Happy 40th Birthday – Norridge!

posted by CinemarkFan on July 2, 2010 at 8:00 am

Written & Compiled by Tamir Sharif (aka CinemarkFan)

Times change, and places come and go. But the Norridge Theater is a survivor.

NORRIDGE, IL — On June 26th 1970, M & R Amusements opened the Norridge, a then two screen theater located 5 blocks from the Harlem-Irving Plaza (H.I.P for short) in northwest suburban Norridge, Illinois. This theater quickly became a northwest side institution that has now outlived its predecessors that were once in the surrounding areas, such as the Mercury, Golf Mill, Lawrencewood (aka Niles Square), and Old Orchard (the ladder two being fellow M&R theatres). It has also outlived the Harlem Outdoor Theater, which stood directly across the street from the H.I.P. That opened 24 years before the Norridge, and closed in 1976. That is now the site of a busy strip-mall.

As a movie theater, 40 years in the business is no small feat, especially in this day and age, when you hear of megaplexes closing after a few years. Take the AMC Grand in Dallas, which is closing after 15 years operating. Or the Empire 20 in San Bernardino, which lasted just 8 years.

The Norridge didn’t make it to 40 years with just two screens. Around 1973-74, M&R added a third screen in the building. And by late 1976/early 1977, it became a four screener. 1977 was a memorable year for the theater, because Star Wars began a 27 week run (in 35mm) here on June 17th. I may be wrong, but that might be the longest run a movie has ever had here.

Around 1981-82 it became a 5 screener. Now here’s where it gets convoluted; it not too long after 1984, the building had 6 screens (and this side still does). But looking at ads from early 1986, it operated as a 7 screener. In 1987, M&R built 4 screens in another building next to the original. While this should’ve made it an 11 screener, it now had 10 screens. Perhaps they un-twined a screen the original building during the 1987-88 remodel?

In the later part of 1988, this theater along with the rest of M&R was bought by Loews, and then it became a part of Loews-Cineplex ten years later. In 2006, AMC took over after acquiring LC. The change in management hasn’t been too kind to the place, as it is in many ways, outdated compared to other state of the art multiplexes that have opened up in nearby suburbs, such as the Cinemark in Melrose Park, the Showplace 12 in Niles, or the Muvico in Rosemont. It’s less-than stellar appearance could be in fault of AMC, which has let many former Loews-Cineplex locations get run down. And being four decades old with no stadium seating, or 3-D projection, it may not fit in AMC’s business model.

It was recently threatened with closure/demolition when Costco announced plans for a store in the surrounding property. This land included Maurice Lennell cookies, which closed because of the announcement. Since then, Costco has moved on from their plans at Norridge, and is now looking to build on the site of Kiddieland in Melrose Park.

This announcement could mean good news for its future, but it would need a major remodel to keep up with the times. Not having stadium seating isn’t a death knell, but it’s a great cover story for money men who would want to replace the ‘old’ with what they see fit. But for now, it has made it to 40 years. It is a multiplex without having been torn down & rebuilt, it has shown movies (some in 70mm) that are now classics, and it has been around for 8 presidencies. What an accomplishment!

AMC could let the lease run out and close it this year or next, who knows. But for now, happy birthday! And here’s hoping that if AMC doesn’t remodel or close it, another operator can take the keys and give it a major makeover.

35mm presentations at the Norridge

The following films opened here on the dates listed. Some are considered classics. Readers may find that a few of these films however, are classics for the wrong reasons.

8/27/71 – Klute
10/1/71 —– McCabe and Ms. Miller
8/17/73 —– Westworld
12/21/73 —– The Laughing Policeman
1/17/74 —– Murder on the Orient Express
10/11/74 – Chinatown
10/17/75 —– Three Days of the Condor
2/27/76 —– Taxi Driver
6/25/76 —– The Omen
3/25/77 —– Slap Shot
4/1/77 —– Black Sunday
6/10/77 —– Rollercoaster (in Sensurround)
6/17/77 —– Star Wars (27 week engagement)
6/24/77 —– Sorcerer
12/16/77 —– Saturday Night Fever
10/25/78 —– Halloween
2/9/79 —– The Warriors
9/28/79 —– The Onion Field
9/28/79 —– When a Stranger Calls
5/9/80 —– Friday the 13th
6/20/80 —– The Blues Brothers
11/21/80 —– Shogun Assassin
6/4/82 —– Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
6/11/82 —– E.T.
7/9/82 —– The Thing
9/17/82 —– Pink Floyd: The Wall
4/15/83 – Flashdance
10/21/83 —– Rumble Fish
12/9/83 – Scarface
6/22/84 —– The Karate Kid
10/26/84 —– The Terminator
11/16/84 —– A Nightmare on Elm Street
12/5/84 —– Beverly Hills Cop
2/15/85 —– The Breakfast Club
5/3/85 —– Gymkata (you can guess why this is a classic)
5/22/85 —– Rambo: First Blood Part II
11/1/85 —– To Live and Die in L.A
11/1/85 —– Death Wish 3
11/27/85 —– Rocky IV
3/6/87 —– Lethal Weapon
6/12/87 —– Predator
12/11/87 —– Wall Street
12/18/87 —– Leonard: Part 6
7/20/88 —– Die Hard
10/7/88 —– Alien Nation
10/7/88 —– Tougher Than Leather
12/16/88 —– Rain Man
5/19/89 —– Road House
6/11/93 —– Jurassic Park (DTS sound)
8/6/93 —– The Fugitive
10/14/94 —– Pulp Fiction
9/22/95 —– Seven
12/15/95 – Heat
12/19/97 —– Titanic

70mm presentations at the Norridge

The Norridge played a good number of 70mm engagements, some of which are listed below

*Means unconfirmed 70mm presentation. This is due to the ad for a particular film advertising it in 70mm, but the directory for the theater not listing it in the format.

5/25/79 —– Alien (anamorphic blow-up)
5/21/80 —– The Empire Strikes Back (anamorphic blow-up)
6/12/81 —– Raiders of the Lost Ark (anamorphic blow-up)
12/17/82 —– The Dark Crystal (anamorphic blow-up)
9/30/83 —– Brainstorm (Super Panavision 70 & spherical blow-up)
10/21/83 —– The Right Stuff (spherical blow-up)
5/23/84 —– Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (anamorphic blow-up)
6/8/84 —– Ghostbusters (anamorphic blow-up)
12/7/84 —– 2010 (anamorphic blow-up)
12/14/84 —– Dune (anamorphic blow-up)
7/18/86 —– Aliens (spherical blow-up)
11/26/86 —– Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (anamorphic blow-up)
6/3/87 —– The Untouchables (anamorphic blow-up)
5/20/88 —– Willow
(anamorphic blow-up)
5/24/89 —– Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (anamorphic blow-up)
6/23/89 —– Batman (spherical blow-up)
6/15/90 —– Dick Tracy (spherical blow-up)
6/15/90 —– Gremlins 2: The New Batch (spherical blow-up)
12/11/91 – Hook (anamorphic blow-up)
5/28/93 —– Cliffhanger (anamorphic blow-up)


Michael Coate (for info on the Star Wars engagement at Norridge), Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers and microfilm ads.

Share your memories/thoughts & opinions on the Norridge below.

Theaters in this post

Comments (46)

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on July 4, 2010 at 6:39 am

Too bad Kerasotes got out of the cinemz biz so quickly. Imagine what they could have done to this place had they remodeled ala the Webster Place (another former M&R).

Speaking of which, betcha Regal runs the Webster Place into the ground.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Great list of movies thanks for listing them many I played at the theatres I worked and had forgotten.“Laughing Policeman"was certainly no comedy. Oh,For the good old days.

chansara905 on November 12, 2017 at 1:16 am

Best work you have done, this online website is really cool with great facts.How To Ride A Guy

AsharSeo on March 20, 2018 at 2:09 am

Focus on needed very effective affiliate business how you can keep within managing strategies good for your good web-based provider. alertpayloja de aparelhos auditivos

sowabi on March 22, 2018 at 12:31 am

This is an incredible moving article.I am essentially satisfied with your great work.You put truly extremely accommodating data… click this site

sowabi on March 24, 2018 at 1:53 am

Play Book of Ra Classic and variants along with more than 400 Slot machines by Novoline, Netent, and Microgaming without registration!https://www.play-book-of-ra-online.com/

sowabi on March 24, 2018 at 4:54 am

The data you have posted is extremely valuable. The destinations you have alluded was great. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing… local business directory listing

sowabi on March 25, 2018 at 12:22 am

A debt of gratitude is in order for this article extremely supportive. much appreciated. Twin VEW

AsharSeo on March 25, 2018 at 11:49 pm

The processor or CPU is the brains of the laptop or computer – it does most of the calculations your game titles need to operate (with the video clip card carrying out most of the graphics function). With it staying these kinds of an essential component, you would instinctually go for the fastest – and most high priced – processor you could discover, but there is a far better substitute to blowing funds on anything that will be obsolete in a yr: getting a processor that will play tomorrow’s online games at a minimal amount is the sweet spot for any gaming personal computer.Buy Autodesk Inventor

tagoveniz on April 1, 2018 at 1:51 am

You will have to submit your blog in these blog directories and once it is accepted you will gain relevant links with your anchor text or URL on it.online ptcl speed test

AsharSeo on April 2, 2018 at 1:23 am

Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, thanks .ericklindgrenpokerfan

AsharSeo on April 2, 2018 at 3:22 am

Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, thanks .Sbobet

AsharSeo on April 3, 2018 at 3:10 am

Do you people have a myspace fan webpage? I looked for for one on facebook or myspace but couldn’t discover it, I would love to become a fan!trichefortnite.fr/

tagoveniz on April 4, 2018 at 2:05 am

Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.spinning text generator

AsharSeo on April 7, 2018 at 12:45 am

One of the more impressive blogs Ive seen. Thanks so much for keeping the internet classy for a change. Youve got style, class, bravado. I mean it. Please keep it up because without the internet is definitely lacking in intelligence.blog comments

AsharSeo on April 10, 2018 at 11:50 pm

It is very interesting topic you’ve written here . The truth I’m not related to this, but I think is a good opportunity to learn more about, And as well talk about a different topic to which I used to talk with othersTriche cheat fortnite

AsharSeo on April 10, 2018 at 11:50 pm

It is very interesting topic you’ve written here . The truth I’m not related to this, but I think is a good opportunity to learn more about, And as well talk about a different topic to which I used to talk with othersTriche cheat fortnite

AsharSeo on April 11, 2018 at 11:46 pm

Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, thanks .Check here for reviews

tagoveniz on April 13, 2018 at 2:12 am

A debt of gratitude is in order for a superb offer. Your article has demonstrated your diligent work and experience you have in this field. Splendid .i adore it perusing. postcard printing

AsharSeo on April 15, 2018 at 12:25 am

The article posted was very informative and useful. You people are doing a great job. Keep going.pattaya rentals

AsharSeo on April 15, 2018 at 12:25 am

I got what you mean , saved to bookmarks , very decent site.http://kokoqiuqiu.com

AsharSeo on April 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

Nice post. I find out something more difficult on distinct blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating you just read content using their company writers and use a little from their site. I’d would rather use some while using the content in my blog regardless of whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a link in your web blog. Many thanks sharing.maternity

AsharSeo on April 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

Quite nice post. I recently discovered your blog and also wished to point out that I have truly cherished searching the blog site articles. All things considered I’ll be subscribing to the feed and I we do hope you create once again quickly!http://www.bisa88.info

gakawil on April 19, 2018 at 2:18 am

It is basic that we read blog entry deliberately. I am as of now done it and find this post is truly stunning. china rollcages

AsharSeo on April 24, 2018 at 11:19 pm

evening dresses should always be classy, simple but elegant. you don’t need to invest several hundred bucks on a classy evening dress,,portrait photography studio

gakawil on April 25, 2018 at 11:48 pm

Crypto Coinscious provides details based on a market cap in USD and you can sort by rank, name, price, market cap, volume in 24 hours, change in 1 hour, change in 24 hours and available supply. Top Gainers show a list of top trending currencies based on last 24 hours change and Top losers show a list of most price dropped currencies from last 24 hours.Live Coin Watch

AsharSeo on April 28, 2018 at 2:00 am

Aw, it was an exceptionally good post. In concept I have to set up writing like this additionally – spending time and actual effort to generate a very good article… but exactly what do I say… I procrastinate alot by no means often get something accomplished.Temecula

AsharSeo on May 6, 2018 at 4:50 am

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.Cheap Autodesk Autocad Electrical 2019 software for sale

jacky1 on May 9, 2018 at 11:42 pm

Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.comprar seguidores brasileiros

jacky1 on May 15, 2018 at 12:38 am

You lost me, buddy. I mean, I assume I get what youre declaring. I understand what you are saying, but you just appear to have forgotten that there are some other men and women inside the world who see this issue for what it actually is and may possibly not agree with you. You may be turning away many of persons who might have been followers of your weblog.http://programminghome.jigsy.com/

jacky1 on May 19, 2018 at 12:32 am

This may be the proper weblog for anyone who wishes to be familiar with this topic. You are aware of a great deal its practically not easy to argue along (not too I actually would want…HaHa). You actually put a fresh spin with a topic thats been discussed for a long time. Fantastic stuff, just wonderful!private investigators

jacky1 on May 23, 2018 at 4:38 am

depending on fossil fuel is always a bad idea, we should always concentrate on renewable energy;https://8tracks.com/prescottpapers

gakawil on May 23, 2018 at 4:11 pm

Hey what a splendid post I have run over and trust me I have been scanning out for this comparative sort of post for recent week and scarcely ran over this. Much thanks and will search for more postings from you. Business

jacky1 on May 27, 2018 at 3:33 am

healthier hair is of course mainly due to genetics but food supplementation can also help you get it;custom printed t-shirts

gakawil on May 29, 2018 at 4:50 am

On the off chance that more individuals that compose articles truly fretted about composing incredible substance like you, more perusers would be occupied with their works. Much obliged to you for thinking about your substance. CarInsuranceMusings

starscue on May 30, 2018 at 1:31 am

You’ve Done A Great work. CrackingList

freakygurl on May 30, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I Hope These Hilarious Work Quotes will Make your Day.

gakawil on June 2, 2018 at 12:06 am

Much obliged to you for the redesign, exceptionally pleasant site.. EZ Magic Video Review

jacky1 on June 4, 2018 at 3:42 am

I’d have to consult with you here. Which is not some thing I do! I love to reading an article that may make people feel. Also, thank you allowing me to comment!But their relevant article

jacky1 on June 12, 2018 at 2:07 am

Thanks for another informative blog. Where else could I get that type of info written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.Firehouse Subs

jacky1 on June 13, 2018 at 4:20 am

Fantastic, wonderful blog… really enjoy it and put into my social bookmarks. Keep up the good workbest 3d pen 2018

jacky1 on June 20, 2018 at 11:32 pm

Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forwardhttp://essaywriting.1free-host.com/

jacky1 on June 23, 2018 at 4:01 am

This is a great blog, and i want to visit this every day of the week , Hair regrowth shampoo

jacky1 on June 24, 2018 at 1:10 am

Thanks a ton for bothering to line all this out for people. This particular posting ended up being extremely useful if you ask me.Security Camera Systems Florida

jacky1 on June 24, 2018 at 11:27 pm

I’m happy I found this blog! From time to time, students want to cognitive the keys of productive literary essays composing. Your first-class know-how about this good post can become a proper basis for such people. cheers!Football predictions today

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment