107 NE Madison Avenue,
5 people favorited this theater
Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp., Publix Theaters Corporation
Architects: Frederic J. Klein
Styles: Italian Renaissance, Neo-Classical
News About This Theater
- Feb 12, 2014 — Developer plans to renovate the Madison Theatre
- May 21, 2010 — Happy 30th, "Empire"
- Jan 23, 2004 — Today's Newsreel
Opened in 1920, for local businessman Dee Robinson, the Madison Theatre was designed by Frederic J. Klein. Klein also designed Rockford’s huge Coronado Theatre seven years later.
Designed with an Italian Renaissance exterior and Neo-Classical style interior, the Madison Theatre originally hosted both vaudeville acts and silent films, but switched to sound by the late-1920’s.
Robinson featured annual Christmas shows at the Madison Theatre for which children were admitted free of charge. After he died, the practice continued into the 1950’s.
The auditorium features a high domed ceiling with classical-inspired plasterwork decorating both the ceiling and side walls. The ceiling of the theatre’s lobby is also domed, and its facade features extensive terra-cotta work, with a triple-arched window over the marquee.
In 1980, the Madison Theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places. The last major movie palace built in Peoria, the stunningly restored Madison Theatre continued to draw crowds as a venue for rock concerts and other live acts until it closed in 2003. New owners have said they may restore the building, but by 2010, nothing has happened. In February 2022 plans were announced that the Madison Theatre would be restored.
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.
Recent comments (view all 36 comments)
I’m surprised that neither theatre was kept secure. Looking forward to seeing photos of the Rialto as I never visited it. I agree with you about “Star Trek 1”; it was not a good film (“Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan” was much better).
I recently photographed the Madison Theater check out the post at After the Final Curtain
Speaking on artisans who could properly restore the Madison to opening day (1921) condition: as of 2013 two firms with histories predating the golden age of movie palace’s still exsist today. 1. Conrad Schmitt of New Berlin, WI was founded in 1889 and has been an industry leader as first, a decorating company during the architectural boom of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s and second, as a leader in the restoration of many of those same properties decades later. Conrad Schmitt also has the most theater/auditorium retorations under their belt, numbering in the hundreds. Their history and portfolio can be found at conradschmitt.com. 2. Rambusch Studios, of New York, NY was founded in 1898 and has a long and venerable project/client list mirroring that of Conrad Schmitt. They can be found at rambusch.com.
Evergreene Architectural Arts also of New York, NY was founded in 1978 and quickly became a leader in the revitalizing of historic art and architecture. Evergreene is the first choice among several prominent historic preservationist architectural firms. They can be found at evergreene.com.
Here’s a link to a great, eight minute video on Conrad Schmitt Studios. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39zxhmQJxUU
I saw the house of wax in 3d back in 1953. Just bought it for tv but can’t get buttercup
Seven images added to Photos Section courtesy of the Peoria Public Library.
Elegant and lovely vintage theatre. Color choice was wonderful. Hope it is restored again and in use again too.
Regarding photo posted by Mark 8/19/13, Per the Local History Collection : Peoria Public Library.
The Warner Brothers 1936 movie “Earthworm Tractors” had a worldwide premiere at the Madison Theater in downtown Peoria, Illinois on July 24th 1936. The movie was based upon the Caterpillar Track Type Tractor and Caterpillar employees who built and sold the tractors.
Re-opening update ! ! ! ! ! https://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/top-stories/peorias-madison-theater-may-open-its-doors-again-after-nearly-two-decade-closure/?fbclid=IwAR045wpXAWB2OEn3Yl-nN-A-jz6RQ_0EVqryEtLNyySxaCu2aMKSSCfiwPk
JANUARY 2022 UPDATE JANUARY 2022 UPDATE JANUARY 2022 UPDATE
Exciting News, in case Anyone hasn’t already heard about It. * (See the Following Peoria News website Links) ….