712 LaSalle Street,
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Previously operated by: Alliance Theater Corp.
Functions: Office Space, Storage
Previous Names: Crescent Theatre
The Illinois Theatre stood on LaSalle Street near Madison Street in Ottawa. It opened as the Crescent Theatre in the 1910’s on the second floor of the building. It was renamed Illinois Theatre in 1928. It is listed in the 1945 Film Daily Yearbook as open and seating 400. The Illinois Theatre was closed in 1954.
Today, the former Illinois Theatre houses law and accounting offices in the front part of the building, while the auditorium area is used for storage.
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Recent comments (view all 4 comments)
This property was recently on the market for sale. It is currently for lease. There is an attorney office and an accountant office on the main level. Upstairs there is a one bedroom apartment. The area in the rear upper is used for storage. At one time there was a fire in the building as you can see that some of the rafters are chard. The floor is sloped in the entry foyer from street level to the office as most theatres are slightly sloped. In the early 70’s and early 80’s this building was used as a drug store. One was called Fort Hopkins and then Sun Discount.
A local theatre buff who no longer lives in the area told me this theatre was called the “bucket of blood” for a time as it ran horror pictures.
The Illinois was also known for Saturday early shows. For $1.00 you could buy a card at school, and go for ten Saturdays and see cartoons, a serial “Flash Gordon” and a movie. IT was one of three theaters in Ottawa, The Gayety (Roxy) and the Orphuem were teh others.