Shafer Theater

111 S. Broad Street,
Lacon, IL 61540

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Alger Theatres

Previous Names: Rose Opera House

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Shafer Theater

A conversion of the Rose opera House, the Shafer Theater was opened on November 2, 1940 with Pat O'Brien in “Flowing Gold”.

It was closed in 1967, and was demolished later that year.

Contributed by Billy Holcomb / Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

SethG on March 21, 2022 at 10:38 am

In addition, it seems like a film was shown at the theater in March 1967 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Lacon Tornado, so the closing/demolition date is dubious.

SethG on March 23, 2022 at 7:45 am

As Joe mentioned on another theater listing, this theater was a 1940 remodel of Rose’s Opera House, which was a large square single-story building located on S Broad behind the Rose House Hotel, which was on the SW corner with 5th. Both buildings were constructed sometime before 1888. The hotel seems to have been notably unsuccessful, and the 2nd and 3rd stories are listed as vacant on several maps.

The opera house appears to have stayed in operation up to 1913 at least. The whole complex was demolished for the new offices of the First National Bank of Lacon.

robboehm on March 23, 2022 at 9:09 am

I’ve uploaded a photo of the Shafer which I found on Flkr. Comment indicated it had previously been the Rose Opera House. Also says the building was purchased by the bank in 1967 and destroyed later that year.

robboehm on March 23, 2022 at 10:00 am

According to a reference in Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois by Konrad Schieke, 2015: “New theatre to be built in old Rose Opera House Building”.

According to a reference in “Guide and Directory to the Opera Houses of Illinois” by John B. Jeffrey, 1889, the seating capacity of the Rose Opera House was 500.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 8, 2022 at 6:22 pm

The July 5, 1940 issue of Film Daily had news about the theater project underway at Lacon (it missed its opening date target by more than a month.)

“At Lacon, Ill., B. F. Shafer is installing Irwin Crusader chairs, Alexander Smith Crestwood carpets, Simplex projectors and sound, American Air Blower system and a porcelain enamel front. The Shafer house will open in September.”
Although the bank now on the theater’s site uses a Broad Street address, the vintage photo of the Shafer shows that its entrance was actually on Fifth Street, at the southwest corner of Broad.

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