Grand Theater

120 N. Main Street,
Kewanee, IL 61443

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Postcard of the Kewanee Grand theater

The Grand Theater opened on June 6, 1910. It replaced the McClure Opera House which was destroyed by a fire around 1900. The Grand Theatre was listed in the 1926 edition of Film Daily Yearbook (no seating capacity given) but had gone by the 1927 edition. The building was destroyed by fire in 1933.

Contributed by kevin skoglund

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Kewaneekevin on February 16, 2018 at 5:22 am

Theater was actually located on the EAST SIDE of Main street . Around 108 North main . Just NORTH of the Redmen Building [Now Furniture country Building ] .

Kewaneekevin on February 16, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Building was destroyed in a Fire September 1933 .

Kewaneekevin on February 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

This Theater replaced the McCLURE Opera house which also was destroyed via fire on the same basic site turn of the century .

SethG on August 21, 2021 at 6:15 pm

The whole thing about the first fire is wrong. McClure’s appears on the 1899 map as the Kewanee Theatre, with the note ‘From Plans’, so it had likely just been finished (or possibly not quite finished by May, when the map was issued). The 1905 map calls it McClure’s Opera House, the 1910 map calls it the Grand Theatre. The 1905 Cahn guide gives McClure’s a capacity of 1,000.

The footprint/interior plan of the Grand was identical to McClure’s, although the building is shown as 45' tall on the 1905 map, and 40' tall in 1910 and after. There are numerous theaters where ‘destroyed by fire’ apparently only means damaged. If there even was a first fire, it either destroyed something before 1899, which was then replaced by McClure’s, or it damaged the Grand sometime after 1905, resulting in a remodel with a lower height.

The address is wrong. Since the Red Men’s Hall is 106, this would have likely been 108. Even the 1918 map is no help, since the buildings on Main are using a confusing mix of addresses and lot numbers. The Grand is shown as 107, but unless they switched odds and evens, that is likely a lot number.

SethG on August 21, 2021 at 8:49 pm

The 1892 map shows a house on this lot, so the fire tale is a bit dubious. It’s still possible there was one sometime between 1905 and 1910.

SethG on August 21, 2021 at 9:56 pm

The 1910 map actually has addresses. The Red Men’s Hall is 112, and the theater was 120. Looks like 106 really belongs to the ugly little annex south of the Red Men’s Hall, and the furniture store uses that as the address.

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