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Kendall Theatre

2003 Photo from the Dave Kraft collection.
Farmer City IL

Record #20439  
 Opened: 1909
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Current Use: Warehouse
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Scenic

Information for this tour was contributed by Konrad Schiecke.

In 1914, John T. Kendall Jr. and his wife Kitty purchased the Scenic Theatre, which had been operated by Dave Mitchell since 1909. The price of admission was 5 cents. The name of the theatre was changed to the Kendall Theatre in 1917. The Kendalls employed a piano player to provide the background music for silent movies. In 1919, they added vaudeville acts to their movie programs. Because it was the only stage in town, prior to the building of the high school gym, many home-talent plays were staged there on off-movie nights. Often, church services were held there while the church was undergoing repair or redecorating. The Kendalls progressed with the times and brought sound pictures and Technicolor spectaculars to the many movie fans in the area. The theatre provided a movie center for many other towns as well as Farmer City. The Kendall sons, Richard and Reynale, assisted their parents in the business through the years. Many Farmer City boys and girls helped to pay for their own education through their employment at the Kendall. After John's death in 1957, Kitty and Reynale (Duke) carried on the business. In the late 70s, the theatre closed. The building was sold and, for a time, was used as a music hall.

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

2003 photos from the Dave Kraft collection.

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1943 photos from the Konrad Schiecke collection.

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1919 photos from the Konrad Schiecke collection.

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Last featured 10/7/2003. Last edited 11/5/2005.

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