomp Them Grapes”, “Memory Maker” , “Woman in the Back of My Mind” , “Mental Revenge” “Good Woman Blues” , “Heart Healer”,“I Believe In You” and “Coca-Cola Cowboy”. Watseka Theatre is a 1931 art deco theatre located 92 miles south (2 hrs) from Chicago. No seat is further than 50 ft from the stage. All Ages. Doors open 5:30 pm for dinner and full bar. Showtime 7pm. Tickets are on sale at the theatre, charge by phone 815 993 6585 or watsekatheatre.com

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

(815) 993-6585

rocmaven on May 27, 2011 at 7:14 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 .

rocmaven on May 25, 2011 at 5:41 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 on April 30, 2011 at 11:55 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.

mp775 on January 6, 2008 at 8:09 am

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

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 5, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Well as you know if you now click the above you now can no longer read the article or see the photos. I don’t really expect anyone to subscribe to the Journal just to read this one article. I guess there must be some some way to scan the article and photos, but I don’t know how to do that so I will just type it out. Is that legal? My typing isn’t the greatest, sorry for any mistakes, wish we had spell check. Sorry about the photos.
From the Kankakee, Illinois, Daily Journal, Friday, December 28,2007

Local couple restores an art deco theater

Watseka—On New Year’s Eve, when the restored Watseka Theatre will reopen to the public after nine years, guests won’t get popcorn and a movie.

Instead they will get a look at what a former Cissna Park music teacher has been daydreaming about for 30 years—a hub for art and culture.

That former teacher, Chuck Gormez, and Debra Liddell, a dentist, will reopen The Watseka Theatre not as a movie house, but as a performing arts center available to rent.

The 1931 structure, which Gomez called an art deco treasure, is much more than a theater now. The building has a new bar, cafe, lounge and banquet room complete with closed-circuit television to watch the acts next door.

So far, the only other event (besides the New Year’s Eve Party) nailed down is a March 29 (2008) benefit by the Iroquois County Historical Society that will feature a singing act called the Sweethearts of Branson, Mo. But Gomez says that many local organizations are interested in bringing performers to Watseka or in using the building for their own dances, concerts and recitals.

The restoration has even attracted the attention of a filmaker who is working on a documentary about the project and will include interviews with local people, Gomez said.

A ‘brutal’ job

Gomez makes a living as a special events producer and produces the Columbia College graduation in Chicago each year. However, he has never restored a theater.

This isn’t just any theater, though. Gomez said that Louis Skidmore (1897-1962), the architect for the Hancock Center and the Sears Tower, designed the building.

It’s also seeped in local history. Gomez has heard stories from local couples who met and fell in love there, and even of a small group of men who pledged to enlist after hearing the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor moments before the movie started.

Liddel and Gomez, who live in Watseka, bought the theater last spring and began cleaning it out. The basement was practecally filled with debris.

“We spent two month just cleaning,” Gomez said, “It was brutal.”

Since then. the theater partners have used “ever contractor in Watseka”

While he had copies of the original blueprints, some elements were too expensive to restore. Take the crowns and sconces inside the theater. The original crowns were made from horsehair and plaster and were mounted atop columns of black-painted brick on either side of the theater. They would have been prohibitively expensive to replace, so FP Fiberglass' Fred Cahoe and Scott Burdick turned out replicas of these and other plaster decor that had fallen victims to water damage.

Cahoe said it was a challenging job because the goal was to make the fiberglass look like plaster, not a smooth, contemporary looking surface. “You want to make sure the flaws are back in it,” said Cahoe. “Plaster doesn’t have a certain design.”

Painting a new era

The theraer has been downsized from more than 600 seats to 425 new, wider theater chairs.

The auditorium originally had a shallow stage in front of the movie screen for vaudeille acts. The theater was built as the movies were eclipsing the older style of live entertainment. In a way, the renovation project is a throwback because the movie screen has been relocated to the rear wall of the stage area opening up a much larger space for singer, dancers, actors and musicians.

Several original murals are also in the process of being redone. Watseka artist Kathy Blunk created an impressionistic vision of the princess Watch-e-kee (after whom Watseka is named) for the lobby. Liddell painted a new Native American warrior to replace the faded one on the right-hand side of the stage. The image has been emlarged to about 20 feet high and is being hung this week. Originally, there was another male on the left hand side of the stage. However, Liddell is replacing him with a female Native American bearing a dream catcher, instead of a weapon.

In the lobby, art deco touches can be seen in the original terazzo floor, original floor-to-ceiling columns and in the original houndstooth crown moulding, which meets a scalloped design around the edge of the ceiling. The lobby color scheme is teal, nougat and rust — an art deco color scheme, according to Gomez.

The houndstooth is reminiscent of arrows, a design element that was present on the sconces and on the valance over the stage. The black vlance had to be mostly reconstructed, although it’s ready to to put up. In addition to arrowheads, it bears images of large water birds native to this area, which migrate in arrow formations.

And while the marquee still awaits transformation into a white-on-black neon sign, Gomez said Monday that 90 percent of the planned restortation will be finshed by New Year’s Eve.

Photo: Both the original chandelier and scoces survive in the lobby of the Watseka Theatre. An even larger, original chandelier hangs in the auditorium.

Photo: Debra Liddell holds up some of the artwork she had hand crafted for the Watseka Theatre.

Photo: Mike Brubach, of Bradley, and Dave Gudeman, of Dave’s Carpentry in Watseka, hang the crowns above the columns in the Watseka Theatre on Monday morning.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, This is CINERAMA!”

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 3, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Nice article about the theater in the December 28, 2007 Kankakee, Illinois, Daily Journal
View link

“Gee Dad, it was a WurliTzer!”

toothslayer on November 8, 2007 at 5:25 am

www.watsekatheatre.com Visit this site for current information regarding this fabulous Art Deco Theatre. It is opening with style, grace and a huge gala on New Years Eve, 2007.

WTM on June 8, 2007 at 10:32 am

Please feel free to contact me with any info or any questions!

WTM on June 8, 2007 at 10:32 am

Contributed by Watseka Theatre, Charles Gomez.

Not Bryan Krefft!

I love your site here and have spent way too much of my time looking up oh so many of your listed theaters. Thanks for a great web site!

titus on March 11, 2007 at 4:27 am

Does anyone know the current status of this theatre ?

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on April 26, 2006 at 7:05 am

From the Kankakee, Illinois THE DAILY JOURNAL “has been closed since 1998 and is offered for sale”.

BoxOffice70MM on October 10, 2005 at 6:57 pm

I would love to go and revive this theatre, its a small farm town, some first runs some classics,,, I have excellent ideas for programing.