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  "With 1883 as the date appearing on the front of the building, it's hard to dispute how old the structure is, but a history of Princeton High School commencements- printed in 1902 - reveals that the class of 1884 held its commencement serving as a dedication for the still uncompleted building"(1).

In the beginning mainly used as an opera hall and vaudeville stage, the first projection machine was installed around 1910. 

The Apollo Hall changed ownerships and lessee's a few times until around 1925 when Miles Fox bought the theater.


Miles Fox of Princeton was the father of Virgil Fox, the famous organist.

 "It was in this theater that the great organist did much of his practicing, both during movie productions and during the daytime hours when the theater was  dark". (1)

In 1930 the Apollo was converted into a modern movie theater by Hal Opperman and Sons (Pontiac, IL), who added apartments and offices and completely renovated the theater, foyer and lobby.

Original Building before Addition of 1930


Virgil Fox
1912- 1980







  Sublet to E.E. Alger  from Peru, the Algers  then operated the theater for more than a quarter century.

Richard Widmark
1914- 2001

During this time Richard Widmark (Academy Award nominated Actor& Princeton High school graduate 1932) worked at the Apollo as a doorman for a short period.

In 1958 Kerasotes aquired the Apollo Theater from Algers. In the 1980's the cinema was twinned by then GKC.

Bud and Katie Johnson (long time manager at the theater) bought the theater around the turn of the century, before they sold the theater to german native Joachim (Jay) Schneider and his wife Lara Kautz- Schneider (Princeton High school graduate 1989) in 2009.

  In 2012 the Apollo made the conversion from 35mm film to digital projection. Along with the 7.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound that was installed, this was the biggest investment into this Princeton Landmark, yet.



 1 Bureau County Republican October 29, 1959








Apollo Theater
455 S. Main St - Princeton, IL - 61356

owned and operated by Schneider Entertainment LLC