Richard E Wildish Community Theatre
2002 Photo from the David Stambaugh collection
630 Main St|
|Record #20543 |
Capacity: 593 seats|
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: McKenzie|
Information for this tour was contributed by David Stambaugh.
The McKenzie is now an on-again, off-again night club called The Zoo, but you can see the original McKenzie sign. This theater is in the heart of old downtown Springfield.
It had been closed for many years, then was re-opened in about 1994 by Dave Gibson. Mr. Gibson, assisted by his wife and children, tried very hard to make this work as a movie house. His vision was to bring back classic movies, with cartoons and short features. In preparation, he brought an engineer up from Los Angeles to get the old carbon arc projectors running again.
The grand re-opening feature was Show Boat, which was attended by the Mayor of Springfield, who gave a short speech before the show about how he hoped the re-opening of the McKenzie might help revitalize downtown Springfield.
Unfortunately, it was not to be ... the business just wasn't there. Gibson varied fare, including more recent films, but nothing would draw people in. Mr. Gibson was forced to give up after a couple of years. He passed away not long after the theater closed.
Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.
2002 photos from the David Stambaugh collection.
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Last featured 1/22/2005. Last edited 12/25/2008.