Answers to some of the frequently asked questions at Circa '21 Dinner
- What does Circa '21 mean?
Literally translated, "circa" means "around or about
in time". Since the theatre opened originally in 1921, we thought
the name would be appropriate.
- How old is this building?
Construction on the theatre began in 1919 and was completed in 1921.
Originally a vaudeville and silent movie house, "The Fort Armstrong"
remained open as a movie theatre for over 50 years. After extensive
remodeling, Circa '21 opened in June 1977. A $225,000 renovation
was recently completed to celebrate the opening of our 25th season
as a professional dinner theatre.
- Are the performers local?
Yes and no. Circa '21 holds auditions in New York, and other major
metropolitan areas, attracting professional talent from all over
the United States. In addition, local auditions are held for every
show as well for positions on our performing wait staff...The Bootleggers.
- Is your food catered?
Absolutely not. Everything is cooked right here in our kitchen by
our chef and his very capable staff.
- What should I wear?
We do not have a dress code, however the majority of our patrons
are dressed in what might be called business casual.
- When do I have to pay for my tickets?
Payment is required in full when the reservation is made in order
to reserve your seats. We accept Mastercard, Visa, or Discover for
payment. If your party has twelve or more, please refer to the "Group
Sales" icon under "Tickets and Times" to view our
- My child will sit on my lap, do I have to buy
a ticket for him/her?
Yes. Our ticket policy states every person must have a ticket. We
do not admit children under the age of two, and those two and older
must have a ticket.
- Do you have children/student prices?
We do offer a much reduced "student rate" for those 18
and under. Listed below are a few other suggestions to help for
the maximum enjoyment of your party and those around you.
- Tell children in advance that if they have questions or need
to speak, they should whisper in your ear or wait until intermission.
- Be considerate of other guests. Take crying children out of
the theatre and don't let them wander up and down the aisles.
- Come early so you have time to stretch after sitting in the
- If you have small children, order tickets early so you can
request an aisle seat in the event that you need to make an
- Make sure to choose comfortable clothes since they will be
sitting for up to four hours.
- When should I arrive?
The majority of our customers arrive at, or about, the time the
doors open. The evening is so structured that you will feel rushed
if you arrive much later than 20 minutes after the doors open.
- Where do I park?
There are approximately 1500 on and off street parking places within
a three block radius of the theatre which provide ease in parking
for evening and weekend performances. If you are attending a matinee
performance, you may use on street parking as well. However, during
business hours, the parking meters and non-metered spaces have a
two hour limit. If you have not received a parking ticket in Rock
Island in the last calendar year, you will most likely receive a
courtesy ticket. If you don't receive the courtesy ticket, the cost
of a parking ticket is $5.00. If you choose, you may park in a city
parking lot located one block from the theatre (on the corner of
20th street and 2nd Avenue) that has ten-hour meters. The cost for
the meters is .25 per hour. For our Matinee customers we do provide
a parking pass that allows you to park in any of the two hour street
- When should I order my dessert?
Desserts and drinks are available during the dinner hour, after
the pre-show, and at intermission. Orders for drinks and desserts
after the pre-show will be taken before the preshow. Orders for
the intermission (which is the last call) will be taken before the
first act. Many of our regular guests like to enjoy an after dinner
drink before the show and dessert at intermission.
- Can I take pictures in the theatre?
Absolutely...provided you put your cameras away during the performance.
No photography is allowed during the show as it will disturb the
actors, other audience members and is an infringement on the U.S.
- How much should I tip my Bootlegger?
Many of our guests have asked for a clarification regarding tipping
at Circa '21. For purposes of determining your gratuity, we suggest
a service gratuity of approximately $2.00 per person for the dinner
portion, plus an appropriate amount based upon your dessert and
beverage check. As always, any gratuity is at your discretion and
should reflect the quality of the service you received.
- What time does the show get over?
Most shows last approximately two hours, including intermission.
Every night except Sunday, the show is generally over between 9:45
and 10:00. On Sunday the show is over between 7:45 and 8:00. Our
Wednesday matinee performance ends between 3:30 and 3:45.
- What is the balcony used for?
Our balcony is used as a storage area. The original seats from when
the theatre opened are still located in the balcony's two levels
but we never seat anyone up there.
- Do you have a severe weather policy?
As with all professional arts, theatre and sporting organizations,
our tickets are not refundable. You may move your reservation to
another day for a $5.00 service charge. We have made exchanges (excluding
the $5.00 service charge) for weather emergencies in the past if
the storm is so severe as to cause the officials to close the highways
or interstates. We do not make free exchanges on a prediction of
or after a storm. Check the weather on the day of your performance
and then call the ticket office at (309) 786-7733, extension 2,
to find out if the performances is cancelled.
- What are your ticket office hours?
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday - 10-5
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday - 10-6
Sunday - 12-4
© Copyright 2002 Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
1828 3rd. Avenue Rock Island, IL., 61201
(309) 786-7733 ext. 2