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I had a chance to visit the THSA museum, which is above the York Theatre in Elmhurst, today. If you are ever in the area, it is a place worth checking out. They have a collage of newspaper articles on the Woods Theatre’s (which was the last in the Chicago Loop—until the “Siskel” opened up) closing. Oddly enough, one of the news articles mentions the opening of the new Burnham Plaza Theatre (because Cineplex-Odeon beleived in putting theatres where people lived, etc) and we all know what happened to the Burnham after only 17 years or so!
I had a chance to visit the THSA museum, which is above the York, today. If you are ever in the area, it is a place worth checking out. They have a collage of newspaper articles on the Woods Theatre’s (which was the last in the Chicago Loop—until the “Siskel” opened up) closing.
I mentioned to one of the staff members how much I disliked the new electronic marquee on the York. It reminds me of an electronic scoreboard and I don’t beleive it fits well with the rest of the York’s exterior. She mentioned that I was not alone in this belief. Supposedly, the mayor of Elmhurst dislikes it too!
On another note, the City of Elmhurst has placed mini steam locomotives “on parade” in downtown Elmhurst. Sort of like when Chicago did “Cows on Parade” a few years ago. At least one is movie-themed. It has both “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with an image of Johnny Depp and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” with an image of Gene Wilder.
I like the “We are not closing” on the marquee. The “For Rent, Summer 2006” sign is still up as of today (10/03/2006). Anybody know what’s up with that?
The website www.cinematour.com also shows the above address. The photos, taken in 2003, still show the C-O logo. Here is the link:http://www.cinematour.com/picview.php?db=us&id=26526
Ret. AKC(NAC) Bob Jensen,
You are right. There does appear to be confusion about the theatre’s address. The address I gave is from the AMC website. Neither Mapquest nor Yahoo Maps recognizes this address. Yahoo Maps even has a feature that will let you find nearby hotels, theatres, etc, but when I clicked on “Movie Theatres”, it did not show this place. Instead, it showed the nearby LaGrange and the now defunct Harlem Corners theatres.
It is near the White Castle.
An interesting take on the 3 Penny:
This is from the Chicagoist website.
Correction, that’s a typo. It should be “vacant land!!”
A 1951 aerial view of the Skokie Theatre’s neighborhood can be seen here: View link
Skokie was originally called Niles Center. Per my above post, it was originally platted out in the circa 1910-1920. Although the real estate lots had been sold and the streets planned and named, the Depression of the 1930s killed this idea. World War II further delayed the development of Niles Center, which by that time was re-named Skokie. Even in the 1951 photo above, you can still observe a lot of vacabt kabd.
It is interesting that back when Sony-Loews and Cineplex Odeon merged, this was one of the theatres that was to be divested. The theatre was supposed to have been sold to the ill-fated Meridien Theatres chain (which lasted about 2 years). The owners of the building didn’t think that Meridien had the financial means for this property—it is in the “high-rent district” of Chicago—thus the sale was never consummated.
The United States Department of Justice did take Loews-Cineplex to court because of this failure to divest the theatre. I found the following from doing a Google search:
“The 900 North Michigan Avenue theatre is a two screen site located a few blocks from the 600 Michigan Avenue location. Because of its small size and unusual location (in the basement of a very upscale multi-use development), this theatre historically has had lower revenues than the 600 North Michigan location. When Loews presented Meredian as the potential purchaser for this theatre in February, 1999, the landlord consented to an assignment of the lease to Meredian. However, because the landlord had refused to consent to the assignment of the 600 North Michigan lease to Meredian, Meredian’s banker declined to finance an independent purchase of 900 North Michigan.”—from the USDOJ website on the lawsuit.
It all eventually became a moot point anyways. Even though the theatre remained with Loews, it was closed in 2003 and converted to a health club. There are those who say that Cineplex-Odeon opened up this theatre in response to getting booted out of the nearby Esquire (in favor of Sony-Loews)and that C-O was going to apply the Esquire name on this theatre.
“In February 1999, and again in September 1999, Loews presented Meredian as the potential purchaser for this location. On both occasions, after review, the landlord concluded that the proposed assignee did not meet the criteria set forth in the lease and accordingly withheld his consent to an assignment of the lease to Meredian.”—From the USDOJ website.
Oddly enough, it was fortunate that the 600 North was not divested to Meridien as that chain only lasted about 2 years. Meridien was shut down after failing to pay the city and county amusement taxes. The 600 North remained with Loews until its 2006 merger with AMC. The theatre is now a part of the latter.
Don’t forget the Berghoff. No, not the “faux Berghoff” which now exists on Adams Street—the real one which served Wiener Schnitzel, German Pot Roast, etc.
What I heard today on National Public Radio (WBEZ-FM) is that this place is definitely being torn down. In as much as I love all types of movie theatres, I must be realistic and realize that not all places can be saved. From looking at the above posts and links to photos, this place appeared to in very bad shape. I read the above link to the Sun-Times article and in defense of the owner, Mr. Patel, it sounds like he had good intentions.
I’m actually more upset about the potential loss of the Esquire Theatre. I know that its interior was gutted however a number of the Art Deco touches in that theatre have been retained. As has the marquee and facade, the loss of which would leave a gaping hole on Oak Street. The Esquire could be fixed up again, albeit not returned to a single-screen, and with proper programming it could be profitable again.
This theatre is owned by Nova Cinemas as is the nearby Showboat of Lyons (odd name as that place is also in Lake Geneva), They have a nice deal here on Tuesdays. Per Nova’s website: “FREE POPCORN DAY!!!!!!TUESDAYS!!!!!! BRING IN YOUR OWN BAG OR BOWL. 3 Free scoops.”
That should have been a question. “What will be the fate of this theatre if a new multi-plex opens up at Stratford Square?”
This theatre should actually be called “Bloomingdale Court.”
Can anybody tell me what this theatre looks like?
What will be the fate of this theatre if a new multi-plex opens up at Stratford Square.
This theatre should be updated. It is now a Kerasotes Theatre.
Don’t forget Classic Cinemas in the Chicagoland Area. I was going to add Village Theatres too, but someone from Classic, Drexel, or Phoenix really needs to call them up and tell them how to be successful.
The chain should be listed as “Village Theatres.” This is the same “Village Theatres” that operates cinemas in the Chicagoland Area.
It has been awhile since I was at the Village North. It was okay. The floors were clean, as were the rest rooms. The Village North gets significant walk-in trade from the community.
Once when I was there, circa 1997-1998, there was a petition being circulated protesting the proposed multi-plex. So, perhaps indirectly, Village Theatres won on that one.
Correction, that should be spelled “Belvidere.”
My girlfriend and I went here on 8-26-2006. I hadn’t been here in several years. It is true that most of the decor was lost when the theatre was “quadded.” Looking from the concession stand, one can easily guess the layout of the original single screen auditorium. Auditorium #1 is to the left and appears to be the largest. #s 2 and 3 are down a long hallway, presumably where the rear of the original theatre was. They are quite small. #4 is to the right. I couldn’t see in because another movie was playing.
As for my experience here. Well, the best thing that can be said is that the floors and restrooms were clean. The seats appear newer. If you go to www.cinematour.com and check out the Belvedere Theatre (now closed) in Waukegan, the seats in the photos appear similar and they may actually be those same seats! The concessions were okay and the staff was friendly enough. It was, however, very stuffy in #3. All-in-all, the Village isn’t a bad place to see a movie, but it really isn’t on my “must attend” list either.
It would be a shame to lose this one. It isn’t very old (what is it with these “less-than-20-year-old” former Cineplex-Odeons?). The Lincoln-Village Shopping Center has seen somewhat of a revival in recent years, so a cinema should do okay there.
The nearest theatre is the Village North (trying to get a parking space near it is impossible). Others are the Davis in Chicago, and the Crown in Skokie.
Per Village’s website, and the ads in the Sun-Times, it’s open.
I believe that in the 1980s (towards the end), the Varsity was doing revivals and classic films a la the Parkway in Chicago.
If that’s true, then it may have been the VCR and not the multi-plex that did in the Varsity and the Parkway.