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Taylorville Cinema


Photo from the Darren Snow collection
117 W Main Cross St
Taylorville IL

Closed
Record #7303  
 Opened: December 20, 1946
 Closed: July 28, 2011
 Current Use:
 Demolished:
Capacity:
Architect(s):
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: 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.



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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 8/1/2011.

 
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