Fischer Arts & Entertainment Museum
Thursday - Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
(E-mail us to arrange for special tours outside these hours.)
Suggested donation - $5/adults and $2/under 12 and over 60.
And don't forget to visit Stage Presents, the Fischer Theatre Gift Shop, before you leave for souvenirs of your visit or great gift ideas made by Danville area artisans.
Danville, Illinois, has been called home by many of the greats of the entertainment world. In fact, a day doesn't go by that someone in the world isn't watching or listening to the work of one of our wonderful entertainers.
Danville native and torch singer, Helen Morgan (1900–1941), sang her way into fans hearts from atop a piano as a star in Ziegfeld's Follies and as the original Julie in multiple stage and film incarnations of Edna Ferber's Showboat.
From Robinson Street in Danville to the New York Social Register, Bobby Short (1924–2005) was a child star, a recording artist with 19 albums and a celebrated cabaret singer for over 35 years at the elite Cafe Carlyle in Manhattan.
Donald O'Connor (1925–2003) was born on the road with his family's Vaudeville act, but came "home" to Danville to visit his father's family between shows. Whether it was - playing Vaudeville as a baby, starring in movies with Bing Crosby at age 12, melting hearts as a teen idol during WWII, dancing across the screen of the greatest musical of all time, Singin' in the Rain, starring in his own variety show in the early days of television or playing summer stock with Mickey Rooney at age 65 – Donald O'Connor was a consummate entertainer.
Since 1961 families have laughed along with Rob Petrie, his family and his co-workers in The Dick Van Dyke Show – still in syndication today. In addition to three popular television shows, including the long-running Diagnosis Murder, Dick Van Dyke will forever enthrall children through his role as Bert the Chimney Sweep in Mary Poppins and as Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But Dick first stepped on stage in his hometown of Danville.
One of the Fischer Theatre's former managers went on to make a movie or two of his own – well actually, 79 – earning Academy Awards and the Golden Globe's Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Gene Hackman grew up in Danville before becoming a top Hollywood box office star for four decades with hits including: The French Connection, Poseidon Adventure, Reds, Hoosiers, Unforgiven, The Birdcage, Runaway Jury, Behind Enemy Lines, etc., etc., etc.
Jerry Van Dyke started out making his classmates laugh in our schools and went on to make people everywhere laugh through television and movies earning four consecutive Emmy Award nominations for his role as Luther Van Dam in television's Coach.