915 8th Avenue,
Erie, IL 61250

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This theatre was located in the Breed Building, a large two story wood frame commercial block with a brick veneer. It was located on the north side of the little triangular town ‘square’.

The Breed Building was likely constructed sometime around 1900. The front portion contained stores and offices, and there was a narrow central access to the auditorium in the rear.

Stage and scenery are shown on the 1913 map. By the 1910’s, movies were being shown, but the theatre closed in 1929, without converting to sound. It burned to the ground in 1943, along with much of the rest of the block. It occupied the space today taken by a bank and parking lot.

Thanks to Ken Roe for some helpful information.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 18, 2022 at 10:49 pm

Konrad Schiecke’s book Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois, 1883-1960 lists the Auditorium but mistakenly places it on the second floor. An article about the March, 1943 fire that destroyed the building said that “[t]he rear part of the Breed block served as an auditorium and was used extensively until the erection of the Erie Community high school. The high school basketball games were also played in the auditorium and it was used as a dance hall, skating rink, theater building and general meeting place.”

The use of the Auditorium for dances, basketball games and roller skating suggests that it was probably a typical small town multi-purpose hall of the period with a flat floor. Schiecke notes two later movie theaters in Erie, both located on Main Street and both since demolished: the 240-seat Erie Theatre, in operation from 1932 to 1947, and the 360-seat J&G Theatre, in operation from 1947 to 1952.

SethG on February 19, 2022 at 12:12 am

The only good candidates for anything demolished on Main would be the little telephone building south of the old city hall, the ugly thing on the southeast corner with 8th, the lot next to the grocery store, and the bank. I wonder, given the dates, if both weren’t in the same building.

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