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Lyric Theatre

2009 Photo from the Harold Emling collection.
105 E Main St
Du Quoin IL

Record #10223  
 Opened: September 12, 1878
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Current Use: Office Space
Capacity: 600 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Elstun's Hall, Neighbors

Information for this tour was contributed by Harold Emling.

Opened on September 12, 1878, with a benefit dance for the yellow fever suffers. Also known as Elstun's Hall when it was erected and Neighbors Theater at a later date. The theatre was built by Judge Elstun.

Capacity was 500 on the floor, and 100 in the balcony.

The building is currently used by a CPA firm, Emling & Hoffman, operating on the 3,600 square foot street level of the building. The building is owned by Harold Emling and Don Hoffman.

From January 16, 1897 Newspaper Article, Du Quoin Evening Call:

"It is located on the second floor of a new and substantially built brick building, right in the heart of our city, and while it may prove a gold mine of its builder, Judge Elstun, it certainly fills a want long felt by our citizens. It is 40X90 feet, with a 22 foot ceiling, is well ventilated, lighted and the cold weather properly warmed. The stage Is plenty large for all requirements, being 19X38 feet and stands 3 feet 9 inches high. It is supplied with a handsome and easily operated drop curtain, and six full sets of scenes, some of them decidedly rich and tasty. The stage is also supplied with foot and side lights and a good stove for the comfort of the actors."

This theatre was the location of the first silent movies in Du Quoin. Silent movie flyers dated March 1914 were found under the stage in 1985 when we purchased the building. The theatre, in addition to plays and other productions, featured boxing, wedding receptions and dances, meetings of all kinds, and served as the location for the high school basketball team games in mid 1910s.

We have refurbished the gym floor and have used the theater for our own recreation and basketball since 1985.

The downstairs of the building was completely gutted and refurbished as a CPA firm office. We installed a new roof and awnings for the first and second floor windows.

The theatre was upstairs in the building, with a 22 foot ceiling. The theatre was repaired and re painted in 1985. We added new windows and scraped 12 coats of paint off of the walls and ceiling.

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

2009 photos from the Harold Emling collection.

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1980 photos from the Harold Emling collection.

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Photos from the Harold Emling collection.

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Circa 1945


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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 12/24/2011.

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