During the 1920s and 30s, Downtown Momence became a popular destination for tourists seeking respite and relaxation in nearby Island Park. Downtown Momence grew to its largest extent by the 1920s with commercial development centered primarily at the Washington Street and Dixie Highway intersection and along River Street just north of the Kankakee River. Development consisted largely of two-story masonry buildings housing a range of businesses from dry goods, drugs, and clothing stores to bakeries, barbershops, liveries and jewelry stores. Tanneries, commercial laundries, warehouses, and printing and bottling plants were mostly located along River Street. Downtown Momence also boasted three full service banks and the Momence Theater, which operated as a first-run movie house until the early 1950s when it closed.
Black box theaters became popular and widespread particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, during which low-cost experimental theater was being actively practiced as never before.
It would turn Momence into a destination place and would help spur the rehab of the other 100+ year old buildings that make up the historic downtown district.
The Momence Theatre and Community Arts Center is dedicated to enriching the lives of the citizens of Momence and the surrounding communities through the presentation of quality cinematic and artistic performances. We are committed to the operation and management of the Momence Theatre and Community Arts Center; the presentation of a variety of events, education, and community involvement programs to support, enhance and expand appreciation for the arts.
Momence Theater building is currently used for retail spaces but bringing it back as a theater use could be feasible.
Downtown Momence is just 55 miles south of Chicago and not more than 15 miles from Kankakee — the community needs to capitalize on its location.The restoration of the Momence Theater will serve as a spark plug for renewed interest in the downtown area. Art and Entertainment events can draw people downtown and increase economic activity in a variety of business categories. These events can attract people downtown who normally would not visit.
The more versatile the design and the bigger variety of events we can use the theater for, the better chance of it being a successful venture and the destination point we are attempting to create.
Community Center, Fashion Show, Lecture Hall, Business Meetings
Concerts, School Recitals, Dance Recitals, Solos
Charites and Special Occations
Momence Theater will make family events such as wedding receptions and college graduations unforgettable. Charity events will be well organized in a establishment such as this.