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THE HEART THEATRE
On the Courthouse Square in Effingham, IL
WHO WE ARE
According to Cinema Treasures, the Heart Theatre was built inside what had formerly been a garage and opened in January 1940.
The art deco marquee and exterior was designed by Springfield architect Carl T. Meyer, pictured above, and the interior was designed (possibly) by Charles Dawson. The Heart originally contained 750 seats, but this number was downsized to 500 by Frisina Amusement Co. in the 1970’s.
For decades the property was owned and operated by Mike Stephens. The theatre closed around 2002, reopened in 2003 and was closed again in 2007.
The building was left to the mercy of the elements and vandals until it was purchased by former Effingham native Tad Sligar. Sligar, a Boeing engineer and investor, now a resident of Hendersonville, TN, bought the aging property after its 2007 closing with the idea he might return to Effingham one day and operate it as a bar and entertainment arcade. Sligar was able to spare the building the worst of the outdoor elements with multiple repairs and as his career required moves further away, Sligar decided to place the property for sale in 2017-18.
Over the years several individuals and organizations have been interested in saving the Heart from further deterioration. We are so grateful to everyone who has ever shared in this desire...we stand on your shoulders and want you to be a part of the next steps in seeing The Heart come to life again!
As of Summer 2022, The Heart was purchased by a former Effingham resident who plans to donate it to a nonprofit for the benefit of the community.
WAYS WE HELP
Preserving the Future
EDUCATION & INCLUSION
Helping the Community
DOWNTOWN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
One Step at a Time
CONTACT THE HEART THEATRE
133 E. Jefferson St.
Effingham, IL 62401
If there is an emergency with the physical property, please contact us at either 217-663-1102 or 407-619-3862.