Beverly Theatre

2515 N. Knoxville Avenue,
Peoria, IL 61604

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MSC77 on November 20, 2023 at 4:40 pm

This venue’s 70mm presentations history is included in the recently-published article “70mm Presentations in Peoria: A Chronology of 70mm Large Format Exhibition, 1976-Present”.

DavidZornig on June 11, 2020 at 11:54 am

March 17, 1937 Grand Opening ad added credit Peoria Journal Star, courtesy Steve Tarter via Local History Collection : Peoria Public Library.

DavidZornig on April 6, 2018 at 5:37 pm

1969 photo added courtesy of Frank Larkin, via Local History Collection, Peoria Public Library.

DavidZornig on July 13, 2016 at 5:51 pm

1937 photo added from the book: J. Fletcher Lankton Architect, courtesy of the Peoria Public Library.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

A brief item in the April 21, 1971, issue of Bloomington, Illinois' daily paper The Pantagraph noted the death of architect J. Fletcher Lankton and said that he had “….designed Peoria’s Varsity and Beverly theaters as well as numerous other theaters in the Midwest.” So far I’ve been able to identify only one of those numerous other theaters, that being the Esquire in Springfield, Illinois. Kerasotes was a partner in the Esquire, along with Frisina Theatres. As George Kerasotes hired Lankton for two of his own projects, it seems very likely that some of those other theaters he designed were also Kerasotes houses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Here is an undated interior photo of the Beverly Theatre’s auditorium, from the Peoria Historical Society.

Like Kerasotes' Varsity Theatre of 1939, the Beverly was designed by Peoria architect J. Fletcher Lankton. This web page has a history of Kerasotes Theatres.

KelliL on March 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

I was thinking this was on University down by McClure, but maybe I’m wrong. Last movie I saw there was Silence of the Lambs. I remember being a child and my mom taking me to see Disney movies there (Bambi, Freaky Friday, and Snow White come to mind).

JudithK on July 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Whoops: says at the top of the page that a Walgreens is on the site. That’s it.

JudithK on July 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I was in Peoria not too long ago after a very long absence. It was good to be back! I believe the theatre is still there, but is used for some other purpose (?). Those who live in Peoria, please advise.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Nice Theatre. i dated a Beverly.

TLSLOEWS on May 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Very nice vintage and more modern photos.

JudithK on May 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

The Beverly Theater I believe was close to my grandparents' home in Peoria, IL. During my time there (1953-1975 when my grandparents passed away) it showed “road show” films, notably two which I saw during those years, “Around the World in 80 Days” and “The Sound of Music.” The town where I lived did not show first-run motion pictures, so this was really appreciated. I wish I remembered the theater’s interior, but I do not other than the lack of a balcony.

JeffCarlson on January 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Here are a couple different vintage shot:

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Dave1 on December 22, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I worked at the Bevery from 1989 – 1991. It had a searing capacity of 725. It did not have a balcony. The building also housed the chain’s District Office for a time. The projector was capable of showing standard 35mm films as well as 70mm films.

JeffCarlson on January 5, 2007 at 6:08 pm

After this theater closed, there was some small effort to turn it into a comedy museum highlighting such Peoria-area artists like Fibber Magee & Molly, Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison. It never got past the planning stage.