Auburn Theater

1120-24 Auburn Street,
Rockford, IL 61103

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp.

Architects: Edward Paul Lewin

Functions: Retail

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Auburn Theatre exterior

This Streamline-style movie house, which opened in 1942, features an undulating facade, with two-story tall glass block windows illuminating the lobby space.

The Auburn Theater closed in 1967, and was afterwards converted over to retail use.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Seth on May 7, 2004 at 9:42 pm

I think it might be some sort of thrift store now. Not a good location. There doesn’t appear to be any parking, and it’s across the street from a cemetery. It is a cool facade, even under all the junk the retail folks stuck on it.

Scott on February 18, 2005 at 12:42 pm

I saw a couple of shows there in the mid 1960s. They weren’t very well attended, which explains, I suppose, why the theatre closed in 1967. But the place had a wonderful feel to it, especially for being built in the stream-lined era. I wish it were still open.

mp775 on September 10, 2006 at 4:05 pm

The theater is currently occupied by Alpha Floral. A peek through the front window reveals that at least some of the lobby decor is still intact.

kencmcintyre on July 13, 2009 at 5:57 pm

From Boxoffice magazine in March 1958:

ROCKFORD-The Auburn Theatre has been reopened at the request of local citizens by J.J. McFarland Theatres. Phil Zeller, city manager for the circuit, said the Auburn’s new policy would be 6 p.m. to midnight showings, seven nights weekly. The McFarland circuit also operates the Park, Family, Rex and Capitol theatres here and the State Theatre in Sycamore.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 3, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Chicago architect Edward Paul Lewin designed the Auburn Theatre according to Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of February 22, 1941.

oliphalet on September 19, 2010 at 11:27 am

On the cornerstone the date is 1942 along with the architects name, Edward Paul Lewin.

rivest266 on November 26, 2011 at 10:59 am

This opened in April 9th, 1942. Very small grand opening ad has been posted here.

pnelson on August 10, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Dramatic exterior. Glass block and art moderne is very wonderful. Marquee is beautiful too.

booboo_babies on June 28, 2018 at 8:27 am

I question the part about this theater in 1967. Yes, I do remember them having financial trouble around that time. So they became a second-run theater for a while. My parents had no problem with their movies being a little older, so they took advantage of their cheap tickets (only 50 cents apiece). Unfortunately, even the cheap tickets were not enough to save the Auburn, and it closed for good. I miss the days of second-run theaters. Like my parents, I don’t care if a movies has been out for awhile. I like DVDs okay, but it’s fun to get away from home once in a while.

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