Art Theatre CO-OP

126 W. Church Street,
Champaign, IL 61820

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Showing 26 - 35 of 35 comments

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 26, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Text of email I received yesterday from Greg Boardman:

Some of you may have heard that we are looking into other locations for our art theatre. This is true.

Our lease expires at our present location in the Art building, December 30, 2009. I heard from someone who spoke to the owner, that his belief was that when the community learned that it would be losing its art theatre, a buyer would come forth. The owner informed me that he was no longer offering the Art for rent. He is asking $1,143,888.50 for the building!

But the community, hopefully, will NOT be losing its art theatre. Boardman’s Theatres is working to be in a new location, with little interruption, before December 30, 2009. There are several possibilities.

I am working with the owners of the Rialto Theatre, directly across from our current location on Church St., to explore that possibility with them. I recently met with city officials in both Champaign and Urbana. Everyone is very enthusiastic and supportive. There seems to be genuine support for Boardman’s Theatres and the types of films we bring to the community. If the financial support is there as well, it may be possible to expand beyond a single screen with a new-build in another location.

Boardman’s Theatres is working to continue to provide the finest film experience and more…in a new location(s).

I will be attending Showest next week as part of my effort to research and plan for our move.

As things develop, I will keep you all informed. It’s going to be an exciting year! I appreciate your continued support.
Thank you!

moulinrouge on March 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm

The Art is now for sale.

The owner jacked up the rent astronomically high, and so, Boardman has chosen not to renew his lease when it expires Dec. 30, 2009; instead of seeking a new tenant, the owner has decided to sell the theater altogether. He sees the Art as being a lucrative spot for new businesses in downtown Champaign and will sell the theater to whoever ponies up the money, whether they are going to run the Art as a theater, or demolish it into a parking lot.

In an article he wrote for Entertainment Weekly, Roger Ebert called the Art Theatre in Champaign his favorite movie theater:,,314730,00.html

kencmcintyre on January 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Here is a June 2004 photo from Michael Moore’s website:

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 1, 2008 at 7:33 am

A 1996 view of the Art Theatre in Champaign here and here. An enlarged view here and here.

Momof3 on July 1, 2007 at 9:42 am

Great picture! My sister lives on the outskirts of Champaign, IL & has gone to shows there & really enjoyed it. My family & I checked out the Lorraine in Hoopeston, IL that Mr. Boardman formerly owned & sold in May 2007 and it’s still going good! “Evan Almighty” sounded really good with the great sound system. My husband really enjoyed Star Wars-Return of the Sith there when it came out last year with this sound system. A “Stormtrooper” hung out outside the theater for publicity which was neat!
Also, Mr. Boardman portrayed “The Phantom of the Opera” also & had a Phantom look alike contest too when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version came out. Maybe the new owner will try these publicity/advertising tactics.

raybradley on October 19, 2006 at 5:48 pm

Was this theatre once a member of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum Circuit? Painted across the west side wall is a faded sign bearing the RKO lightning bolt logo.

bluejay on May 16, 2004 at 11:28 pm

Interested in information about the old Underground Cinema 12 series which ran Saturday midnights in the Art Theater, I believe from mid-1967 to sometime in 1969. Showed short experimental films of all kinds. Email


divine on January 9, 2004 at 4:12 pm

The New Art is back, owned and operated by Boardman’s, who also own and operate the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston, IL (about an hour away).

The New Art once again shows foreign and domestic indie films, and the new operators seem committed to maintaining and improving the moviegoing experience there.

Their new website is: