Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Sharon Theater - 39th Anniversary

Pictured: The Sharon Theatre was located at 149 South Washington Street, Bunker Hill.  today, common Grounds is at that location. (circa 1950)

From the Gazette-News September 13, 1973

Mr. & Mrs. T.A. Baker to Observe 39th Anniversary in the Theatre Business

Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Baker will be celebrating their 39th year in the theatre business in Bunker Hill, Saturday, September 15.  The date will also be their 40th wedding anniversary.

The Bakers operated the Lincoln Theatre uptown on Warren Street for 11 years.  After the tornado in 1948, the Sharon Theatre was constructed, opening in 1949, where it is now located.  The theatre was named after their daughter, Sharon.

Pictured: Lincoln Theatre Advertisement - 1938

Over the years, the Bakers have employed a number of boys, many of whom they lost to the service and they hear from them from time to time.

In reminiscing, they told of the struggles they have encountered during the depression years starting a new business.  Admission was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children, which was hard for people to pay in those days.  They also had 10 cent nights, bank nights, and various stage shows through the years.

Pictured: Lincoln Theatre with Santa Claus.  Tom and Addie Baker owned the Lincoln Theatre on East Warren St. until they built the new Sharon theatre on the NE corner of South Washington and East Hamilton.

Mrs. Davenport's Circus played there for two weeks with lions, wrestling bears, and trapeze artists.  Many vaudeville acts that were traveling through the country also performed.

The first motion picture show shown by the Baker's was "Magnificent Obsession" which was remade several times.

The American Legion and the schools held plays in the theatre and during the war years, benefit performances were held for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Will Rogers Hospital, which is still in operation.

The Bakers are natives of Bunker Hill and they are parents of one daughter, Sharon.

Pictured: Sharon Theatre on the NE corner of South Washington and East Hamilton St in 1976.  Original Owners were Tom and Addie Baker who sold it to Sherman Mason in the early to mid 70's.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, June 11, 2020.

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