BELLEVILLE, Ill. — The Lincoln Theater, which has been a Main Street Belleville staple for 100 years, will welcome big-name artists to the stage in the weeks ahead — from Colin Hay to Wynonna Judd.
“We celebrated our 100th anniversary in October last fall, so I say everything we do is part of celebrating our 100th anniversary,” Lincoln Theater owner Dave Schoenborn said.
The theater started as a vaudeville showcase and turned into a place where people flocked for movies. It also hosts live concerts.
“We’ve had alternative rock here – the sponge, the Verve Pipe, and we’ve got Men at Work frontman Colin Hay bringing his solo tour here,” Schoenborn said.
The Lincoln Theater isn’t the only music scene on Main Street in Belleville. Several companies have banded together to bring singer-songwriter solos and full bands to the area.
“We started a few months ago,” said Conni Tilley, president of Venue on Main. “We named it Live Music Row. Basically what we do is bring all the live music for every location downtown and post it on the Live Music row website and Facebook page, so people can see all the bands playing on Thursday night or any night they come here.
Renae Eichholz is the owner of the Copper Fire bar and restaurant. She said she believed downtown Belleville had become a social entertainment district.
“I think we help contribute to that atmosphere,” Eichholz said. “I know that when the Lincoln has a concert, we are extremely busy with food. We have a gig coming up where the tribute band is having an after-party at our house. So just a lot of synergy between all of us. I want nothing more than good things for our downtown and our community, and I think it’s a great way to bring people to Belleville and have a great experience.
The synergy of songs draws audiences to Lincoln, Copper Fire, and Venue on Main, among others.
“We need a small venue in the St. Louis metro area, and at that size I can bring in some of the biggest names,” Schoenborn said. “I have about 500 seats, so you are always very close. You are always in the VIP section of any stadium, even when you are last row here.
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