Construction on Rockford's Coronado Theatre began in 1926. The elaborate auditorium is designed with a combination of architectural styles. The walls are decorated with the facades of gilded Spanish and Italian style buildings. The ceiling looks like a sky filled with twinkling stars and floating clouds. On October 9, 1927, the Coronado celebrated its grand opening with the showing of the silent film. Tour Guide Director Marty Mangas says, "In the beginning it was vaudeville, silent movies and gradually as the movies came into being more and more it became totally a movie theater." That lasted until January of 1984 with the last movie scheduled in the theatre. But In 1998, the Friends of the Coronadogroup raised 18 and a half million dollars to restore and renovate the historic movie palace. Mangas says, "There are very few of these theaters left in the entire country. Originally there were over 200 built. There are fewer then 40 left and we have to try and preserve this one."
Mangas wants the Coronado to continue making history. She says, "I hope people continue collecting all of the programs and also 50 years from now we'll know what went on back at this time." The Coronadois now listed on the national register of historic places and also has state and local historic status.