Illinois Theatre

illinois theatre postcard.jpg

The Illinois Theatre was located at 312 West Railroad Street (later incorporated into Springfield Avenue), Urbana, Illinois.

The Illinois Theatre opened 3 March 1908 and closed on 3 April 1927 when the building burned.

The short life of Urbana's Illinois Theatre began with the city's citizens rallying together to create a first-class theatre.  There were years of success with appearances by famous actors and Urbana's best home-grown talent, followed by years of struggle competing with the newer theatres opened in neighboring Champaign as well as the growing popularity of movies.  The Illinois Theatre came to an end after a few years as the local headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan. 

All phases are covered in this exhibit as history includes events that are quite unpleasant but must not be ignored to fully understand where we came from.