Lawford Theatre

225 W. Main Street,
Havana, IL 62644

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Kerasotes Theatres

Functions: Live Music Venue

Styles: Art Deco, Neo-Classical

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 309.543.1225

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News About This Theater

LAWFORD Theatre; Havana, Illinois.

Opened in 1914, this 500 seat theater in downtown Havana is situated next door to the city hall. The Lawford Theatre was operated by the Kerasotes chain from 1946 until it closed in 1982. In 1997, it was restored and reopened for use as a legitimate theater venue, which it served as until 2001.

In August of 2004, a new owner purchased the Lawford Theatre and reopened it as a movie house. It was closed not long after, but reopened under new ownership in summer of 2005. Again the Lawford Theatre closed in September, but reopened under another new owner in November of 2005. By 2016 movies had ceased and it was in use as a country music venue, with wrestling matches on certain nights.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 133 comments)

ChaletTheatersLLC on November 16, 2006 at 12:38 pm

You know because i got you in something that you wanted to do bad, i know exatly who you are, and since your a newbie, it shows who it ws from :)

CRG on March 9, 2007 at 10:48 pm

I live in Havana. I don’t care who owns the Lawford or who runs it, and I certainly do not have any interest in the incendiary discussions that have occurred in this thread.

The Lawford has great potential, however:

1.It still smells funky.
2.The popcorn is usually disgusting.
3.The environment (seats, lighting, screen, sound, etc.) still has more of a
“we-don’t-really-care-if-you-are-comfortable-and-enjoy-the-show-because-we-already-took-your-money” motif than what I am willing to continue supporting.
4. The majority of the films chosen are not suitable to the culture and needs of this community.

For future ideas on how to improve the Lawford, I would suggest that the owners,etc. go down the road to Mason City and check out the Arlee. Unfortunately for the Lawford, that is where we currently take most of our business. Maybe someday we will be able to speak of the Lawford with pride…

floridachalet on March 10, 2007 at 1:20 pm

It is doubtful you ever will with the current owner ‘frank’ he just takes the money and keeps the doors open, its needs 1000’s of dollars of money to fix the heating, roofing, etc, it will never be a good theater until the town supports it or better yet, the city buys it and restores it, at this moment with all the BAD wiring it could burn down at any minute, you should see behind the stage where ‘open’ wires are and in the control booth, i am somewhat surprised the city has not closed it for violations but i guess if it takes somebody suing and or losing there life then that is what it will take.

longislandmovies on June 13, 2007 at 2:56 pm

still listed for sale …….

LAE27 on August 13, 2007 at 12:02 am

i love the lawford theater. I have had no problems each time that i have went. i would take my children there any day. I happen to love the way it is set up and i think that the only reason that people complain is because of the fact that they want everything to be like the big theaters that are newly built. this place has historic values and it should stay that way other than the wiring and other small things throughout. the lawford wasnt built 10 years ago it was built before the time of air conditioning so if you want to stay cool like the new whinny generation like yourselves then dont come. and by the way the popcorn is delicious.

kencmcintyre on December 24, 2008 at 2:01 pm

The theater recently reopened after being closed several weeks for repairs.

kpdennis on April 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Wow, I had no idea the old Lawford was going to be such a hot, hot topic when we passed through Havana in the summer of 1995 – it looked pretty forlorn then:
View link

kylejm2008 on January 9, 2010 at 2:34 am

Wow, I hadn’t realized our little theater had generated this much conversation. Because it was before my time, I didn’t have much exposure to those above who have previously rented the Lawford. However, I know the “renovations” they speak of consisted of painting over existing paint and generally making actual, real renovations harder. To make a long story short, Summer 2010 will mark about a year since an actual, longterm renovation began in the theater. Although it will take a few years, I am condfident the Lawford will undergo a complete restoration. If you are of the area, stop in from time to time to see our progress and support the effort.

rogs49 on June 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

who can I contact I want to do a free investigation with our paranormal group have someone contact me at

Trolleyguy on May 18, 2016 at 6:58 pm

No longer showing movies according to their Facebook page. Live country music shows and wrestling are listed.

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