Empire Theatre

119 S. Kickapoo Street,
Lincoln, IL 62656

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Film Index reported on March 18, 1911, that Steve Bennis bought out the interests of “Mr. Nases” in the Empire Theatre in Lincoln and had enlarged its capacity from 150 to 330 seats. “Mr. Bennis is proud of the Empire’s five-piece orchestra, which is led by Paul Jones, a capable musical director”. The Empire Theatre was closed in 1915.

Bennis’s obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph, Nov. 18, 1954, said that he “became manager of the old Empire Theater in 1909”.

Lincoln’s Empire was included in Konrad Schiecke’s 2006 book, “Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois, 1883-1960”.

Contributed by Michael Kilgore

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 1, 2021 at 2:15 am

The Empire Theatre, 119 Kickapoo Street, was one of five movie houses listed at Lincoln in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. The entire block it was on, facing the west side of the courthouse in the town square, consists of beautifully restored and well maintained 19th century commercial buildings with retail shops on their ground floors.

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