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A Brief History of the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri

The Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri is a historic landmark that has been a center of entertainment and culture in the area for over 90 years.

The Gillioz Theatre was originally built in 1926 by businessman M.E. Gillioz. It was designed by architect Louis Curtiss in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, which was popular at the time. The theatre was one of the largest in the region, with a seating capacity of over 1,200 people.

The Gillioz Theatre quickly became a popular venue for live entertainment, hosting concerts, plays, and other performances. It also served as a movie theatre for many years, showing popular films to audiences throughout the Springfield area.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Gillioz Theatre fell on hard times. The rise of television and suburbanization led to a decline in movie attendance, and the theatre was eventually forced to close its doors in 1980.

In 1986, a group of concerned citizens formed the Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust to try and save the Gillioz Theatre from demolition. After several years of fundraising and renovations, the theatre was reopened in 2006 as a performing arts center.

Today, the Gillioz Theatre hosts a wide variety of performances, including concerts, plays, comedy shows, and other live events. The theatre has undergone extensive renovations to restore it to its original beauty, with features such as the original stained glass windows and terrazzo flooring.

One of the most unique features of the Gillioz Theatre is its "ghost light," which is a single light left on the stage after performances as a tribute to the theatre's past. The light is said to keep the ghosts of the theatre's former performers at bay... Spooky!


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