Coronet Theatre

817 Chicago Avenue,
Evanston, IL 60202

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dvarapala
dvarapala on June 13, 2014 at 10:20 pm

A glimpse of the Coronet is visible in the background of this painting by Walter Burt Adams.

Broan
Broan on August 1, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Here is a brief view of the Coronet in a Drivers Ed video, as found by David Zornig

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Correction to the circa 1928 photo I just posted. Photo credit should got to Barney Neuberger via Scott Greig.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 8:28 am

The principals of Pereira & Pereira, the firm that did the 1936 remodeling of this theater, were William Pereira and Hal Pereira. Percival Pereira was an older architect who was never a member of this firm.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm

They almost spelled it right.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

All new seats, but the marquee leaves something to be desired. 1982:

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DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 12, 2009 at 9:42 am

Reactivate notification status.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 30, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Greetings. Different Evanston. Doris Day was born in Evanston, Ohio. Near Cincinatti. The Coronet was in Evanston Illinois.

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on August 30, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Doris Day grew up here. She may have attended this theatre as a child.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I remember seeing “Carrie” at The Coronet. My friend who’d already seen it, grabbed my arm at film’s end(SpoilerAlert), when Amy Irving has a dream sequence. I nearly lept into the 80's. I also saw "Rocky" there as I recall. When it tried to become a concert venue in the90’s, I remember reading that the proprietors met nothing but community resistance. Particulary from the then Alderman, possibly not even from that ward.
It involved the sale of liquor. And a dispute about patrons being allowed to only drink in the lobby, and not carry the drinks into the auditorium. A technicality apparently in the proposed license process.
I think even spotters were snuck in to catch any possible “wrongdoing” in the act.
A mindset that was probably part of why Evanston was dry until 1975. Though the Coronet’s previous porno incarnation couldn’t have helped.

In the building known as The Main next door was Amazing Grace. Another venue that featured folk music, etc. Along with a barber shop, restaurant called the Main, and some other shops. I drove by there last week. The entire corner is gone. Aross on the S/W corner is the famous Main Street New Stand. The original neon sign adorning a newer structure.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm

The lobby was a fine design. It rose two stories and was filled with art deco “coronet” decorations. I hope someone, somewhere has a picture of it. But the time I saw the auditorium it was all painted white, but probably cool in its day as well.

Broan
Broan on June 7, 2008 at 1:00 pm

B&K took it over in July 1936. It was widened, lengthened, and entirely remodeled, going from 600 seats to 1000.

“Plans by Pereira & Pereira call for a new front of smooth surfaced materials, a new lobby, foyer, and lounge, new seats with more space between and wider aisles.

Illuminated by indirect cove lighting, the new foyer will be paneled in bleached aspenwood trimmed with aluminum. The theater’s frontage will be increased to 53 feet and its depth to 182 feet."

newtriergrl83
newtriergrl83 on April 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Ha! I remember seeing ads for X-rated movies alongside the regular movies in the Chicago Tribune back in the late 70’s. My mom would flip out because we’d be snickering and laughing at the titles (“Debbie Does Dallas”) and grab the paper from us and then she’d look for the movie times herself!
Now as a parent to 3 boys myself, the Internet looms large with adult content so severe that it makes those old ads seem like cartoons!
I saw “The Apple Dumpling Gang” at the Coronet!

tombrueggemann
tombrueggemann on March 15, 2008 at 7:24 pm

The Coronet in the period I frequented it (late 1960s on) often played foreign language films (its competition in the area was the Wilmette and sometimes the Evanston II). I saw a lot of great films there – Belle de jour, Shame, Day for Night – before I started seeing them first run on the near north side of Chicago.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 20, 2007 at 2:49 pm

What doesn’t seem to be mentioned here is that the Coronet was a renovation project. The building previously operated as a cinema under another name, and Park sounds right to me.

Broan
Broan on January 30, 2007 at 7:57 pm

The Balaban & Katz part of the sign is now displayed in the Theatre Historical Society of America research library.

DimitriusStrong
DimitriusStrong on December 17, 2006 at 10:31 pm

I was always upset to hear that this was torn down after being in its' location for so many years. A high school buddy of mine lived in the apartment right next door to this theater above that restaurant. Of all the years is been around I can only recall seeing one film there which was “Poltergeist”.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 14, 2005 at 5:57 pm

I think that there were Essaness and Plitt ads near eachother in major Chicago papers at least until the mid 80’s.

RickB
RickB on August 1, 2005 at 7:43 pm

Yes, it was a Plitt theater in the late ‘70s (a friend ushered there very briefly, I remember seeing his Plitt paycheck). Plitt bought the ABC theaters in and around Chicago (maybe elsewhere too). If they bought Essaness it would have been in 1980 or after; I think Essaness was still operating the Woods at least up till then.

TRAINPHOTOS
TRAINPHOTOS on August 1, 2005 at 7:15 pm

The Coronet was, at one point I believe, operated by Plitt. Sometime during the late 1970s or early 1980s, the Coronet began to show “X” rated films—and saw a substantial increase in patronage! That is, until those movies became available on home video.

I lived in Rogers Park (a neighborhood in Chicago just to the south of Evanston) from 1996-1999 and again from 2001-2003. During the late 1990s, I remember the buzz on how the Coronet was to have become the new concert venue. But, of course, it was not to be.

I do know that the Coronet was about the last theatre in Chicago to retain “Balaban & Katz” on its marquee. But can anybody tell me whether or not this theatre was a Plitt? Or an Essaness? And can someone tell me if Essaness and ABC all became part of Plitt?

warhorse
warhorse on December 28, 2004 at 9:57 pm

Only one of many through the years.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 27, 2004 at 8:12 pm

…and JC, I’ll bet you were a good-looking candy girl…

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 27, 2004 at 8:07 pm

The big missing piece of history here is that it was the home of the Northlight Theater Company for many years, in between careers as a movie house and a concert hall. They spent a good amount of money to convert it…and it worked well for their purposes. I saw some unremarkable play there with my family during this period. I’m not sure why they moved out…maybe the city got on their case about something…or they built a new building. It did well with the concerts after Northlight moved on…had some great ones. But, the residents around there were nervous about the crouds that came out of the place at night…and that was the end of that. It sat around for a few years…and eventually was replaced by a condominium building, in keeping with the redevelopment angle that city government is pushing. This was a building that, while unremarkable, had a lot of history and certainly could have been reused. If nothing else, the crown-shaped sign out front was great!

warhorse
warhorse on August 30, 2004 at 9:53 pm

This was a nice small theater, right around the corner from where I grew up.

For a short period in ‘67-68 I was a candy girl here.

During the ‘50s and '60s this was THE place to go for foreign or art films in the area.

Obviously, I have many fond memories of this theater.

PaulWarshauer
PaulWarshauer on October 24, 2003 at 5:23 am

Anyone have information about the Stadium Theatre in Evanston IL? Who was the arhchitect? I toured it yesterday. It has been chopped up into four parts now. Sad but it has a horrid mold problem.