Rockford’s Coronado Theatre a favorite stop for performers

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The Coronado Theatre’s 2,300 seat venue has drawn big names in music, comedy and Broadway shows, selling out time and time again. The size, and accessibility to an airport, makes it a favorite stop for performers.

“Growing up in Rockford and seeing all the changes, positive and negative, it’s great to see that it can still draw big names,” said Rockford resident Susan Schaffer.

Famed comedian Jerry Seinfeld makes his return to the Coronado on Friday night. He’s among a variety of shows coming to Rockford, joining the likes of Alice Cooper and the comedy show “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

“The intimate setting that the Coronado provides, it enhances the experience that you’re going to have,” said Troy Flynn, Executive Director for Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment (RAVE).

The building itself has a look that takes you back to an era of sophistication and elegance when you walk in the door.

“The Coronado is a ‘wow’ factor when you walk in,” Flynn said. “You walk into the lobby and you automatically are kind of overwhelmed with the uniqueness of the venue.”

The ornate detail in the decor extends from the ceiling to the carpets and everything in-between.

The venue seems like it’s made for orchestras and operas, but it has housed a variety of acts, from Bone Thugs N Harmony to Brad Paisely.

“There is such an eclectic taste in this area, having musicals, having plays, having big bands, having rap, having R&B, having country… all of it is really great for the area, ’cause you can draw all different kinds of people,” Schaffer says.

Flynn says variety is something that he strives for.

The theater’s staff makes sure each artist or group performing is relaxed and comfortable before, during and after shows.

Flynn also makes sure they get a taste of the town.

“The bakeries here, with special cakes and cupcakes and sock monkeys and a lot of the fun things that make Rockford a fun place to live,” Flynn said.

Flynn is looking ahead to engage the next generation that will be going to the Coronado and looking to attract YouTube sensations, social influencers and even gamers to come out to the theater.

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