1997 Photo from the Darren Snow collection
117 W Main Cross St|
|Record #7303 |
Opened: December 20, 1946|
Closed: July 28, 2011
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: Frisina, Cinema Taylorville|
| Previously operated by: Frisina Theatres, Kerasotes Theatres, AMC Theatres|
Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.
This is the last theatre in the town of Taylorville, the home of the once-mighty Frisina cinema chain. It began when Domenic Frisina -- who emigrated from Sicily in 1906 -- left a coal-mining job in Pawnee, IL, and bought a theatre on Front Street in nearby Bulpitt for $300. After this humble beginning in 1914, the chain expanded to include nickelodeons in Tovey, Jeisyville and Kincaid. Within a year, Frisina had added theatres in Divernon and Farmersville. After operating these for seven years, he sold them and moved to West Frankfort to open his first airdome (open-air theatre). He sold again after a couple of years, moved back to the Taylorville area, and purchased the Majestic and the Rex in Charleston. He also bought the theatre in the Elks building from Hogan & Associates.
In 1926, Frisina took on partners in Domenic and John B. Giachetto and Ciro Pedrucci; they would eventually found some 40 theatres in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. From this point on, the historical information available at the Taylorville library gets a little muddled. The theatre pictured above first appears in the city directories in 1980, but one historical source claims that 117 W Main Cross was the site of one "Frisina Theatre" (built by contractor Gene Kennedy), opened on 12/20/46, and "now" the site of a P.N. Hirsch store!
One possible explanation involves downtown Taylorville's confusing street names; there are/were streets called Main running both north/south and east/west. "Main Cross" may have been a later nomenclature created to deter confusion -- but thus far, it's done nothing but confound this researcher.
Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.
1997 photos from the Darren Snow collection.
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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 7/10/2016.
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