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Theaters in North Alton, Illinois

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser


Dreamland Theater, North Alton - 1914The Dreamland Theater was located at 2405 State Street, near the old village hall in North Alton. The theater opened in September 1914. The small theater was located in a building owned by Rudolph Puetz, with his son, Ed, working in the theater. The theater seated 250, and included a player-piano. The Puetz family built and lived in a small home behind the theater. The Dreamland Theater closed in 1917, and is now a parking lot for the Gent Funeral Home.

Rudolph Puetz was the son of Tillman Puetz, a pioneer of North Alton (then known as Buck Inn or Greenwood]. Tillman owned land along State Street, and donated part of it to the village for the construction of a village hall. Tillman died in September 1907, and is buried in the St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Godfrey.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 24, 1914
Rudolph Puetz and son, Edward, will complete the remodeling of the Puetz building near the old village hall, into a theater this week, and they expect to open for business on Saturday, September 6. They have purchased a fine player-piano, have employed ushers, and have practically everything in readiness now. The amusement place is to be christened the Dreamland Theater, and the conductors expect to run from five to seven interesting reels each entertainment, and will change frequently. It is an experiment, but one, it is thought, will prove successful, as the expense will not be great compared with expense other moving picture amusement managers are under. The building is owned by the Puetz family.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 5, 1914
A large sign is being placed above the entrance of the Dreamland Theater, and it is the intention of the management to open the doors to the public this evening, if all details can be completed in time. A little vaudeville sketch will also be given.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 22, 1914
Ed Puetz has moved his family from the residence occupied by him, since his marriage, to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Puetz, at the Dreamland Theater.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 20, 1914
The repairing of the Dreamland Theater building, and the placing of additional fixtures and accessories have been completed, and the show house is again ready for business after a suspension of several days.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 27, 1914
Oscar Meyer, Joe Puetz, and the latter’s son, a resident of St. Louis, yesterday finished furnishing a house on the Puetz property in the rear of the Dreamland Theater, which will be occupied by Joseph Puetz. The son came up from St. Louis Sunday, to help erect the house for his father, and he and Oscar and the father built the residence from still to shingle on the roof in one day. It is no castle, of course, but it is a well-made, comfortable house with a kitchen, bedroom, and a parlor. Mr. Puetz will “bach” there. The house he formerly occupied was sold to Patrick Mullen, and moved by the latter to his place on the Coal Branch.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 4, 1914
The Dreamland Theater, which has been closed down for several weeks, during which extensive remodeling and improvement work was done, will reopen Thursday night. The place has been greatly improved by additions and by a liberal use of paint.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 11, 1914
Now open – Dreamland Theater. Shows Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Five thousand feet moving pictures tonight. Come see Shamus O’Brien – a 2-reel feature. Managed by Ed Puetz. In North Alton.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 15, 1915
Some remodeling work is being done to the Dreamland Theater, and the Puetz family expects to reopen the amusement place in a short time.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 9, 1915
The Dreamland Theater in the Puetz building will be opened for the summer season in a few days, according to Rudolph Puetz, the proprietor. In addition to moving pictures, vaudeville stunts will be given right along to help please the patrons.



Norside Theater, North AltonThe Norside Theater, located at 2602 State Street in North Alton (on the west side of State Street, across from W. Elm Street), and was built by Eugene K. Elfgen in 1936. Opening on July 15, 1937, the movies were Joe E. Brown in "When's Your Birthday," and Simon Simon and James Stewart in "Seventh Heaven." The Norside was managed by Joseph Desberger, who formerly managed the Gem Theater in Upper Alton. The Norside closed in 1955.

In 1956, the theater was razed by Elfgen to make way for a parking lot for the Tri-City Grocery. The grocery store’s building was owned by Mrs. Bert F. Elfgen, Eugene’s mother.


Norside Theater, North Alton - 1937









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