A crowd gathers in anticipation for the grand opening of the Normal Theater on Nov. 17, 1937. (Photo courtesy Normal Theater/WJBC)
By Zach Dietmeier
NORMAL - The Normal Theater is celebrating 75 years in business this week.
The Normal Theater has brought the surrounding community a large variety of modern and classic films. The local landmark has brought the surrounding community a large variety of modern and classic films. Theater manager Dawn Riordan noted the first show originally opened on Nov. 17, 1937.
"It was at the time a state-of-the-art facility, with state-of-the-art sound, state-of-the-art air conditioning, and first run movies," said Riordan. "We continue that tradition today, only in a slightly different manner."
Riordan has been affiliated with the Normal Theater since 1977, and she's happy to celebrate the long-time attraction.
"We have a wonderful facility here, and I'm so glad that it has lasted this long," said Riordan. "It actually has been open pretty much continually for 75 years, closing only for renovations."
Riordan said a birthday celebration will be held Saturday before a showing of 1940 film "The Shop Around the Corner." She said the movie choice is to demonstrate the longevity and continued relevance in the community.
"We've been in one spot for 75 years, and people have gravitated toward us for a variety of different types of movies," said Riordan. "The theater has gone through a lot of different types of exhibitions to get to where it is today. I'm so grateful toward the Town of Normal for the support."
The celebration will include cake, prize giveaways, and Normal Mayor Chris Koos prior to the feature presentation at 7pm.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.