Watseka Theatre

218 E. Walnut Street,
Watseka, IL 60970

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DJMitchell on September 13, 2016 at 8:09 pm

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 August 25, 2016 at 10:36 pm

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 May 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

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

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.