Pekin Theatre

21-29 S. Capitol Street,
Pekin, IL 61554

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp.

Architects: Elmer F. Behrns

Styles: Atmospheric, Oriental

Nearby Theaters

Pekin Theatre

The Pekin Theatre continued the striking style of architect Elmer Behrns (the Egyptian Theatre in Dekalb, Illinois and the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois). The interior decor was in an Oriental style including ancient Chinese pogodas and Chinese goddess figures. Similiar to other theaters of the late-1920’s, the ceiling “stars” delivered the Atmospheric style to compliment the Oriental style decor.

The Pekin Theatre opened November 27, 1928 and closed in 1980. It was demolished seven years later.

Contributed by Mark Lenaway

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on March 18, 2007 at 8:38 am

Here is a 1986 photo by Michael Putnam:

heyclerok on November 13, 2007 at 5:07 pm

From the book Silent Screens, I thought this was a neat anecdote about the demolition of the Pekin Theater:

[i]“They called me up and said they had found something, a wallet at the Pekin Theater,” Robert D. king, age 56, of 7 Florentine Court, said. “I said, ‘Yeah, it’s mine. I lost it in 1959 or 1960.’”

from a report in the Pekin Daily Times (December 30, 1986) on the salvage operations at the Pekin Theater, where coins, wallets, and a class ring were found in the concrete ducts running beneath the main floor.[/i]

PLYMOUTH on July 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Check out this link for a couple pics.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

The Pekin Theatre probably opened in late 1928. A brief announcement that the house had opened appeared in the January 6, 1929, issue of Film Daily.

atmos on May 1, 2015 at 6:01 am

Theatre opened 27 Nov 1928.

Bud Taubert
Bud Taubert on October 15, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Program from dedication and interior view.

Bud Taubert
Bud Taubert on October 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm

Three members of the Pekin Civic Center Authority inspect vacant theater.

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