Hiland Theater

3100 Avenue of the Cities,
Moline, IL 61265

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Brotman, M. B. & A

Functions: Housing, Retail

Styles: Art Deco

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Hiland Theater postcard circa 1944.

Located at the corner of 31st Street and 23rd Avenue in the Villa Park neighborhood. The Hiland Theater was opened on October 22, 1941 with Carol Lombard in “Mr and Mrs Smith”. It was operated by Brotman, M & Sons and seating was listed as 459. The Hiland Theater was closed on April 13, 1952 with Lee J. Cobb in “The Man Who Cheated Himself”. It was converted into apartments, with the lobby converted into retail use.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

milesrich on June 28, 2008 at 2:59 am

23rd Avenue, not 23rd Street. Owned by the Brotman’s.

0MichaelM on March 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

milesrich is correct on both corrections. I can add only memories:
My mother worked there in the late 1940’s and would take me “to work” on Saturday mornings. I got to see all the serials, Superman, Roy Rogers, Sky King, etc., and was in the welcoming committee when Roy Rogers came to Moline. Terrific childhood memories there. I would like to find a post card to add to my collection … (?)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2009 at 3:25 am

I think the photo Ken linked to in the first comment above might depict the Hiland Theatre in Des Moines, Iowa. There’s a night shot of it on this weblog. The marquee is the same. Also, the architectural style is very similar to other theaters by architects Wetherell & Harrison, who designed the Des Moines Hiland.

chrisvandemore on April 23, 2009 at 11:22 pm

I never recognized this building as a former cinema until today. See the google street view here. Notice the places on the outside wall for movie posters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 24, 2009 at 1:45 am

That’s a corner building, so if that was the Hiland then the photo Ken linked to in the first comment above can’t be of this theater.

The May 17, 1952, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Brotman Bros. Corp. had closed the Hiland Theatre and would use some of the seats to replace older ones at the circuit’s Paradise Theatre, also in Moline. The building was to be converted to some other use.

I’m not familiar with Moline, so I can’t say if the theater mentioned in this Boxoffice item from April 5, 1941, pertains tot he Hiland Theatre or not: “There’s a new business block on the program for the East Highland district in Moline, Ill., and it’s reported to include plans for a 900-seat theatre.” Then, from a column in the July 19 issue of Boxoffice: “You can mention that new Moline theatre and the Brotman Brothers in the same breath and nobody will look startled.” I wish the Boxoffice columnists had been less coy.

In any case, the earliest mention of the Hiland by name that I can find in Boxoffice comes from the October 10, 1942, issue, which only says that the Hiland’s owner, Bill Brotman, had been a guest at a party thrown by the Quad Cities Theatres Association.

BamBam on September 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I live in this building now, and am Fascinated with the history od it being a theater.. i walk through the building and try to imagine the layout of it… Does anybody know more about this? Pictures or anybody that went there that could tell me? :0)

dallasmovietheaters on September 11, 2015 at 9:36 am

BamBam: The theatre cost $75,000 to build and seated 500 at opening in October of 1941. Conservative streamline moderne was used to describe the post-deco theatre. Seating was on a radial curve and it eliminated line of sight blockage. W.I. Bill Brotman had been a manager of Moline’s Ritz Theatre for 15 years and moved to the Hiland at opening. The Brotmans had five theaters in the Quad Cities with the Roxy, the Paradise, the Rialto in Rock Island, the Ritz, and the Hiland. Not one of their more successful properties, it ran into financial troubles in the television era.

rivest266 on April 25, 2019 at 4:33 pm

This opened on October 22nd, 1941. Grand opening ad posted.

dallasmovietheaters on June 14, 2019 at 6:24 pm

The Hiland closed April 13, 1952 “The Man Who Cheated Himself.” The next week, seats were move to the Paradise and the floor leveled for apartments.

Trolleyguy on May 7, 2020 at 4:25 pm

You might be thinking about the Sierra Cinema which is now a gym. Just click the link above right side for the Sierra which has its own page on CT.

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