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Gem Theatre

Photo from the Darren Snow collection.
1662 Washington St
Alton IL

Demolished 1977
Record #10074  
 Opened: April 9, 1913
 Closed: 1945
 Demolished: 1977
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Ouatoga

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

OPENED: April 1913. CLOSED: 1945.

The 9/6/98 Alton Telegraph ran an undated photo (from the Kerr collection) of the Ouatoga, which was at the time running "His Squaw." It also advertised "See yourself as others see you on the moving picture screen." There was no mention of the later name change, though the theatre is clearly the same one identified as the Gem in a picture found elsewhere. The Gem -- the name was changed between 1921 and 1924 -- was run in 1924 by Frank R. Davis, who also owned a piano company bearing his name. Irwin Davis managed the Gem in 1928-29. In 1930-31, the Alton directory noted that the managers were Margaret L. and Frances E. Davis. Joseph Desberger was the honcho from 1933-36, followed by Joseph Goldfarb from 1937-44. The space was occupied by Agra Sales Co. in 1946-47, listed as vacant in '48, and filled by the Ernst Clothes Shop from 1950-52. United Mens Shops used the building from 1952 to 1972; then it became a "head shop" and then a Chinese restaurant.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

Photos from the Darren Snow collection.

67 KB · 625x418

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 3/26/2017.

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