In tribute to both the original Illinois Whiskey Barons, the “royalty of the river city”, and a centuries-old fame attributed to the high expectations of the Peoria audiences, we proudly present the Monarch Music Hall.
An exciting entertainment venue shining brightly across The River City and it’s surrounding areas. Between 1837 and 1919, Peoria boasted no less than 24 breweries and 73 distilleries. It was widely regarded as the “Whiskey Capital of the World”. Wealthy distillers and brewers used their vast fortunes to build the ornate and luxurious Orpheum and Palace theaters. The audiences that filled those halls became famous for their classically high expectations for live entertainment.
So notorious were these audiences, that the Groucho Marx quip “Will it play in Peoria?” became known coast-to-coast as an industry mantra for quality. The golden era of Peoria’s liquor industry came to an end in 1919 with the dawn of Prohibition, and although the likes of Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, Phil Collins and Metallica all still fine-tuned and launched world tours from here before the turn of the millennium, Peoria has sadly become over-looked by much of the music world.
Those days are ending… The Monarch Music Hall vows to restore Peoria to its rightful position on the music scene in Central Illinois and beyond. We promise to serve our patrons and community with diverse artists in a comfortable environment. Along with its royal sibling The Castle Theatre in Bloomington, these two venues will once again rule in a storied land of historic entertainment dignity.