Mangler: There’s a lot to see at The Dixon: Historic Theatre

Yakov Smirnoff, the 1980s iconic comedian, is performing April 5 and the Dixon Municipal Band is back March 23, bringing with it some of the original band members from The Blues Brothers

Darren Mangler

Hello from The Dixon: Historic Theatre! 2024 has been a very eventful year already! We have added a new board member, hired an artistic producer, the staff has been solidified and we had a great meeting with the city of Dixon.

The feedback from the community has been tremendous. We hope they finish those new hotels soon: We’re going to be having a lot of visitors from out of town coming to see what we have going on!

Last Saturday, we had the honor to host Doug Allen Nash, who played tribute to Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. A full house singing “Sweet Caroline” nearly slid our theater down the hill into the Rock River!

We have some great events on the calendar coming up that has something for everyone! The 1980s iconic comedian, Yakov Smirnoff, is coming to Dixon on April 5! He’s been in movies with Richard Pryor and Robin Williams and has been touring for more than 30 years.

The Dixon Municipal Band is back at The Dixon on March 23 and they are bringing some of the original band members of The Blues Brothers! We’ll be showing the movie first with a Q&A after. The concert is free admission!

Many people from the area tell me that they used to go to The Dixon to see movies when they were kids. Did you know we still show movies now with a state-of-the-art laser projector and sound system? We have Cars, Bull Durham, Saving Private Ryan and many more on our calendar. Only $5 and a full concession stand with beer, wine and High Noon.

On April 13 we will be showing “The Longest Yard (2005)” starting with a conversation with an actor from the movie, which was me. I will be telling hilarious stories from the set from auditions to wrap party, how the actors were, how the professional wrestlers caused havoc, how the athletes wanted to play for real, how I broke my hand and what Adam Sandler did to keep us all entertained.

We have Motor City – Motown Review coming to us from Detroit! Tickets are going fast for this one so get yours soon! The costumes alone are going to be worth the price of admission.

We are adding more and more shows all the time. Please follow us on our socials to keep updated.

We’ve been talking to patrons the last few shows and we’re delighted that most go out to dinner first, here in Dixon. Many went out for a post-show drink at one of the many fun bars here in town as well. We love being a part of the community and supporting all the local businesses in the area. The next time you come to one of our shows, check out the local food and boutique stores that Dixon has to offer. There is an entire website dedicated to all the parks in Dixon. We say, make it A Day in Dixon!

I’ve been working here for three weeks and one thing I have noticed is how much everyone likes the theater. We truly hope that we can continue to find shows that will make you want to come back.

We’d love your input. With our Revival 2025 Season, we’d love to find out what kind of shows you’d like to see. Major musicals, country bands, comedians, circus acts, children shows, and anything in between. Just send us a message on our website, Facebook or Instagram accounts to throw us your ideas! TikTok coming soon!

Some of the ideas that we have are to host an independent film festival with hundreds of movie-makers coming to town to celebrate their films and win laurels. We’d also like to host world premier plays and musicals. We’re also looking to have classes for acting, sketch writing, screenwriting, auditions for stage and screen and stand-up comedy for all ages. We’d love our theater to be helping the arts seven days a week.

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to fishing in the Rock River. I grew up in Savanna and did plenty of Mississippi River fishing. After finding out that Dixon is the Catfish Capitol of Illinois, I must test this designation.

Thanks for reading all the way through and we’ll see you at The Dixon!

Darren Mangler is The Dixon: Historic Theatre’s artistic producer.