The Abandoned 100 Year Old Theater in Rockford Illinois You Didn’t Know About
I'll bet I've driven past this once magnificent theater at least a hundred times and never knew it was there. It's like it's hiding in plain sight.
If you love looking at old abandoned places, you're going to love this
This was quite a discovery today. One of my good friends shared a photo and an interior video tour (below) of the inside of a beautiful Spanish themed theater. He asked if I had ever heard of the place then asked me if I knew it was in Rockford.
Unless you knew it was there, you'd never guess that this building below on Rockford's South Main Street was once the home to a gorgeous 1000-seat theater.
Can you guess who those four men are at the top of the building? (answers below)
The Abandoned Capitol Theater at 1122 South Main Street in Rockford, Illinois
The Capitol Theater was built in 1928 by Anthony Domino and Theodore Ingrassia for what would be considered a pretty small sum in 2022, just $175,000.
The first movie to be shown in Rockford's new Capitol Theater was,
The Sky Raider, starring Charles Nungesser. Admission for the silent movie was 35 cents for adults and 10 cents for children.
Here's Catherine Domino Martignoni, Capitol Theater's first cashier in 1928 standing in front of the Capitol Theater marquee. (Rockford Rocked/Facebook)
This is the only color photo I could find of the Capitol's interior. While the photo gives you an idea of just how beautiful the decor was in its day. It's really sad to see what it looks like now on the inside, as you'll view in the video below.
According to a story I found at Rockford Rewind on Facebook, on December 7, 1941:
"The manager Joseph Sarna walked out in front of the screen and announced to the packed auditorium that the Japanese had just bombed the naval base at Pearl Harbor. He asked that all of the employees of Rockford Newspaper report for work at once. The movie resumed after his announcement."
From Decaying Midwest on YouTube,
OK, let's see if you can figure out who these four men are featured in these ornate cameos on the building.
(l-r) pianist/composer Anton Rubinstein, William Shakespeare, opera stars Enrico Caruso and Giuseppe Verdi.
If you want to know even more about this wonderful piece of Rockford history, visit CinemaTreasures.org.