Wildey Theatre: A Performing Arts Landmark Since 1909

 In Culture, Guide

Edwardsville is a complex combination of old and new. As the third-oldest city in Illinois—it was established around 1812, six years before Illinois became a state—it’s justifiably proud of its heritage.

But it’s also an increasingly attractive option for homebuyers looking for a relatively low cost of living and easy commute into St. Louis. There are both challenges and synergies to this growth. A case in point: The Wildey Theatre, which closed as a full-time movie theater in 1984 and was later acquired and renovated by the city. Now the 1909 opera house hosts national touring bands as well as local artists from Erin Bode to the Jeremiah Johnson Band—and it offers $2 Tuesday screenings of classics like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Hocus Pocus.”

In addition to the 325-seat theater, the Wildey features two floors of special event spaces. The smaller second-floor room was originally an intimate theater, while the third floor—designed as a meeting hall for the Independent Order of Oddfellows—is a beautifully restored ballroom, complete with hardwood floors and a ceiling dome. Both spaces are popular for community arts events and rentals like yoga sessions, corporate meetings, daddy-daughter dances and weddings.

[Editor’s note: Please check the Wildey Theatre’s website and social media pages to learn more about its show schedule, as many events have been rescheduled due to COVID-19.]

Wildey Theatre: A Performing Arts Landmark Since 1909

While you’re in the neighborhood …

Edwardsville Arts Center
As the community’s visual arts headquarters, the center offers classes for kids and adults plus events, exhibits and camaraderie.

6165 Center Grove Road

Edwardsville Children’s Museum
The 17-year-old museum is a Metro East magnet for curious learners, with exhibits and programming for infants to tweens.

Good Weather Gallery
Since opening in the fall of 2019, Good Weather has displayed works by some of the area’s most engaging local artists.

This story originally appeared in Guided: Edwardsville, available now in a digital issue.

Images courtesy of Carmen Troesser.

Wildey Theatre: A Performing Arts Landmark Since 1909

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