Fischer Theatre

158 N. Vermillion Street,
Danville, IL 61832

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Related Websites

Fischer Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp., Great States, Kerasotes Theatres, Publix

Architects: Charles M. Lewis

Functions: Live Music Venue, Live Performances, Movies (Classic)

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Previous Names: Grand Opera House

Nearby Theaters

Fischer Theatre, Danville, IL - auditorium

The Grand Opera House opened on November 4, 1884, one of the the first productions being “The Bohemian Girl”.

The theatre was extensively re-modeled 1912/1913 and some more remodeling was carried out in 1929. It was closed on January 5, 1982.

From 2001 to 2005 the theatre was opened occasionally to screen classic movies, concerts and stage productions. Renovations were carried out and were completed in 2019. The Fischer Theatre was reopened as a music venue in October 2019. Classic movies are also screened.

Contributed by Steve Anderson

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 4, 2006 at 4:36 pm

Hey that’s pretty sweet. Nice job on the marquee!

DeanHickstein on December 25, 2006 at 6:04 pm

Clear icicle lights hang from the Fischer Theatre, celebrating the holiday season.
But the lights remain off inside, and the theater remains closed as city officials and arts supporters look at how to keep the building viable.
The Danville City Council is expected to act on an agreement this month to take over ownership from the Vermilion Heritage Foundation, which oversees the Fischer.

Click on link to see my slide show of pictures taken December 23rd, 2006.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 13, 2008 at 4:24 am

A 1996 view of the Fischer Theater in Danville here and here. An enlarged view here and here.

kencmcintyre on April 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm

There’s an extra L in Vermilion, in the title, so it doesn’t map correctly.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on November 13, 2009 at 10:36 am

The link above is the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston (20 miles or so north of Danville). Here are some links to my pictures of the Fischer:

View link
View link

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 13, 2009 at 10:59 am

As the Grand Opera House, this theater is listed under Danville IL in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. A.W. Heinly was Mgr., and the seating capacity was 1,000. The theater was on the first floor, had both gas and electric illumination and ticket prices ranging from 25 cents to $1. The proscenium opening was 32 feet square, and the stage was 40 feet deep. There were 7 members of the house orchestra. There were 3 daily newspapers and one German weekly. The hotel for show folk was the Aetna House, and the railroad was the Chicago & Eastern Illinois. The 1897 population of Danville was 18,000.

AndrewBarrett on September 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Hey! That’s fantastic that this theatre still exists and is being restored. I wish the team all the best and hope to come visit when it’s finished! According to “the Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr David Junchen, pg 629, the “Fischer Th.” in Danville, Illinois, had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point. No date of installation is given in the book, but I would assume it was before 1929 when the four rank Robert Morton organ was installed. No other information about this Smith organ is in the book, including size (number of manuals / number of ranks), nameplate (Seeburg-Smith, Smith, or Smith-Geneva), or blower info, probably because none of this was known to the author at the time of publication.

Does anyone know more about this organ and where it, or its parts, are today? Thanks!

At least one other Smith organ was traded in for a Robert Morton organ: the one in the California Theatre in Pittsburgh, California. Interestingly, both organs still exist: the ten-rank Morton is currently being restored and reinstalled in that theatre, while the Smith is currently with a private owner, having spent time as a church organ in the interim.

I’m wondering if a similar situation could exist here: do both the Smith and Robert Morton organs from the Fischer Theatre still exist?

DavidAE on October 2, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Should be reopening in weeks according to this article.

DavidZornig on November 18, 2019 at 3:24 pm

Status should be Open. Live music venue, speaking engagements etc. Official Facebook page for Fischer Theatre below.*F

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