Co-Ed Theatre

614-616 E. Green Street,
Champaign, IL 61820

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bbv on March 29, 2018 at 9:26 am

I loved the Co-Ed! I also co-wrote a paper on it for a class at UIUC that I think you might have used as a source for this article(?)… It can still be found online at

PhotoDude on July 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm

I worked at the Co-Ed from fall 1975 to 1976 sometime. We were showing “Rocky Horror” and my favorite, “A Boy and His Dog” at midnight showings from that time. Good times.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm

The May 8, 1938 issue of the Daily Illini reported that Alger Brothers, operators of the Princess and Park Theatres, and the A. J. Balaban Co., would remodel and expand a building at 614-616 Green Street, Champaign, for a movie theater to be called the Co-Ed. The project was designed by the architectural firm of Monberg & Wagner, who the article referred to as “Chicago theater specialists.”

JFY_Montclair_VA on April 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I began working at the Co-Ed, Autumn, 1976. My memories are a bit different than others. That winter season, we were running Rocky and Network (first runs) in the two auditoriums. Neither can be considered “adult” fare; both were academy award winning films.

The Co-Ed began running midnight movies long before Rocky Horror Picture Show became a cult favorite. I know; I worked many of those late shows on Friday and Saturday nights. In fact, I worked RHPS during its first “regular” run. It was not a well attended film; maybe 20 people came during the entire week! The midnight offerings ran the gamut from comedies to horror to soft porn. We had a security guard who would check IDs for us, as the box office was very busy for these films. One night, the guard thought it necessary to verify the age of one young man in line. The decision was made to let the patron in, despite being underage. By the time the movie started, he was legal — this was his buddies' method of celebrating a major birthday. After a particularly gruesome horror film, my coworkers wouldn’t let me walk home alone. Even jaded theater workers, who see ALL the movies, can be affected by them.

I began working at the Co-Ed when it was a twin; I stayed into the 4 screen era. The clients were primarily U of I students, but during student hiatuses, the townies would come out in force.

My time at the Co-Ed caused a life-long addiction to films, but I became a very discerning addict. I still enjoy a really good movie, and deplore much of the dreck that today passes for movies.

seymourcox on May 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

This video tells the Co-Ed history and shows rare interior/exterior photos;
View link

galechicago on November 26, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Here is the Co-Ed Theater in 1974:
View link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 13, 2006 at 12:01 pm

Yeah!!!!!!!!! The Coed! We enjoyed many movies here when I was in school at U. of I. It was heavily remodeled (four or five screens) and had no architectural merit. But we crowded in there because it was in within walking distance of student housing (the college campus may be the last market in the U.S. where this matters for a cinema). I was sorry to learn that they took it down.

horatio28 on October 9, 2005 at 7:11 am

Alger Brothers Theaters was formed by my dad, E.E. Alger and my uncle, Harold R. Alger. The home office for those and the other theaters was located in LaSalle, Illinois and not ever in Chicago.

The Alger Brothers Theaters was originally formed with one theater, the Albro and shortly after added the Princess in Urbana and Park in Champaign. The Coed was built and owned by The Campus Theater Corp
as an equal partnership between Alger Brothers and a Chicago based company (name escapes me).

After 50 years in the motion theater business, my dad made the decision to close and/or sell all of the theaters he managed which included those in Peru, LaSalle, Spring Valley, Princeton, Mendota, Rochelle, Champaign, Urbana, and Streator; all in Illinois and totalling 13.

Bob Alger ()