Gillioz Theatre

325 Park Central E,
Springfield, MO 65806

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Gillioz Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Dickinson Theatres, Fox Midwest Theatres

Architects: Eugene S. Johnson, Larry P. Larsen, Albert C. Maack

Firms: Johnson & Maack, United Studios, Inc.

Functions: Concerts, Live Performances, Movies (Classic), Special Events

Styles: Spanish Colonial

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 417.863.7843

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News About This Theater

Gillioz Theatre Auditorium

The Gillioz Theatre was built by M.E. Gillioz in 1926 for the sum of $300,000. When it opened on October 11, 1926, it was the largest movie palace in southwestern Missouri until the Fox Theatre in Joplin opened in 1932, also built by Gillioz. The opening film was Reginald Denny in “Take It From Me”. The ‘Singing Organist’ Glenn Stanbach opened the Wurlitzer organ.

In May 1948 it was taken over by Fox-Midwest Theatres. The Gillioz Theatre remained open as a movie theater until 1979, when the Gillioz Theatre, already beginning to deteriorate, closed-seemingly forever. Legal wrangling kept the theatre dormant for years but it was finally placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Finally in 1991, the dust settled when the Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust bought the beleaguered theatre. Over the past decade, the theatre has been raising money and finalizing its plans to return as an entertainment mecca for the city of Springfield.

A $2.6 million restoration project to restore the theatre and incorporate it into the planned Jim D. Morris Arts Center was completed in 2006, when the Gillioz Theatre reopened in October of that year.

Contributed by Paul Salley

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

KarenDaniels on March 10, 2009 at 7:15 am

Does anyone have access to historic photos of this theatre that they could share off site? If so please contact me, I am working on a landmarks of Route 66 exhibit and would like to include the theatre.


CSWalczak on November 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm

The theater recently hired a new executive director. The story is here: View link

KingBiscuits on December 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

The theatre may be foreclosed on due to a $3.5 million debt. However, there is a campaign to save the theatre.

View link

JoelWeide on December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Just following comments. Thanks!

rivest266 on July 15, 2017 at 10:19 am

Grand opening ad at

Found on

Still open as of the time of this post as a live venue

moviejs1944 on February 15, 2018 at 4:57 am

Saw several movies here in the 50s. Had a long, skinny lobby opening into what seemed like (to a kid) a gigantic auditorium. Quite plush. In case you’re wondering how the theaters name is pronounced, it’s “GILL – oyz” – rhymes with “toys.” The pronunciation may have been different long ago when it opened, but the locals say “GILL – oyz” these days.

DavidZornig on October 15, 2018 at 11:18 am

1938 photo added. Photo and additional history credit the Vintage St. Louis & Route 66 Facebook page.

October 11, 1926 – The “Glorious Gillioz” Theater in Springfield, Missouri opened. M.E. Gillioz couldn’t find a location on Route 66 for his theater, so he bought property one block to the north, leased a 20 foot wide frontage on St. Louis Street and linked it to the theater 130 feet away. The 1,100 seat theater, where Elvis Presley watched a movie before his 1956 concert, closed in 1980 but was restored in 2006.

MichaelKilgore on April 7, 2021 at 8:49 pm

Boxoffice, May 8, 1948: “SPRINGFIELD, MO.— The Gillioz Theatre here has been sold by Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Gillioz of Monett to the Missouri-Fox Realty Corp. of Kansas City, a subsidiary of Fox Midwest Theatres. Purchase price was $105,000. Equipment was sold in a separate transaction. Built in 1924, the house has been leased for some years by the new owners.”

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