Woodstock Theatre

209 Main Street,
Woodstock, IL 60098

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Woodstock Theatre, Woodstock, IL

The Miller Theatre was built in 1927 on the site of the Princess Theatre and had a seating capacity of 1,000. It opened November 8, 1927 with a mixed movies/vaudeville policy and was equipped with a Barton style-23 theatre organ which had 6Ranks.

It was re-named Woodstock Dollarodeon Theatre in 1976 and was twinned in 1979. Classic Cinemas then acquired the Woodstock Theatre in 1988. In late-1991 a new marquee was created to resemble a historic marquee.

The theatre has undergone various renovations which have returned it to much of its original charm. In May 2002, two additional screens were added in the building next door, which had previously been the long closed, 1912 built, Beverley Theatre. In August 2012 three buildings on Main Street were demolished, and the following month work began so that in 2013 the Woodstock Theatre will have eight auditoriums including restoration of the historic auditorium complete with its domed ceiling.

One of the highlights of the theatre’s history was the filming of “Groundhog Day”. Each year the theatre helps the City of Woodstock celebrate ‘Groundhog Day’ with free screenings of the movie.

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

MAF on February 15, 2005 at 10:05 am

The Woodstock Theatre currently operates 4 screens with 595 seats.

Update from the Classic Cinemas website at www.classiccinemas.com:
Classic Cinemas acquired the Woodstock Theatre in 1988. Immediate renovations included installing larger screens, Dolby surround stereo sound and decorative aisle lights. In late 1991 a new marquee was created to resemble an historic marquee. It now casts a golden glow over the street at night, contributing to the ambiance of Woodstock’s historic downtown.

More improvements were made by Classic Cinemas in late 1998. Wider and more comfortable seats were added to both auditoriums, reducing the total number of seats to 462. Other improvements included new carpeting, floor tile and wall decor in auditoriums as well as lobby décor.

One of the highlights of the theatre’s history was the filming of Groundhog Day, a romantic comedy starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. The theatre was used as a film location — the Alpine at which the character played by Murray attended a movie. Each year the theatre helps the City of Woodstock celebrate Groundhog Day with free screenings of the film. The theatre also is featured on tours of the film’s locations. On Sunday, February 4, 2001, a plaque was dedicated to the theatre, honoring it as one of the sites used in the movie.

On May 23, 2002, the Woodstock Theatre opened two additional screens by expanding into the building next door which turned out to be the Beverly Theatre from 1912. At the same time, the restrooms were completely redone and enlarged. The box office now has two ticketing stations. All auditoriums have been equipped with digital sound and HPS-4000® sound systems.

MustangMike on July 20, 2006 at 1:56 pm

The Classic Cinemas Woodstock theatre history page has been moved to
View link

philbertgray on September 17, 2008 at 1:29 pm

The Woodstock Theatre can be seen in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. The theatre name was changed to The Alpine for the film.

TLSLOEWS on April 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Nice shot jwballer.

Senorsock on May 5, 2014 at 10:49 am

The dome has survived and the theater is being restored. http://www.thewoodstockindependent.com/August-2013/Cinema-restores-original-Woodstock-theater/

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 2, 2014 at 9:13 pm

As in 2002 the Woodstock Theatre expanded into the building that was once occupied by the Beverly Theatre, at 211 Main Street, shouldn’t the name Beverly be listed as an aka?

A document prepared for the Woodstock Historic Preservation Commission (PDF here) has a history of the theaters in Woodstock. The Beverly Theatre opened in 1920, and occupied the building that had been occupied by the first Princess Theatre, so maybe Princess should also be an aka.

The second Princess Theatre, which was demolished in 1927 to make way for the Miller Theatre, had been built in 1913 and opened that year as the Palace Theatre. The Princess moved into the 429-seat building some time later. The document says that the building was demolished:

“In 1927, John Miller demolished the second Princess Theater along with the E.J. Field Hardware store that was located between the two theaters and a new, larger theater was constructed.”
However, as the Palace/second Princess Theatre building was only 14 years old in 1927, I think it’s possible that it was not entirely demolished. It was not unknown for theater buildings to be expanded sideways in those days, and I suspect that it might have happened in this case, although I’ve found no historic documentation that this was done. It was usually more economical to leave at least part of a sound structure standing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least the north wall of the Woodstock Theatre turned out to be a remnant of the old Palace.

DavidZornig on November 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

August 2015 article below.


dallasmovietheaters on May 11, 2016 at 6:41 am

Opened November 8, 1927 with Helen Miller at the Barton Organ followed by WLS' organist Al Malgard.

Trolleyguy on May 12, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Updated website link: http://www.classiccinemas.com/location.aspx?house=2263

rivest266 on August 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm

This opened as Dollarodeon on June 18th, 1976. Its grand opening ad can be found in the photo section for this theatre.

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