City of Pittsfield Accepting Bids on Properties, Including Historic Zoe Theater

By Benjamin Cox on December 4, 2023 at 7:52am

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

The City of Pittsfield has some property for sale in hopes of spurring some economic development.

WGEM in Quincy reports that the city has 6 properties for sale, with some being commercial property while others are zoned for residential. One of the properties is the long-vacant Zoe Theater, which the city purchased in 2004.

Located at 209 North Madison Street, the theater opened in September 1950 and closed in 1987. It features a distinct streamline facade, similar to that of the now-closed Times Theater in Jacksonville. The auditorium has both orchestra and balcony level seating in an intimate setting. Designed by Ted Dell, the building received an Annual Merit Award in Theatre Catalog‘s annual design review in 1951; it was one of thirty-six theaters nationwide and two in Illinois to earn the award.

The theater was built by Clark Armentrout of Louisiana, Missouri, who also owned the Clark Drive In in rural Summer Hill. The theater was named after Clark’s daughter.

The theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. Revitalization efforts by a group known as the Zoe Preservation Society to turn it back into a functioning movie theater has not come to fruition.

Pittsfield Mayor Gary Mendenhall told WGEM that when looking at potential buyers the City’s main focus is on what idea will give value to the area.

The properties went on the market last week and they’re accepting sealed bids until Jan. 26 2024. Those interested can submit a bid in person or by mail to The Pittsfield City Hall.