Wheaton Grand Theater

123 N. Hale Street,
Wheaton, IL 60187

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Showing 251 - 275 of 369 comments

rroberts on August 19, 2005 at 1:05 pm

Dear Neighbor and El Greco: We are not the bad guy in this scenario. No one is the bad guy. Stop calling us liars as we don’t know you. I agree with other postings that we should keep this civil. Two parties disagree as to how the Wheaton Grand should look when finished. This is not new for the theatre world. Look at the DuPage site. Man now THEY are not civil! We say THREE theatres the current GTC board says ONE. OK with that said, your angry rhetoric does nothing to help the theatre move forward. We operated the programming for the theatre from November 2004 until April 2005. We were making significant money to pay a small staff, cover expenses and still help restore the theatre. GTC did not spend our money on repairs or restoration. Period. That is a fact! We sued because they shut us out and we were wronged. We sued because they owe us lots of money. We sued because we care about the theatre. We sued because we know that we will win. Neighbor has never agreed to meet with us although we are happy to do so in a public place any time within reason. Instead “Neighbor” and others hide in the shadows and takes cheap shots as us. Greco you refer to our “high chairs?” I think you better go and look at the GTCs board sandbox where the preschoolers won’t let anyone else play. The board violated Illinois not for profit meeting rules and then you defend them? They should have let us sit in and we would have done so quietly. I wanted to hear Ben Garvey’s presentation. Stop painting us as the villain and look at THEIR record! We did many different kinds of shows made money and kept the building open. What have they done except get the building listed on the National Register? Big deal. Many theatres are now DEAD because of that listing. Get a grip and let’s work together to help keep it open in a viable multi-venue, successful manner. Again we are happy to meet with anybody any time to review our plan and the pending litigation against the GTC.

JLoster on August 19, 2005 at 10:14 am

Posted in today’s Daily Herald:

Judge dismisses promoter’s lawsuit against Wheaton theater

By James Fuller

Daily Herald Staff Writer

Posted Friday, August 19, 2005
A DuPage County judge tossed out a concert promoter’s lawsuit against the Wheaton Grand Theater Thursday, setting the stage for the theater’s attorney to fire back.
Michael Twietmeyer of Elgin sought $5,000 from the Grand Theater Corp. He claimed the theater broke a contract he signed to put on five concerts at the downtown venue.
Theater officials believed the contract was never valid because it was made with a management company the theater board had already fired. That company, Grand Venues, Inc., has filed its own lawsuit against the theater.
Twietmeyer did not file a response to the theater’s motion for dismissal and didn’t show up for a hearing Thursday.
That shows the suit was just an attempt to give the theater a black eye in the public’s perception, said Tim Newitt, the theater’s attorney.
“There’s absolutely no question in my mind about that,” he said.
Newitt said he’ll petition the court to force Twietmeyer to pay Newitt’s attorney’s fees for the case. That’ll amount to $1,350.
Twietmeyer was unable to be reached for comment Thursday.
Just this week, theater operators learned it had been accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places. Efforts are under way to restore the theater, which opened in 1925.

Ulalume on August 19, 2005 at 6:55 am

To The Neighbor, I agree. Hopefully Mr. W and Mr. N. will stop banging on their high chairs and take care of all those theaters they say they have.

TheNeighbor on August 19, 2005 at 2:38 am

As far as Mr. Warshauer and Mr. Novelli are concerned, I would heartily suggest that we begin to talk around them. I have attempted to ask them direct questions to bring them into the conversation, but all I have received is ranting and accusations. There is no point on carrying out further discussions. I think everyone who was at the Board meeting knows how things stand. The Board shared with everyone who was there exactly what plans have been laid to raise the money, and exactly how much money is required for each step. All the plans as to what is needed to be done were at least shown; I beleive that if anyone wanted the particulars for any certain aspect it would be theirs for the asking.

Whether or not Mr. Warshauer and Mr. Novelli were allowed in is a direct result of their own behavior and legal stance. I would be hard pressed myself to allow someone onto my own property who was involved in a contentious lawsuit; particularly when they had been so vocally aggressive toward me.

As I result, I heartily suggest we get on with the business at hand, and let them speak their mind. If there are people here who wish to waste their time arguing with them, feel free. But I, myself see no point. They have their opinion. I have mine. They do not share with me the facts and figures necessary to change my mind to the point of view that they are promoting. Therefore further conversation would be futile. I do not enjoy the hostile overtones of Mr. Warshauer’s posts. It is as though if I will not take his word for what he is telling us, then I must be a complete idiot, or he should be able to bully me into accepting his opinion as gospel fact.

Again, let us go forward. Many hurdles have been jumped to this point. The first lawsuit is gone and soon to be forgotten. The next nuisance is soon to be passed. Has anyone given any thought to other matters put before the board at the meeting?

The Neighbor

Wheatongrandluver on August 18, 2005 at 10:54 am

Not that I am accostomed to listening or believing liars like you Mr. Warshauer, but if someone was not allowed into the meeting, it was for good reason. You automatically think that the theater is so bad when all that has happened since you left is it has gotten better!!! Why do you, a fully grown man, (well at least physically, I wouldn’t say you were mentally), insist on blowing things out of proportion similar to the behavior of, oh say, a 2-year-old? Does that sound familiar?

lynnz on August 18, 2005 at 10:38 am

Unless you have been at the WGT you have no idea what is going on or what has been done. I have been there and do know. The dark cloud of GVI has lifted and the Wheaton Grand is flourishing. It is very sad that you can not see how pathetic your attempts against the WGT are. It is time for you to realize that no matter how petty and vindictive you are the theatre will thrive now that you are no longer involved.


rroberts on August 18, 2005 at 10:25 am

Sad… Mike Novelli tells it like it is and no one cares to comment. GTC is NOT doing well. They have NOT raised any significant money or have they put any money into repairing the building. Ok there is a little joy in the Register process but the DuPage Theatre is on the National Register too and it is slated for demolition. The GTC Board has not put forward ONE plan with financials that demonstrates a single theatre could be solvent in five years. They have not put forward any REAL construction costs. You call that a success? We do not “badmouth.” Our lawsuit is far from frivolous. Mr. Tweitmeyer will not go away. Just remember the Titanic… only a small percentage of the iceberg was visible. Lots more is under the water. Keep deluding yourselves. Help will be on the way soon. Again I ask where are all the programs for kids?

JLoster on August 18, 2005 at 8:27 am

Thank you Neighbor. It was a pleasure having you at the meeting. Please encourage any & all downtown business owners to come to the meetings, or just stop by to chat.

More good news…the lawsuit filed by Michael Tweitmeyer against the Grand Theater Corporation was dismissed in court this morning.

Its been a good week!

lynnz on August 18, 2005 at 8:24 am

Grand Venues can hardly be called a Wheaton Grand enthusiast when they are doing nothing but bad mouthing the board and filing frivilous law suits against the theatre.

Concentrate on your “alleged” other projects and leave the WGT alone. The WGT is doing just fine without Grand Venues and I would think at some point Grand Venues would realize how pathetic their smear campaign makes them look.

mnovelli on August 18, 2005 at 8:05 am

Dear fellow Wheaton Grand enthusiasts,

I’d like to share with you a recent conversation I had with PJ from LHAT (League of Historic American Theatres). For those of you that aren’t aware of LHAT, they are the most recognized Historic theatre organization in the US. I called PJ to discuss theatre configuration and operation trends in the US. Specifically, what is the ratio of historic theatre owners that are only focused on preservation vs. those who combine preservation, functionality, and productivity.

I expected that this very prestigious organization would contend that nearly all theatre owners focus on preservation before functionality. But to my surprise, PJ gave a very practical answer. He said that many theatre owners who made preservation their top priority are now sorry they did so. They find themselves trying to undo the restrictions they placed on themselves with a one revenue, one venue theatre. He added that many theatre owners that have upcoming restoration plans who are seeking advice, are being directed to established theatre owners who have incorporated a multi-revenue, multi-venue house. The reason is because LHAT now understands that in order to save a theatre it must be able to function post restoration.

Additionally, when I asked PJ how difficult it is to change the design of a theatre once it becomes a national register. Again he surprised me with his answer. He said that there is definetely flexibility in the preservation process. He said no one wants to see these beautiful theatres become unattended museums.

I urge all of you to contact LHAT or PJ and learn what is really going on in the historic theatre preservation world.

Mike Novelli
President, Grande Venues, Inc.

kza347 on August 18, 2005 at 7:14 am


Who were the people that were not allowed into the meeting?

TheNeighbor on August 17, 2005 at 5:01 pm

Mr. Loster:

I’d like to add my congratulations to The Grand Theater for its recognition as a Federally Recognized Historic Landmark!!! We all knew it was, after all…just a matter of a few good people putting in a heckuva lot of work. Kudos to all.

The meeting was very informative, and I am extremely glad that I attended. Many of my questions were put to rest, and I am more secure in the management, staff, board and volunteers of The Wheaton Grand than I was before I went. It will be interesting to see what comes of the issues that were brought to light. Thank you for answering my many questions that went unanswered in this forum. It is relieving to know that all the safety issues are well underhand, and have been for some time.

Again, thank you for informing me of the meeting. I will try to attend more of them in the future, and inspire other downtown business people to do the same whenever possible.

The Neighbor

rroberts on August 17, 2005 at 1:43 pm

It was strange that some people were not allowed to attend the meeting last night…what are they hiding?

zogasl on August 17, 2005 at 3:21 am

Congratulations to the WGTC on the historic designation and thanks to all who worked so hard to get it done. It is well desreved and hopefully will serve as a springboard for fundraising and restoration.

Keep up the good work WGTC.

JLoster on August 16, 2005 at 10:43 am

To all Wheaton Grand Theater supporters: I just wanted to share some great news with everyone. The Grand Theater (its original name) has just been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A big thanks to Dr. Charles Tuma, one of our Executive Board members who started the process of securing the listing over two years ago, and to Hema Pandya, a School of the Art Institute of Chicago student who volunteered hours of work and preparation and made the formal presentation in front of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency back in June. We just received the word from Washington this morning, and are pleased to share it with all of you.

lynnz on August 16, 2005 at 7:11 am

What would you know about saving anything? I’ve read all about you on the internet and in the papers. All you do is fling insults and criticize those who art trying to do good works. If you care about theatres, leave this one alone since not many good things happen when you are involved.

rroberts on August 16, 2005 at 7:07 am

The Prozac is not for me, “Interested.” You are the one who posted the same goofy message three times… Get a life. Help save a theatre and stop flapping your jaws.

lynnz on August 16, 2005 at 6:31 am

You know Paul, realizing you need help is the first step. Go get some.

rroberts on August 16, 2005 at 6:22 am

My, my: someone needs Prozac!

lynnz on August 16, 2005 at 4:44 am


Get a clue. Your mindless rantings are of no interest to anyone except your deluded self.


TheNeighbor on August 16, 2005 at 3:56 am

Mr. Warshauer:

No, you don’t know me. And I have begun to develop the distinct impression that I do not want to know you. I have read your responses, and all of them on THIS board have been indirect and evasive at the best, and rude and confrontational at the worst. When I began on THIS board (of which I am a member), I had all the best intentions of asking you relevant questions (as well as others concerned) so that I could decide for myself which approaches would be the best for the downtown district, and which party I should align myself with.

In your open hostility and overall elusive manner, you have alienated me. I have therefore developed my own opinions without your information. I have been to the websites that have been provided to me by all others who have shared information openly. I have read newspaper articles, and spoken to people who are currently involved with the theater. The overall opinion of you in the general populace is not flattering at all. In fact, if I were you, I would have left town some time ago.

Even after reading all the information out there (and none of it was written by Mr. Loster or any of the Wheaton Theater staff or board), I was still willing to listen to your side of the conversation. But there was no conversation. You had again insisted upon coming onto this board and hurling insults, pointing fingers and giving absolutely no helpful information. I really do not care who you are or how much you know about theater. I had questions for which you had no answers. End of discussion.

I have now been priviliged to discuss a few items with Mr. Loster, and found him pleasant, intelligent and helpful. He did not “bash” you, which I believe is far more courtesy than you would have given him under the same circumstances. In fact, he was rather kind to you. It would seem that the Wheaton Theater Board simply wants a parting of the ways, and I do not understand why you have this desire to force yourself in where you are so obviously not wanted.

Comparing this board to the board on the DuPage is irrelevant. I have no desire to see the conversations here deteriorate any further. If this is the type of conversation you would like to have, I suggest that you stick to that forum. Perhaps they would appreciate your talents.

There has been, to my knowledge, no misinformation or lies except on your part. I have now been inside the theater. The air conditioning was working just fine on that visit. I have seen the newspaper article about the concert, and believe that the police had some advice on that matter, and I would be inclined to agree with them on their assessment of the situation. As for lawsuits, I believe you are the instigator of all of them; even when not involved directly, they seem to all be at your hand regardless.

I look forward to seeing you “in person”. I’m wondering if you will be able to give any direct answers live since you seem inable to do so in this format. At this point, however, I will say that even if the three theater arrangement were possible, I would have serious reservations about your ability to handle it. You get far too emotional and unnecessarily rude to be able to manage people effectively.

I also agree with “Life’s Too Short”. You’re very fond of listing off projects that are in the works. Aside from current projects, and projects that we know have been terminated due to poor working relationships, have there been any successful projects? Have you actually finished any restoration? Are there any theaters whose entertainment you are currently handling? Any evidence of another working theater that you have brought back from near death might encourage me to take a second look at your stand. After all, many people are unable to communicate effectively via the written word, and there is always the possibility that you are better at person-to-person communications. If this is the case, I ask you again to simply answer some of the very basic questions I have put forth, as well as the questions as laid out by “Life’s Too Short”.

I would be interested in your answers.

The Neighbor

rroberts on August 15, 2005 at 6:33 pm

Dear “Neighbor:” What board are you on? Are you on the GTC board? I do not know you. OK… enough. Police… Hip Hop… Complaints… Misinformation… Lies… Heightened emotions! This posting is tame compared to the DuPage. Read their site! WOW. Now to business: Everyone please attend the open meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday August 16) at 7:30 pm the Wheaton Grand and listen to what the Grand Theatre Board has to say. I am certain that the Board will address the Hip Hop disaster, the current failure of air conditioning systems, several current and future lawsuits, GTC board departures, theatre faces. I will be there, personally, to discuss the three theatre plan and answer questions either at the meeting or immediately after at a local restaurant.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 14, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Regarding July 28 comments: at least this Waukegan guy, for all the trouble on that project, can produce a resume. From what I can see the theatre in Waukegan is also pretty consistently booked now…as one auditorium. I don’t plan to give it a rest, no matter how many personal attacks you may levy. You employ the hallmark of a cheap salesman: say as many mindless things as you can to try and create doubt about another party. My opinions are perfectly valid.

Post some completed restoration projects…and not this smalltown theatre that just reopened within the last month. I will admit I was wrong and let you go on your merry way. Until then, all I have to go on is the behavior you exhibit and what I read in the press: cease and desist order at the Portage Theatre, a firestorm of financial scandals at the Uptown, being fired by the Wheaton, inability to secure a loan in downstate Illinois due to lack of assets, etc.

TheNeighbor on August 14, 2005 at 6:47 am

My problem here is that there has been nothing offered as far as facts to back up a three theater plan. The basic “facts” in regards to a one theater plan is that:

  1. It is the original design of the theater, and therefore more “authentic”.

  2. Larger events can be scheduled, the type that I believe would encourage business in the downtown area.

As far as the show being canceled; I believe I have met Mr. Garvey, although I’m not quite sure. If he is the gentleman I think he is, I have no concerns at all regarding him. However, I believe that caution was certainly the better tactic in this circumstance. I don’t know if arrangements for security could have been made in advance, nor do I know if it would have helped. What about the alley? The parking lot? Those people who are not allowed in for whatever reason? Would they be loitering around after they discovered there was a search involved, leaning against the shop windows of innocent business owners? I don’t know that security inside the theater is necessarily the answer.

Hopefully, in the type of concert that Mr. Garvey is attempting to reschedule, in the suburban environment it will be held in, and if the authorities are notified well in advance as well as additional security is provided…well, then hopefully all will be well. But it will take quite a bit more thought than the average concert, and it is something that should not be taken lightly or flippantly.

I would also like to know exactly how Mr. Warshauer plans to take over the board at the Wheaton Theater. They have, after all, seen to the termination of the contract. Are there plans for the new board to be retired? Replaced? Who does have control over such things? I understand it is a non-profit organization, so I’m a bit confused as to exactly who has a say in it, and would like to know.

I am planning on becoming much more involved in the theater (as involved as someone working her own business can be)and would certainly like to know all these details. If there is any chance at all that Mr. Warshauer will be more involved in the daily running of the theater, I will not be becoming involved myself. His behavior towards me on this board, as well as to others, gives me a certain discomfort when I think what it would be like to work with him on a daily basis.

The Neighbor

kza347 on August 13, 2005 at 5:57 am
  1. The Hip Hop Extravaganza has been at the Wheaton Grand Theater before. So I don’t understand how it can be stated that it is fear of the Hip Hop community.

  2. OK…so additional security is formed at the event. What do you propose? Metal detectors at the front entrance? What if the tightened security didn’t work and gang related violence did occur? (You don’t know for a fact that no one at the theater would have been hurt if gang retaliation did occur.) How is that going to be perceived to the community and to the theater? Face it…the project would be doomed!

  3. It doesn’t always require professionals to run a theater! Matter of fact, learning to run a theater is what helps one become a professional. I imagine that you weren’t a professional when you started out in this business but you went forward, you learned and now you do it for a living. I’m really tired of hearing this.

  4. In the end I think the 3 theater concept is great for the short term but not ideal for the long term. What happens if the 3 theater plan fails to generate profit? What happens if GVI decides to hang it up if it does run / get the theater? A new board is formed and it will more than likely try to restore it to one large theater or no board is created and the theater will face the wrecking ball. My bet is making one it one large theater as it has a chance of surviving in the long term.