414 6th Street,
Charleston, IL 61920

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This theatre appears on the 1910 Sanborn, in one of the storefronts of the Johnson Block, a two-story brick structure ornamented with a turret, and constructed sometime between 1886 and 1892.

The 1902 map shows a barber in this portion, and the 1919 version shows the barber and a billiard hall back in the space. As with so many American cities, downtown Charleston has become a grim wasteland of surface parking, and nearly the entire block, once packed with two and three story commercial buildings, was a victim of this plague. A sad little park sits on the site today.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 30, 2023 at 8:24 am

If the 1910 Sanborn is dated later than April then one of the unidentified theaters on it is probably the Colonial, a house whose recent opening was noted in the April 1, 1910 edition of The Nickelodeon. The Colonial might have been short-lived, as the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists only two houses at Charleston, the Aereo on S. 6th Street and the Orpheum at 54 7th Street.

SethG on June 30, 2023 at 8:37 am

The 1910 map is from February, but it is just possible that it’s the Colonial. Usually things that aren’t open have a ‘to be’ note before the description.

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