Will Rogers Theatre

After a two year legal battle with our business partner and lender. 
The Will Rogers Theatre has been purchased by Katie Troccoli through judicial sale on Oct. 28, 2016
The project can now move forward.

 
If you want to help save the Will Rogers Theatre donate to:
Here and Again Inc. 501 C3 Non Profit dedicated to the Arts and Education.
Visit the store on this web page and buy a Will Rogers T-Shirt or Sweat Shirt to help.
 
 


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The Will Rogers Theatre
705 - 715 Monroe Ave., Charleston, IL

Endangered Theater Purchased
Charleston, Illinois

The Will Rogers Theatre, included on Landmarks Illinois’ 2011 “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places” list, was purchased in November, 2011 by preservation-minded owners who plan to fully restore the building to its former grandeur. The purchasers, Katie and James Troccoli of Ottawa, Illinois and Tim Burke of Los Angeles, California (an Ottawa native), also own the historic Majestic Theater in Streator, Illinois www.MajesticShows.com . They report that cleaning out the building has begun and hope to start renovation in spring, 2012.

The new owners learned about the building from the publicity generated by its inclusion on Landmarks Illinois’ “Ten Most” list. Charleston Preservation Commission Chair Kit Morice said the listing not only created statewide awareness for one of their city’s most historic buildings, but also helped local officials recognize its architectural importance. The Charleston City Council voted in May to give landmark protection to the 73-year-old Art Deco theater, which had closed in 2010, sending a strong message that the city supported its preservation.

Landmarks Illinois

www.landmarks.org/preservation_news_will_rogers_theatre.htm

Cinema Treasures

cinematreasures.org/theaters/4290





Will Rogers Theatre T - shirts,  and Sweatshirts are now available!  Order yours now! Visit our store for details!
04/15/2014  This just in from Ameren Illinois

Katie,

We have reviewed your request for a service upgrade or 2nd point of electric service to 705 Monroe in Charleston. 

 

Option 1 – Upgrade your existing 400 amp 120/240 volt 3 phase service to a 600 amp 120/240 volt 3 phase service.  There would be no charge from Ameren Illinois to upgrade your existing service at the same location.  We would utilize the existing transformer bank and upgrade the overhead service to your building.  You need to determine if this is an option that would work for you based on your load requirements for the theater and storefronts combined.

 

Option 2 – Install a 2nd point of service to the south end of the east side of the store front area.  This would be an 800 amp 120/240 volt single phase service to provide service to the storefronts only.  The existing 400 amp 120/240 volt 3 phase service would remain.  Signage would be required to indicate 2 points of service to the building.  The charge for the 2nd point of service from Ameren Illinois is $5,093.45.  This quote is firm if accepted by July 14, 2014 and if payment has been received and you are ready for the service by October 12, 2014.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to meet to discuss the service options.
:: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 

KIM THOMSON

Sr. Distribution Design Specialist - Division IV
.........................

Ameren Illinois
701 S 9th St
Mattoon, IL  61938
AmerenIllinois.com

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

 

Add comment
  • Dale Rennels

    Dale Rennels Grand Junction Co

    My name is Dale Rennnels, I started as an Usher in 1950 at 15 cents an hour, Don Griffen was the Manager as Reno Bianchi was in a TB Hospital. Don was a Senior student at Eastern and when graduated took a job with Phillip Petroleum, Reno came back and took charge, he was a super boss very intelligent and sort of took me under his wing, taught me a lot about writing advertisements "white space sell" I soon became manager under his guidance and he taught me how to check out the cashiers every night along with the Lincoln cashiers and the Candy counter proceeds. The Theatre was top notch, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello brought lines all the way back to The Corner Confectionary. Things were great, then the Big Studio's decided that they wanted a bigger cut of the gross and made us rent the big hits for a whole week and took 85% of the ticket sales. TV came in pretty strong in 1953-54. Well in Charleston with 8000 to 9000 population things become tough, the Lincoln was running B type movies and then we started shownig foreign films for like rental of $25.00. Then Reno and the Frisina's bouight the Drive Inn out on route 130. Bianchis and Frisinas were partners called B & F theates, with Two theatres and a Drive in over in Mattoon. I had some very good times working and met some of the nicest people, I still remember almost all of the employees, most dead now as I'm 81 years old. I made a list the other day but it's too long to put here. good luck to the Project Team. I think I have some Posters from some of the movies somewhere .I can be reached at daler@acsol.net

    My name is Dale Rennnels, I started as an Usher in 1950 at 15 cents an hour, Don Griffen was the Manager as Reno Bianchi was in a TB Hospital. Don was a Senior student at Eastern and when graduated took a job with Phillip Petroleum, Reno came back and took charge, he was a super boss very intelligent and sort of took me under his wing, taught me a lot about writing advertisements "white space sell" I soon became manager under his guidance and he taught me how to check out the cashiers every night along with the Lincoln cashiers and the Candy counter proceeds. The Theatre was top notch, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello brought lines all the way back to The Corner Confectionary. Things were great, then the Big Studio's decided that they wanted a bigger cut of the gross and made us rent the big hits for a whole week and took 85% of the ticket sales. TV came in pretty strong in 1953-54. Well in Charleston with 8000 to 9000 population things become tough, the Lincoln was running B type movies and then we started shownig foreign films for like rental of $25.00. Then Reno and the Frisina's bouight the Drive Inn out on route 130. Bianchis and Frisinas were partners called B & F theates, with Two theatres and a Drive in over in Mattoon. I had some very good times working and met some of the nicest people, I still remember almost all of the employees, most dead now as I'm 81 years old. I made a list the other day but it's too long to put here. good luck to the Project Team. I think I have some Posters from some of the movies somewhere .I can be reached at daler@acsol.net

  • chris

    chris charleston

    Hi my name is chris, i am glad to.hear that tbis.theatre will ne restored to.its original appearance when it was first opened i am willing to donate some hours of my time to.help restore the buikdings on labor i can.do.things like.drywall amd decking,painting find me.on facebook chris.dare

    Hi my name is chris, i am glad to.hear that tbis.theatre will ne restored to.its original appearance when it was first opened i am willing to donate some hours of my time to.help restore the buikdings on labor i can.do.things like.drywall amd decking,painting find me.on facebook chris.dare

  • Norma Witters Klaus

    Norma Witters Klaus IL

    I began working there at the Candy Bar when I was 15. Rino Bianci hired me. His father, Tony Bianci owned the theater. When I was 16 I got to be cashier, mostly at the Lincoln Theater, but each night we started and ended at the Will Rogers with our checkout. I worked there until I was 18 and loved every minute of it.

    I began working there at the Candy Bar when I was 15. Rino Bianci hired me. His father, Tony Bianci owned the theater. When I was 16 I got to be cashier, mostly at the Lincoln Theater, but each night we started and ended at the Will Rogers with our checkout. I worked there until I was 18 and loved every minute of it.

  • Jeanne Thomas

    Jeanne Thomas Charleston lL

    I was born in Charleston lL. When I first went to this theater it cost 16 cents and it then went up to 25 cents. Every time I went to this theater I was so overwhelmed by its beauty. I went to this theater every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. My sister worked at this theater when she was 16 years old. So many great memories!

    I was born in Charleston lL. When I first went to this theater it cost 16 cents and it then went up to 25 cents. Every time I went to this theater I was so overwhelmed by its beauty. I went to this theater every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. My sister worked at this theater when she was 16 years old. So many great memories!

  • Mark

    Mark Manteno, Illinois

    You have a great start to opening nite. There are so many different types of entertainment outside of the first run movie business. It will happen, it just takes sooooooo long for everything to come together. Mark

    You have a great start to opening nite. There are so many different types of entertainment outside of the first run movie business. It will happen, it just takes sooooooo long for everything to come together. Mark

  • bobby craig

    bobby craig 2908 western ave

    cant wait till it opens back up so many great memories there from when I was younger

    cant wait till it opens back up so many great memories there from when I was younger

  • Brent

    Brent Ottawa

    Katie & Company, I wish you all the best as you work to restore this Art Decco gem. It may take you some time and a lot of hard work,but it will be well worth it. The City of Charleston will be much the better for your efforts.

    Katie & Company,

    I wish you all the best as you work to restore this Art Decco gem. It may take you some time and a lot of hard work,but it will be well worth it. The City of Charleston will be much the better for your efforts.

Donate to Will RogersCharleston

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Restoration of the Will Rogers Theatre - Charleston, IL is costly.
 Donations to further the project are welcome.

We sincerely appreciate the support of the community and thank you for your interest in the
Will Rogers Theatre.

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