The Koliseum was a dance club located at 1010 N. Main St., Creve Couer, just south of East Peoria city limits on Illinois Highway 29. It was owned and operated by Sied Couri who formerly managed the Club Aladdin, located across the street, that later sold to John Pusser, brother of Buford Pusser of “Walking Tall” fame. The Club Aladdin had replaced Cathy’s 4 O’clock Club. All of these clubs held four A.M. closing licenses. 

Seid, or to most people Sy, was a Lebanese immigrant. He purchased the lot where the Koliseum sat from Peoria Brick and Tile Company on Jan. 30, 1968. The lot had previously been leased to Bob Jones’ “Working Man’s Car Dealer”. The small valley that contained the lot was created when clay was excavated from the bluff to supply raw material, for first, Spurk Brick Manufacturing Company and then F. R. Carter Brick Manufacturing Company. The later became Peoria Brick and Tile. Locals always referred to the area as “the clay pit”. Seid built his club building almost single handedly and opened the doors in 1970. The building had a seating capacity of 600 patrons and provided live entertainment. Name bands such as “Cheap Trick” and “Chicago” played there as well as Roy Orbison. 

In 1979, the Village of Creve Coeur amended their village liquor ordinance to restrict those establishments with four o’clock closings to three o’clock in 1980, two o’clock in 1981 and one o’clock in 1982. Their reasoning for this change was that the five establishments in Creve Coeur with four o’clock closings (the only ones in Tazewell County) placed an undue and expensive burden on the village police department. This new ordinance caused the demise of the Koliseum and Sy closed the club on New Year’s Day of 1982. The five establishments effected by this ordnance filed a suit against the village and a compromise was reached in March that allowed them to remain open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 2 a.m. on weekdays. Sy opened the club back up, but even with this compromise, revenue was reduced to the point the club was forced to close in 1983. 

Sy died on June 25, 1985, at the young age of 51 years and Robert Charles (Chuck) Hurst purchased the 12-acre property from Sy’s estate for $112,000 and opened “City Limits” on Oct. 17, 1987. The club contained 10,000 square feet of space and was managed by Pat Aleshire, Hurst’s sister in law. The following year the building was remodeled to offer disco complete with a lighted dance floor. When the disco market dwindled, City Limits closed in 1991. The business reopened on Oct. 30, 1992, as a teen club “The Wiz” with Hurst taking on a partner. This club, for ages 13 to 20, was themed after the “Wizard of Oz.” It contained an artificial mountain in the middle of the main dance floor where a “wizard” in a pointy Merlin style hat played recorded music. To ensure security, hats and coats had to be checked at the main door that was equipped with a metal detector. 

The Wiz was shorted lived and on Aug. 25, 1993, the facility opened as the Tazewell Bingo Center with Wayne Fliginger, Bob Hallam and another partner leasing from Hurst. The building was later sold to Union Brass and Manufacturing Company. Since only non-profit organizations can operate bingo games, the equipment was then rented to these clubs and the center retained the rent and profits from food and beverages sold. Keith Coleman purchased the business in 2008 and later the building and accompanying land. He continues to operate the business on the same format and presently seven not-for-profit organizations, including East Peoria High School Band Boosters, rent his equipment.

Compiled October 2017 by Frank Borror

 

The East Peoria Historical Society is located at 324-326 Pekin Ave. It is dedicated to the collection and preservation of local history. If anyone has information or pictures regarding East Peoria they would share please contact Frank Borror at 696-9227 or email news@eastpeoriahistoricalsociety.com.