In 1926 M.E. Gillioz, built the Gillioz Theatre at a
total building cost of $300,000 dollars. M. E. Gillioz
was a road and bridge builder from Monett, Missouri,
known throughout the state as a flamboyant
character and businessman. He traveled from one
construction project to the next in his chauffeured
Dusenberg, stopping to swap stories with the workers,
and often offering a drink from the fully equipped bar
in the trunk of his car.
M.E. Gillioz wanted to build his theatre in Springfield,
Missouri to front St. Louis Street, a part of the soon to
be designated Route 66, but there was no building site
available. Instead he purchased a site on Olive Street,
one block away, built his theatre to fill the entire city
block and signed a 100-year lease on a 25-foot wide
store front on St. Louis that backed up to his new
auditorium. This narrow storefront became the lobby
to the theatre and remained under separate ownership
until the entire package was donated to the
Landmarks Preservation Trust.
|The Gillioz Theater Returns
The Gillioz Theater has stood as a beautiful monument in Downtown Springfield since the mid
1920's. Today after over 15 years of renovation it still stands as a monument not only to the man
who built it, but as a monument to the future of the City of Springfield and it's citizens. Take a
little side trip on Tom's Springfield Tour and take a look at the life of this wonderful building.
|The Grand Hallway from the St. Louis street entrance looking toward the auditorium a half a block to the north.
From the opening day until it's closing in the early
1980's, many, many people passed by this ticket
booth. Many came here on their first date and
viewed the movies from the privacy of the balcony.
In the picture below it's estimated that 4000 people
(four times it seating capacity) awaited their turn to
visit the theater