Smile Politely

This retrospective on the Co-Ed Theatre in Campustown is wonderful

The Champaign County History Museum is known for really doing a great job preserving and presenting the history of our community. This week, they published a very comprehensive retrospective about the Co-Ed Theatre that once sat in the heart of Campustown on the north side of Green St. between 6th and Wright. Today, it’s where McDonald’s, a Subway, Spoon House Korean Tacos, and other businesses sell food, below a six story tower of apartments. 

Take a look at the story here

My best memory of going to a movie there was in the summer of 1990, when my parents let my brother escort me on our bikes to Green St. We hit Record Service and Space Port and probably ate lunch at Zorba’s or McDonald’s (which literally was a stand alone restaurant just next to the Co-Ed in the middle of Green St. — you can see the remnants in the above photo but it had already closed and converted to a Chinese buffet by the time this picture was taken) and then my brother and his friends decided that they were going to try to get into see Die Hard 2, a summer blockbuster of monumental reputation, even though they were all just freshmen in high school and like 13 or 14 years old. I joined them, because, what else was I gonna do? 

Walked up to the ticket counter, and if my memory serves, dude was just like “Here ya go” and we waltzed in. I was 10. I think now, looking back, I realize that he was just a minimum wage employee, likely baked to the core on Thai stick, or whatever decent weed was around campus at that time. 

Anyhow, we didn’t tell my parents, and it was absolutely awesome. I ate Sno-caps, and drank soda pop, basked in the glow of the cinema screen, watching John McClane yet again save Christmas from the terrorists. Two years in a row for that guy, who’d have guessed? 

I miss the Co-Ed. 

Here is a picture from way back in the day via the article: 

Photo above courtesy of Urbana Free Library Archives 

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