Illinois Theatre

126 S. Locust Street,
Centralia, IL 62801

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Illinois Theatre

The Illinois Theatre, located on Locust Street, was opened on January 16, 1922. By the 1940’s it was operated by Fox Midwest Theatres. Frome the late-1970’s until the early-1990’s it was operated by BAC Theatres. Kerasotes Theatres then took over. After Kerasotes Theatres opened the Plaza 5 Theatres in Centralia they closed the Illinois Theatre in December 2001.

In the fall of 2004, Kerasotes donated the Illinois Theatre to the city of Centralia for future use as a live venue. Renovations to date include the relighting of the marquee and the interior of the entrance lobby.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

dabroots on June 9, 2007 at 12:22 pm

For a photo of the Illinois Theater that I snapped while visiting my hometown in late 2006, click

bodkin6071 on May 3, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Picture from February 1985:
View link

bodkin6071 on July 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm

The Illinois was operated by BAC Theaters from the late 70’s to the early 90’s, and by Kerasotes from there to 2001.

bodkin6071 on July 14, 2009 at 8:52 am

The site lists this as being a single screen, but actually the Illinois was a twin.

dschmeink on August 5, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Great news that the city preserved this theatre. The inside is impressive and was well-maintained. A diamond in the rough no doubt.

bodkin6071 on October 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Going back 31 years… the Illinois was showing the following:

6/28/85: The Goonies and Return To Oz 7/3/85: Back to the Future and The Emerald Forest 7/24/85/: Back to the Future and The Black Cauldron 8/2/85: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and The Heavenly Kid 8/9/85: Pale Rider and My Science Project 8/16/85: Return of the Living Dead and My Science Project 8/23/85: Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird and National Lampoon’s European Vacation 8/30/85: Summer Rental and Teen Wolf

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 30, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Konrad Schiecke’s Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois says that the Illinois Theatre opened in 1921.

From 1929 into the early 1940s, the Centralia Evening Sentinel usually refers to the house as the Fox Illinois Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 23, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Official opening date was January 16, 1922.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 4, 2020 at 3:34 pm

The American Contractor of March 26, 1921, carried a notice about a project that was probably the Illinois Theatre:

“Centralia, Ill.– Theater (MP) $50 000, 2 sty., 138x50, Centralia. Archt. Gill & Fat [sic], 1329A Walnut St., Murphysboro I11. Owner Hall & Griffin, Centralia. Gen. contr. let to MJ Heaton, Centralia. Owner & Gen. contr. taking bids on subs.”
The correct name of the architectural firm was Gill & Fath, who also designed the Rodgers Theatre at Carbondale and Marlow’s Theatre at Murphysboro. Rudolph Zerses Gill was a well-known architect in the region, and several of his buildings have been nominated to the NRHP. I’ve been unable to find any information about Mr. Fath.

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