Daily dose: Interesting week of local history, including beginnings of Park (now Art) Theatre

Daily dose: Interesting week of local history, including beginnings of Park (now Art) Theatre

May 2:

In 1913, the motion picture apparatus was removed last night from the Family Theatre in St. Joseph and taken to the Jacob Coon property in Champaign. The closing of the theater apparently means the end of the moving pictures war in St. Joseph that has been under way for two months. The Family Theatre entered the St. Joseph arena first and was prospering until Frank Rice started a rival show in the Woodman Hall. Then business began to fall off at both houses and the management of the Family Theatre began to fall behind in its payments.

In 1963, Richard F.P. Salinger, the brother of White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, has received a Ford Foundation grant to teach and study at the University of Illinois next year. Salinger is superintendent of science teaching instruction in the Wilton, Conn., public school system.

May 1:

In 1913, a resolution was passed at Wednesday’s meeting of the state congregational conference in support of the bill making permanent a 4-mile dry zone around the University of Illinois campus. Rev. A. Holmes, pastor of the First Congregationalist Church, urged that every member write his representatives to encourage passage of the bill.

In 1963, Midwest Television, Inc., has entered into negotiation to purchase two California radio and television properties. Broadcasting magazine reports that Midwest is attempting to purchase KFMB-AM-FM and TV in San Diego for $9 million to $10 million and KERO-TV in Bakersfield for $1.5 million. In addition to WCIA-TV, Midwest owns WMBD-AM-FM-TV in Peoria and a translator station, channel 71, near LaSalle. Midwest President August C. Meyer was unavailable for comment.

April 30:

In 1913, next Monday will be a general cleanup day in Champaign. Every man, woman and child is urged to cooperate with the street superintendent in picking up old brush, tin cans, paper and the like.

In 1963, tornado-like winds ripped off roofs, downed trees and fences and overturned small farm buildings in a sporadic leap from Seymour to near Champaign Monday night. No injuries were reported. Champaign-Urbana received .82 of an inch of rain and was hit with wind gusts as high as 49 mph. But the worst damage was reported south of Seymour at the Joe Pfeffer and Dean Rayburn farms, where roofs were damaged, barns were nearly demolished and trees were toppled.

April 29:

In 1913, Champaign is to have a new and modern motion picture theater, one that will be the equal of anything in the Middle West. Mark and Bert Cooper are to build a theater on the T.D. Wilson lot on Church Street, just west of the Trevett & Mattis Bank, and work will begin in a short time. The seating capacity of the theater will be 750, and the seats will be arranged so that everyone will have an unobstructed view. In the front and on the side of the house, a pipe organ is to be built. The new building will open to the public about Sept. 1.

In 1963, Champaign police and firemen Monday investigated the probability that a spectacular fire that destroyed the Tepper Electric Supply Co. building at 608 S. Neil St. was set to cover a $200 burglary. A safe that had been hammered open was found early Monday in the ruins of the building. Damage was estimated at $250,000 to $500,000. Firefighters were hampered by thousands of people who gathered Sunday evening to watch one of the most dramatic fires here. The blaze finally was extinguished at about 7 a.m. Monday.


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