W. Main Street,
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Allen M. Robertson and Don Burley opened the 300-seat Temple Theatre in downtown Brook on March 7, 1918. The opening film was Douglas Fairbanks in “The Man From Painted Post”. Sunderland Brothers Theatre Circuit took on the theatre in the Fall of 1930 equipping it for sound. It relaunched with talkies on December 11, 1930 with Lew Ayres in “All Quiet on the Western Front”. The Temple Theatre went out of business in March of 1932.
It reopened as the Brook Theatre on November 7, 1933 showing Lee Tracy in “Turn Back the Clock”. On March 10, 1937, it went out of business when owner/operator Paul Teargarden played the last show of “The Beneficient Reprobate” to very few patrons, pulled up his truck and took the projectors and sound system with him.
New operators Leonard and Sidney Miller of Miller Brothers Circuit of Chicago took on the theatre with a gala grand reopening on April 22, 1937 with the film, “Fifty Roads to Town” starring Don Ameche and Ann Southern. The now 230-seat theatre was a dud as the Miller Brothers soon figured out what the previous owners already knew, the town was indifferent to the theatre likely due to economic challenges. The Miller’s closed the Brook Theatre less than three months later on July 4, 1937.
Harry Fields and Charles Woodruff had a different plan adding air conditioning to the Brook Theatre and improved projection and sound fidelity. It relaunched with a Grand Opening on August 27, 1937 with a double feature of Gene Autry in “Ride, Ranger, Ride” and Jean Arthur in “More Than a Secretary”. But during “More Than a Secretary”, the capacity crowd was shocked when the film caught on fire ending the Fields & Woodruff operation without making it out of its first night. The projectors were ruined and the venue boarded up.
The theatre reopened on November 3, 1939 and closed in December of 1939. The venue had another brief return to showing films two weekends in 1943.
After the War in 1946, a committee got together to bring a modern theatre to Brook. The newly built Brook Theater opened on July 10, 1949 and has its own page on Cinema Treasures.
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