Palace Theater

437 Main Street,
Peoria, IL 61602

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Showing 24 comments

gaijin on August 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Have very fond memories of this theater. I was 20 when I first came to Peoria and saw many movies there. The best and most memorable was “Star Wars”. I saw it opening night, at the first showing. We got into the theater just as the balcony was being opened and we got the center sits in the front row; put us dead center to the screen.

DavidZornig on August 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm

1966 photo added, photo credit Peoria Public Library. Partial marquee photo.

Mark on August 28, 2013 at 12:25 am

Everybody keeps saying some guy by the name of Heinz tore down the Palace. That’s not the right name. The name you’re looking for is developer Ray Becker. I know this to be true because my dad was working for Becker Bros. Construction at the time. He even tried to convince Ray that tearing down the Palace was a crime. Ray lives at the top of one of the twin towers to this very day.

KelliL on March 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

I wish it was like this again down there.

Broan on January 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm

J.E.O. Pridmore should be listed as architect. The interior somewhat resembled Pridmore’s Vic Theatre.

jackiskin on August 3, 2012 at 5:19 am

i loved the palace..last movie i saw there was ..the jerk

rivest266 on May 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm

This opened as an Ascher’s theatre according to the sign of the theatre.

TLSLOEWS on May 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm

But will it play in Peoria???Nice interior photo.

JudithK on May 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm

My grandparents lived in Peoria, IL which was a first-run theatre town. Thus we were able to see films well ahead of their release in our town at the Palace and the Madison Theatres. At this point my memory is fuzzy separating the two but I do remember the wide sight lines, excellent projection, air conditioning and sound, and lovely lobbies. The years when I visited the two theatres were approximately 1961-1975.

Patsy on March 31, 2010 at 11:58 am

ken mc: Thanks for the photo of a once magnificant interior!

JeffCarlson on February 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I also found a ton of photos showing Peoria area Drive-ins … most of the shots are linked.

JeffCarlson on February 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Patsy, I recently posted several new/old shots of other Peoria theaters like Avon, Warner … check them out when you get a chance.

JeffCarlson on February 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I can’t say I know of this “Ray Heinz” but it’s a moot point … there’s basically nothing left in Peoria except the main part of the Madison theater.

Patsy on February 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Carl: Is this Ray Heinz still around doing his “work” in Peoria? I hope not.

Patsy on February 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm

“not worthy of a second glance”…such a shame as the marquee on the Palace and the ticket kios were special.

JeffCarlson on February 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

The building currently on the old Palace site is just a professional/corporate office building … nothing worth a second glance.

Patsy on February 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Sorry to read that this theatre was demolished for what is probably condos with a name such as Twin Towers Place.

JeffCarlson on February 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Here an old shot of the Palace:

View link

I saw the rerelease of “Snow White” here in the 1970’s.

JeffCarlson on December 29, 2009 at 8:20 am

Architect: J.E.O. Pridmore of Chicago
General Contractor: Val Jobst & Sons of Peoria
Original Manager: Charles F. Manzing of Chicago
Original Musical Director: Harry Rogers of Chicago

This theater was originally an “Asher’s Bros.” chain. Harry and Max culled a lot of Chicago talent from their other venues to play the Palace.

Patsy on May 23, 2009 at 8:34 am

Many years ago I was in Peoria looking at a Frank Lloyd Wright built home so wasn’t into theatres though it had been demolished by then anyway. Hard to read this in a previous post: “It was corporate greed & a direspectful blow to the culture of Peoria when the Philistine developer Ray Heinz tore down Peoria landmarks.”

JackFritscher on October 4, 2008 at 11:09 pm

On V-E Day 1945, my father parked our car under the marquee of the Palace Theater,& put me, age six, on top of the car. It was incredible. Crowds filled the streets; traffic froze to a standstill; there was joy & laughter & crying & singing & from the top of the buildings across the street from the Palace, revelers threw rolls of toilet paper in rolling arcs streaming through the air. I can never forget how relieved we all were that the war was over. I enjoyed many stage shows & thousands of movies at the Palace. It was corporate greed & a direspectful blow to the culture of Peoria when the Philistine developer Ray Heinz tore down Peoria landmarks.

ABone on February 18, 2006 at 5:03 pm

The Palace was indeed a beautiful theater and seated slightly more than the Madison on the opposite corner of Main & Madison. However, the Madison in my memory was considered the “premiere” downtown house, which ran single features when all the others, including the Palace, ran doubles.