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The Miner's Institute: Collinsville, IL



The name of this theater is a literal recollection of the once vibrant coal mining industry in Collinsville, Illinois. The first local mine was sunk in 1857, and by 1886 one could walk underground through mine works from one side of Collinsville to the other.

It was the miners who first raised the idea of constructing a community theater building. In 1916, members of the United Mine Workers of America Local 264 expressed the need for a building to house both a union hall and a public theater. Each member of the union forfeited a portion of their paycheck to fund the building . Completed in 1918, it was considered a large theater and cultural institution for a city of its size at the time. It remains a monument to the people and industry that once dominated the area.


Matthew Dickey

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