Capitol Theatre

Elizabeth Street,
Pekin, IL 61554

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Turner Opera House, Standard Theatre

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Opened as the Turner Opera House in 1890. By 1908 it had been renamed Standard Theatre, and it was rebuilt in 1913. By September 1918 it had been renamed Capitol Theatre. The Capitol Theatre was demolished in 1928 and the larger Pekin Theatre was built in its place.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

A Pekin house called the Capitol Theatre was mentioned in the September 8, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

A souvenir booklet called The Pekin Centenary published in 1949 says that the Capitol Theatre was originally the Turner Opera House, and was later renamed the Standard Theatre before becoming the Capitol, operated by a Mrs. Anna Fluegel. The booklet also reveals the fate of the Capitol:

“In 1928, Mrs. Fluegel caused the Capitol theater (the old opera house building) to be razed and she erected the present $250,000 Pekin theater building, constructed in the Chinese motif.”
The Standard itself had been rebuilt in 1913, as noted in this item from the October 18 issue of The Moving Picture World:
“O. W. Frederick, whom I saw at the Illinois convention in Peoria, is building a new theater in Pekin, Ill., which he expects will be finished in time for Thanksgiving opening. This theater, the old Standard of Pekin, will be all new except the walls when completed. It will seat 600 people and the cost of remodeling and re-equipment, etc., will be $24,000. O. W. Frederick is one of the members of the grievance committee formed at the Peoria convention.”
The Turner Opera House was built in 1890. It had been renamed the Standard Theatre by 1908, when the Cahn guide listed it as a ground-floor house with 736 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2014 at 2:49 pm

The Capitol was demolished in 1928 and replaced by the Pekin Theatre. Despite their different addresses, the Capitol’s lot became part of the larger Pekin Theatre’s site.

radiophoto on May 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm

The description at the top of the page is incorrect. The Pekin Theatre was not in the Arcade Building. The Pekin Theatre was in a block of shops on the other side of Elizabeth Street from the Arcade, where the red brick municipal building stands today.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm

The theater in the Arcade Building was an early house called the Unique, 9 S. Capitol, which opened around 1906. I haven’t been able to discover how long it remained in operation. Also, the Capitol was not rebuilt in 1928- it was demolished and the Pekin Theatre built in its place.

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