About Us

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HISTORY

The Miner's Institute Building was built in 1918 by the local coal mining unions, as a labor temple. The keystone was laid by the Kirtch Architectural firm on October 12, 1917. Each miner donated 1% of his salary for one year to the construction of the building. Total construction costs were about $90,000, in comparison a three bedroom home at the time was $3000-$4000. The building was utilized by the unions as a "home away from home". Meetings, entertainment, dances, relaxation and a place to bring their families, this was the place you came to be with your friends and co-workers. In fact, the Miner's shut down one other theatre and an opera house in town, because other unions would only support the Miner's.

MINER'S
JOURNEY

Over the years, Miner's hosted High School Graduations, Dairyman's conventions and other such events of the day, in addition to the occasional movies being shown in the auditorium. Built in the "vaudeville" style, the auditorium hosted several traveling troupes as well.

Bloomer Amusements bought the building from the Miner's Unions in the mid-late 60's and operated the building as a 2nd run movie theatre until it closed it's doors in 1984.
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MINER'S
JOURNEY

Placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and under the ownership of the Miner's Institute Foundation, years of neglect came to an end. The early MIF board prevented further deterioration and entered into a holding pattern. In 2009 the Collinsville Area Recreation District (CARD) took ownership and embarked upon a multi-phase renovation plan. After the first phase of renovation was completed in 2011, costing over $1 million, a newly elected CARD board voted to cease the project and return the building to its previous owner, the non-profit Miner’s Institute Foundation. Unfortunately, with no working heating system, the building is vulnerable to broken pipes and other serious deterioration. There are also concerns about the cost to provide ADA accessibility. The Miner’s Institute Foundation (http://historicminersinstitute.org/) is currently working hard to raise the necessary funds to put the building back in use.
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Miner's Institute Foundation

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Our VIDEOS

Community
Restoring A Legend

Series
Bus Story | Season 2

Series
Bus Story | Season 2

Series
Bus Story | Season 2

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