Left: Marion Townsend, Rol White, and Shawn Townsend get the Buddha ready to move out of the Museum.
One of the two existing Buddha's from the old downtown Pekin Theater was moved over the weekend from the Tazewell County Museum at Sunset Plaza to the Museum's new location inside the Arcade Building located at #15 S. Capitol St.
It is thought that one Buddha was moved to a restaurant in Champaign IL. and one ended up stored at Washington Junior High School. It was forgot about until a Janitor stumbled upon it, and the Museum was ask if they wanted it.
The Buddha is made of Plaster and is extremely fragile.
The Pekin Theater was located at # 21-#29 S. Capitol Streets. It opened on November 27th, 1928, and closed its doors in 1980. It was located about where the City Hall and Tazewell County Jail sit now. The B&F Confectionary was on the corners of S. Capitol and Elizabeth Streets and the Theater sat next to it. Across Elizabeth Street is where the Arcade building is located. So the Buddha is only 1/2 a block from where it sat from 1928 until 1980, when the Theater was torn down to make way for the City Hall and Jail buildings.
The Buddha will be on display at the Tazewell County Museum for all to see. Hours are Monday and Wednesday from 10 to 2 p.m.
Right: A photo from the Horizon issue of the Pekin Times shows the Pekin Theater next to the B&F Confectionary, which was a restaurant and Greyhound Bus Depot.
Some statistics on the Pekin Theater. It had 1,257 seats inside it. Architect for the design of the Theater was Elmer Behrns. The interior décor was in an oriental style, including ancient Chinese Pogodas and Chinese Goddess figures. Similar to other theaters of the 1920's, the ceiling "stars", delivered the atmospheric style to compliment the oriental style décor. Even the outside roof was fancied in Oriental décor. The Theater was demolished in 1987. ( Contributing to article: Cinema Treasures Website and writer Mark Lenaway)
Also Sunday the remaining large items were moved from the Sunset Hills Plaza to the downtown Arcade building location.
Left: Joel Fitzanko and Rol White remove a huge bolt from NASA from a display case.
Right: A Piano is moved out of the Museum's Sunset Hills location Sunday by Tom Woodmancy and Shawn Townsend, Ryan, and Michael Bailey.
Marion Townsend of P & M Construction provided trailers and labor for the move.
A big thanks to all those who worked to get the Museum moved!