The Cricket Theatre
Frankly, my dear, we DO give a d**n!
So We Bought It!
It has been a long time dream of the Collinsville Historical Association to buy and restore the 1946 Cricket Theatre.
On the 18th of May, 2010 that dream became a reality. The CHA purchased the theatre from Jackie and Blanche Weaver at Liberty Bank, downtown Collinsville.
History of the Theatre
The Cricket Theatre, operated by Millard Weaver, ran its first show in 1925 in the building that has become the Collinsville Library. The Cricket was moved to a new building equipped to seat 800 in 1946. It closed in 1964.
A place in peril, the theatre is located in the heart of Collinsville on Main Street, and cost $60,000 to build. The theatre building is 66 x 140 feet, constructed of brick, concrete and steel.
The Collinsville New Era described the new theatre in 1945 as "having the latest theatre chairs, modern rest rooms and complete year round air conditioning. The projection room will contain the latest in theatre projectors, strong hi-intensity arc lights, best projection lens that money can buy, and the sound installation will be complete range wide fidelity matched system by RCA. The air in the theatre will be washed, dehumidified, temperature controlled both summer and winter and circulated throughout the building by two giant 30,000 cfm air blowers. Not only will a patron breathe clean, fresh air, sit in a new spring bottom, upholstered seat, but the seating layout has been designed to give perfect vision of the large 15 x 20 foot plastic screen. The theatre will also contain a large stage complete with curtains, draperies, footlight and dressing rooms which will be furnished and decorated by the Scenic Studio of Knoxville. Temperature controlled drinking water will be available at a large foyer and lobby dispenser. The quaint name will be spelled out in dazzling neon lights, supported above the marquee by a giant V-type steel support 30 feet high. This modern marquee and neon structure will give off more illumination than the balance of the main street".
What Happened to the Clock?
The Clock Tower, which became the symbol of Collinsville, was removed from the top of the theatre in May of 2004.
The roof and the tower had fallen into such disrepair that, after numerous discussions, town meetings and suggestions from citizens, the City Council voted April 5, 2004, to remove the clock, and the tower, dismantle it and carefully label and store all the parts until a new tower or place for display could be erected.
On Thursday, May 6, 2004, CD Weaver Construction with Barnhart Crane Service and Timothy Smith as subcontractors began their task about 8 A.M. and by 11:30 the clock tower was resting on Main Street.
The clock has since been restored and is on display at Town Hall; the Clock Tower, unfortunately, was in too bad a condition to save.