South Town Theatre

1106 S. Grand Avenue East,
Springfield, IL 62703

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South Town Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Empress Theatre in 1915, and renamed the South Town Theatre in 1938, when it was remodelled in an Art Deco style. The South Town Theatre closed in 1959 as a movie house.

It, however, has been wonderfully maintained, and its gorgeous Streamline Moderne marquee, which still says “South Town”, now advertises the stained glass studio now housed inside.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Patsy on February 9, 2006 at 4:32 pm

JWalch: Congrats as I just read about this theatre on the Castle Theatre link.

jwomaha on March 26, 2006 at 7:58 am

Could someone tell me what progress has been made in the restoration of this theatre? I’m an independnet filmmaker and my documentary about theatre preservation, “Preserve Me a Seat,” is nearing completion. This summer, I will be taking the film “on tour” to show as a benefit for historic theaters/preservation groups in the midwest. I was curious to know what was happening with this project and if the theater/preservation group might be a possibility to fit in my tour. For more information about the movie, visit my website at:
Jim Fields

Patsy on June 27, 2007 at 10:53 am

Many years ago I was in Springfield Illinois, but at the time I wasn’t interested in old theatres so missed seeing this one.

Patsy on June 27, 2007 at 11:09 am

Yes, it is too bad that it is no longer a theater, but it is nice to see that the owners of the stained glass business have chosen to restore the marquee and incorporate it into their business!

JimWalch on January 8, 2008 at 2:10 pm

I would like to thank Lost Memory for posting the photos of the Southtown Theater. This is something I should have been doing but just don’t have the time, yet. The restoration is finished and it looks great. If you happen to visit Springfield, Illinois look us up and see the marquee lit up. It is on from dark to 1 AM everyday. If anyone is interested in owning this building email me.

HowardBHaas on January 9, 2008 at 8:15 am

marquee relighting 2007
View link

kencmcintyre on December 30, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Here is an item from Boxoffice magazine, October 1947:

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.-The Springfield-Frisina Theater Co. has purchased the Southtown Theater building from the Springfield Marine Bank for $35,000. The Frisina Amusement Co. has been operating the Southtown, a 300-seater, in conjunction with Leo Burnstine for a number of years. Mrs. Harry Burnstine manages the theater.

TLSLOEWS on March 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Very nice job of restoring the marquee and front of building.

stormdog on December 22, 2013 at 8:45 pm

I just edited and posted a number of photos of the Southtown Theater from a trip last year. Here’s one; there are more on my Flickr page if you’re interested.

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