Lakehurst comes down

posted by Michael Zoldessy on August 1, 2007 at 7:55 am

WAUKEGAN, IL — As reported earlier in the year, the Lakehurst Cinema, former largest multiplex in the country is currently being demolished.

Like a prisoner on Death Row with connections to the governor’s mansion, Lakehurst Cinema survived quite a few threats to its existence over the last decade.

But the Grim Reaper, in the form of demolition equipment, finally arrived this week.

The 12-screen multiplex, once touted as the largest of its kind in North America, started coming down in chunks Wednesday, and crews worked through a broken water main to continue taking down the structure Thursday.

You can read the full story at Suburban Chicago News.

Theaters in this post

Comments (9)

ceasar on August 1, 2007 at 2:16 pm

that was the earliest form of a mulitplex. What lead to its downfall? Poor attentance?

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 1, 2007 at 7:41 pm

I don’t know for sure, but Lakehurst Cinema was next to Lakehurst Mall. The mall really became deserted. I think this was because the bigger, newer Gurnee Mills opened nearby. The mall closed and has been torn down for some years now. I seem to remember a bowling alley nearby, but that was it. I don’t think enough people came to the area. At least that’s my guess.

“Ladies and Gentelmen, This is CINERAMA!” Lowell Thomas

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio on August 2, 2007 at 4:56 am

When multiplexes start being torn down (which has occured in our area, also), then I guess I must finally admit the day of the old-fashioned one-screen neighborhood theater is gone.

CatherineDiMartino on August 2, 2007 at 6:35 am


Don’t count the one-screen neighborhood theatres out just yet. There are a few of them that continue to do well. These include:

The Tivoli—Downers Grove
The Paramount—Kankakee
The Pickwick—Park Ridge (well, they added cinemas in another building)
The Catlow—Barrington
The Music Box (and they added screening rooms too)

There are also a number of former single-screeners, albeit cut-up into 4 screens or so, that also continue to draw well.

The Village North—Chicago
The Davis—Chicago
The Lake—Oak Park
The York—Elmhurst
The LaGrange—LaGrange
The Hub—Rochelle
The Bensenville—Bensenville

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on August 2, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Per fedoozle’s comment above, I used to live near the Hollywood Theatre in Pittsburgh. A single-screener, it was closed for many years. But now it has re-opened as a single-screener 2nd run house and has been a success!

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 6, 2007 at 1:43 pm

The Paramount—Kankakee, Illinois (also added 4 screens to the north of the original building). I went by last night and here are the movies showing (Aug 5, 2007).
June 1, 2007, Knocked Up
June 29, 2007, Ratatouille
July 11, 2007, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
July 27, 2007, I Know Who Killed Me
August 3, 2007, Under-Dog

“Gee Dad It Was A WurliTzer!”

ceasar on August 6, 2007 at 1:52 pm

I believe the mall cinemas are on the way out. From what I read on a mall retain site,old cinemas have been redone. Now the real question I have why didn’t UA Regel Group when they were at Pemberton Mall move out then and build a nicer larger multiplex? In the smaller communities outside of Jackson they have such cinemas. Yet this port doesn’t get one. What CBL & Village Entertainment did with thier feud was hurt a community as whole but damaged two movie going markets. One here and the other in smaller Lousiana communities across the Ms River. I can tell u there is deep seeded anger still over what happened. But Regel Group and Village Entertainment should’ve realize their narrow marketing niche to teen agers and blacks wasn’t working anymore. Why? The teens have been going to the better cinemas over 30 miles away.

ceasar on August 7, 2007 at 9:55 am

This morning a friend of mind ask me a real good question. What is the process that it takes to bring in a cinema/cinema chain into the marketplace? Why does it take so long? U see here it is summer and its halfway over with and still no ground isn’t broken or no annoucements of a new cinema. Well?

tube2005 on November 25, 2007 at 9:16 pm

do you have any old theater sound equipment like speaker amplifier .i pay big money and remove pay cash.773-339-9035

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