Lincoln Village 1-6 to close

posted by Paul Fortini on October 5, 2007 at 9:50 am

CHICAGO, IL — In a move that perhaps surprises no one, Village Entertainment’s Lincoln Village 1-6 will close soon, possibly as early as this week.

It was the only cinema remaining in West Rogers Park.

The theater is closing, according to Village CEO Ron Rooding because of a lease dispute over the parking lot, which is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Last March, the district prohibited theater patrons from parking in the by installing concrete barricades in the parking lot between the theater building and the Chicago River. The barricades also blocked access to the Lincoln Village Car Wash, which will also close.

“Without parking, I can’t sustain my business,” Rooding said. Theatre patrons were also prohibited from parking in the lot of the adjacent Lincoln Village Shopping Plaza and were instead directed to park their cars in the Home Depot lot across the street.

Rooding said that during the three years that Rooding has owned the movie theater, rent for the theater and car wash almost doubled.

The lot was reappraised in 2006 as a developed property for $8 million. The appraisal was based on an Illinois statute that permits the district to annually adjust rent on properties owned by the district, which are not required for sanitation purposes.

The law also gives leeway to the district to provide a fixed annual rental payment of not less than 6 percent of the fair market value, although the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board policy dictates 10 percent of the appraisal value, raising the theater and car wash’s combined rent to $800,000 annually. Rooding said that the district put the car wash and theater, and all the other little businesses out of business.

However, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terry O'Brien said it was the lessee’s responsibility to maintain the parking lot and the theater refused to repair the lot.

Built in 1988-1989 to a standardized design used by Cineplex-Odeon at the time, it featured a brown or tan exterior and zig-zag patterns on the walls. Cineplex-Odeon built several theatres in Chicagoland to this design, yet they were remarkably short-lived. Others included the Burnham and the Bricktown. The theatre was originally intended to supplement rather than replace the original Lincoln Village Theatre.

Comments (12)

CinemarkFan on October 5, 2007 at 12:31 pm

“Rooding said that during the three years that Rooding has owned the movie theater, rent for the theater and car wash almost doubled.”

Mr. Rooding, your corporation has operated LV for almost TWO years, not three.

Paul, I wish some of these CO’s from 1988-1990 could be saved. Pretty soon, the history of it will vanish. After this bites the dust, only the Bloomingdale Ct, Rivertree, North Riverside, and River Oaks 1-6 will remain.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 5, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Cinemark Fan,

I was quoting an article in the local paper. The paper may have given the incorrect amount of time that Village has operated the LV 1-6.

Are these Cineplex-Odeon theatres from the 1980s really worth saving? For some, they were the nadir of cinema design—totally standardized and bland. As I’ve said before, this design fell out of vogue after 1990 because audiences wanted a return to some atmosphere and ambiance (if not on a level from the picture palace days), wide screens, and amenities. Even C-O abandonded this design by the 1990s and the few the company constructed here in Chicagoland (the 3 ICE theatres—two of which are now closed, and the Quarry/Hodgekins) were are of a far different design.

Very soon, I think that the RO 1-6 will be the last because, from what I’ve heard, the Bloomingdale Court and the North Riverside are not doing well either. And Keresotas will likely close the Rivertree Court once they open a new theatre in Vernon Hills.

And yet, oddly enough, Keresotas is extensively renovating the Webster Place—not a C-O design though—which is another late 1980s cinema.

CinemarkFan on October 5, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Oh, the part where I said two years was directed towards Ron Rooding, head of Village Theatres.

I just like the history behind some of those CO’s. For me, Cineplex Odeon 1988-1990 signifies a time in which it was much more easier to see a movie. (lower ticket prices, just movie trailers instead of 7 minutes of ads before trailers) And those designs weren’t bad ether. Granted, some of them were like you said, standardized. But it really looked good on some of them like McClurg Ct, River Oaks 1-6, Lincoln Village etc… Nowadays, the retro feel of some CO’s (or late 80s M&R’s) are lost. Now I can tell you some new theaters that bring back that retro feeling for me, Showplace @ Golf Mill( Kerasotes’s best!), Lansing Cinema 8, Cinemark @ Melrose or Seven Bridges. Even River East has that kind of atmosphere (altough expensive).

I’ll post more in a few.

I’ll post mo

CinemarkFan on October 5, 2007 at 10:28 pm

Anyway, I just want movie theaters to get back to the simple days of moviegoing, and being at a former M&R or CO (mainly RO 1-6) give me that feeling. You know, the kind of place with a lobby that doesn’t look like the mothership. And that’s probably why I like the new Golf Mill so much. That is one place that’s not too big, not too small. And the interior is the best Kerasotes has done so far. And if the Kerasotes Roosevelt Collection is designed like that, then that place will be dynamite.

Anyway, my hat goes off to the people at Kerasotes who decided to renovate Webster Place, a former M&R. I hope to get down there to see how it’s coming along. Now maybe Kerasotes or Classic Cinemas could pick up the Norridge and remodel it. I’ve heard that auditorium 1 at the Norridge is really big.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 5, 2007 at 10:36 pm

Cinemark Fan,

I also often wonder what went wrong with the cinemas that C-O built in the 1980s. Perhaps changes were coming down the pike? Perhaps 6 screens became too small to be profitable? Did C-O build just too many at different locations instead of larger cinemas at fewer locations? The best example I can think of was the Bricktown, a cinema that SHOULD have given stiff competition to the Norridge and SHOULD have been successful. Built in 1989, by 1993 it had become very scuzzy or so I’ve heard. Then circa 1998 Meridien took over and then it closed a year or so after that. The Grove in Downers Grove not only closed after only 15 years, it was demolished.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on October 6, 2007 at 9:48 am

The problem with Bricktown seems to be centered around location. I worked in Elmwood Park at one time, and one of my co-workers would always call Brickyard Mall the “Spic-yard” and talk about how people got assaulted over there.

Now, I don’t know if there was actually a ton of crime. It could have been a cultural, us vs. them kind of thing. But either way a divide existed.

Broan on October 6, 2007 at 1:47 pm

I don’t know that it was a standardized design- I don’t think I’ve seen any other freestanding 2 story C-Os. The interior was mostly standard though.

Don’t forget the 600 N Michigan was another C-O built to a different design, although it’s been extensively remodeled since.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 6, 2007 at 4:12 pm


The Burnham was sort of similar to the LV. The brickwork was (is?) similar in color. Plus it was a three story (I believe). It was not free-standing though.

Broan on October 6, 2007 at 4:20 pm

They really didn’t look alike on the outside, though. Clearly the same architects but hardly standard.

alex35mm on October 6, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Another late Odeon design (and one of there last) is the Old Orchard 7-13 (Formerly just the Old orchard Gardens). Frankly the big leafs creep me out a bit.

mpahr on October 10, 2007 at 12:52 pm

I went to see Resident Evil and it was an enjoyable experience. The show was clean and the screen was big.

ceasar on October 10, 2007 at 1:01 pm

This sounds very similar to the closing Pemberton Cinema 4 here in Vickshsurg. U see Village Entertainment got into a feud with CBL Associates who owns and the leases the property. When the two got into the feud over the high rent—CBL shut down the cinema here. But the water lease sounds ominously similar.
Now the employees of Pemberton Cinema 4 under Village Entertainment didn’t care of the property. Like the cinema up there,Pemberton Four is outdated too. It would be better to make a store out of it rather another cinema to be honest.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment