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Theaters in Cottage Hills, Illinois

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser


 Rio Theater, Cottage Hills


The Rio Theater was located on MacArthur Boulevard (Highway 140) in Cottage Hills. This 600-seat theater opened July 17, 1948, with six partners (Leo J. Pavish Sr. and five relatives) who operated the theater. A labor dispute occurred in September 1948, and the Alton Building & Construction Trades Council and a number of local labor unions picketed the theater. The picket signs read, “Erected Unfair to the Alton Building & Construction Trades Council,” and “Erected Unfair to the I.A.T.S.E. Moving Picture Operators.” Patrons of the theater were threatened, which reduced the number of people going to the theater to about 85 at a single showing. The owners of the theater filed for an injunction, to prevent the picketing and harassment of the patrons of the theater, but I haven’t found the outcome of the filing.

In February 1956, young boys entered the theater (and other businesses), slashing the theater screen and cutting many of the theater seats. They also entered the projection room and dumped out rolls of film.


Rio Theater, Cottage Hills, 1956 



The theater closed in 1956, and by September 1957, the First Southern Baptist Church of Cottage Hills was using the former Rio Theater as their house of worship.

If you have photos of the Rio Theater, please let me know!