53 S. Cherry Street,
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Previous Names: Nickelodion Theatre
The Nickelodion Theatre launched on June 27, 1907 as one of the city’s first venues dedicated to movies. The spelling was a bit unusual but the theatre did well continuing for almost five years. On January 12, 1912, new operator John B. Mayes took on the venue changing names to the Elite Theatre: “Home of Day-light Pictures.” In January of 1917, the theatre under a new operator named Mr. Sharp purchased new Motiograph projectors. To let the city of Galesburg know about these projectors, they first installed them at the nearby Galesburg Railway and Light Company streetcar station and then installed them in the theatre for use thereafter.
The management did not get much time to enjoy the new projectors. Mr. Sharp opened the theatre on April 29, 1917 - a Sunday. Blue laws prevented such operation. Sharp opened for free so as not to conduct business and only requested donations. A local politician running for office decided to make a point of this situation and pulled his and the Elite’s license that prevented the theatre from ever reopening. The venue was retrofitted for other retail purposes and the building was still in use as of the 2020’s.
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