Fairview Park Dreamland theater lasted one year

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Fairview Park Dreamland theater lasted one year - to as to y he in of a to of st stk Summer...
to as to y he in of a to of st stk Summer theater building was elaborate, but venture failed at the box office. Decatur Diary Summer Theater Lasted a Year By Ron Frazier Of the Herald and Review Decatur's first summer theater lasted only one year, opening Sunday, May 24, 1908 as one feature of Dreamland Park. The 10-acre 10-acre 10-acre recreation area was west of Fairview Park and proved to be financially unsuc cessful. The Irage frame building housing the theater was only one feature of the amusement park, which also sported a roller coaster and other rides. and a large dance pavilion. When Dreamland Park first opened, there were a number of vaudeville acts on stage in the theater. Vaudeville plus ana area talent snows were primarily the daily offering. Dreamland Park was of ficially incorporated by the Decatur Amusement Park Co. on May 26, 1905, with $40,000 in capital stock. The incorporators were Henry L. Breinig, J. F. Given and E. S. Baker. Almost from the start, it was a matter of survival as the stocKnoiaers louna t n e en- en- terpnse popular witn me people N ut expensive to operate. j Arlendance Varied PRO- At times the theater drew j large houses, both in the after- after- i noon and evening but there were many times it was virtually empty. In addition, there were periods of time when I the building was not in use at ! all. j The theater building i represented an investment by ;tha association of approximate- approximate- :iy 7,000. Receipts were not enough to allow for interest on p that - mn and the talent Park was closed and the land was within possible reach purchased by the city lor . bie iunas is not the the value of the stock. This crowds or caliber to attract keep them coming. In one way or another, summer summer theater had been tried in Decatur for 15 years prior to 1909 and it had never been successful. successful. With this experience on record, the stockholders did not hesitate to end operations in the first permanent structure theater for the city. Roller Rink At Dreamland Park they decided to cut out the summer theater and convert the building an indebtedness of $3,000 brought the purchase price $15,750. Although' popular at first, skating rink failed to help park much more than theater before it. With purchase of the Dreamland property and SO acres belonging to the Illinois Traction System, between Dreamland Stevens Creek, Fairview Park was expanded to about acres. When the city of Decatur purcnasea tne Dreamland property in 1919, all the buildings into a roller skating rink. The i i r . , .. r j iuvui cnange irom meaier to stealing had been removed including rime cost an estimated ?4,000; theater. It was not observed including purchase of skates to then as important to history. rent- rent- I Rather, it was regarded only Finally in 1919, Dreamland i a money loser. -"Adam capital stock, It did not take long to discover that Decatur's first summer theater was a losing venture. A brief survey by the stockholders tended to prove that seldom if ever were park summer theaters a paying venture. venture. At the same time they were OOOKP (fctixi ; Consider Mutual's Bonus Savings Accounts 5 v TOTAL ANNUAL

Clipped from The Decatur Daily Review05 Jan 1969, SunPage 43

The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois)05 Jan 1969, SunPage 43
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  • Fairview Park Dreamland theater lasted one year

    wdhardy – 01 Nov 2017

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