The cost of the building was shared by a loan from the state U.M.W.A and the Collinsville union locals. The locals voted a one percent assessment on each member to provide the sum required for their part.
On December 28, 1918, at a cost of $138,993.26, the building was open to the public. The opening ceremonies and parade were well attended not only by the miners’ locals, but by hundreds of other residents.
The Miner’s Theatre continued to prosper but the mines did not. By 1930 the coal mines had slowly started to close. Restlessness led Collinsville union locals become members of the Progressive Mine Workers. Since the loans to the U.M.W.A. had long been paid off, the Collinsville Miners owned the building and thus title was transferred to the PMW. Even though mining has died out in Collinsville, the influence of this industry and its people are felt strongly today. The miners left this building as a lasting reminder of their history.
Over the years, Miner's hosted High School Graduations, Dairyman's conventions and other such events of the day, in addition to the occasional movies being shown in the auditorium. Built in the "vaudeville" style, the auditorium hosted several traveling troupes as well.
Today, the building is closed and requires significant renovation to make it Americans with Disabilities Act accessible as well as compliant with current building codes before it can be reopened to the public.
Work that remains to reopen the theater includes building ADA compliant restrooms, adding an automatic door opener, plaster repair, insulation, HVAC repair, adding a fire alarm system with voice evacuation, electrical upgrades, and code compliant exit and egress lighting. The Miner's Institute Foundation is currently seeking monetary contributions and organized labor unions wishing to join in the project by donating their labor.
The need to preserve this remarkable structure of such historic and cultural importance is clear and evidenced by its being placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, named a Collinsville Progress Historic Landmark in 1993, and a City of Collinsville Historic Landmark in 2013. Once the theatre is restored and reopened, the City of Collinsville will once again have a cornerstone in its Uptown that will bring music, movies and live theatrical performances, be a space for meetings, weddings and exhibits, and positively impact the City and region as a whole.
Together, we can reopen Miner’s Theatre!