Madsen Theatre

121 Washington Street,
Waukegan, IL 60085

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Electric Theatre, Wilson's Electric Theatre, Madsen's Electric Theatre

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This 500-capacity Electric Theatre off of E. Washington Street opening in the middle of 1906 has loads of ups-and-downs, many of them by articles and even changes of ownerships.

Shortly after the theatre opened, many things began to spill. Throughout the first couple of years, it was known as various names until William Madsen began taking over the theatre in 1909, renaming it as the Madsen Electric Theatre, and later the Madsen Theatre.

He closed the theatre for the final time on June 1, 1912 after he sold the theatre to W.H. Griggs, a former proprietor of the May store.

Like Ned Langer who operated the Langer’s Airdome for a short period of time, William Madsen travelled a lot of places before starting up the theatre. He went across the world for an anniversary and a funeral to his sister who died few days prior for unknown causes throughout June 1904.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

50sSNIPES on July 7, 2022 at 5:07 am

Correction: Not known as Wilson Theatre. The guy who operated the Electric back then known as Wilson left the Electric in late 1907 to make his own theater called Wilson’s Theatre.

But yes, the Electric Theatre was once known as Wilson’s Electric Theatre when Wilson took ownership.

Trolleyguy on July 7, 2022 at 8:29 am

Status should be demolished. There is a surface parking lot at that address.

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