Edens I & II Theaters

320 Skokie Boulevard,
Northbrook, IL 60062

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Showing 26 - 49 of 49 comments

billymac72
billymac72 on May 12, 2008 at 4:24 pm

I suppose it’s possible that the Cinerama show had some traveling equipment?

I didn’t see “This is Cinerama”, but it played at Edens II. If memory serves, this theater did have a concave screen. The theater building itself was a round-ish shape.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 12, 2008 at 3:37 pm

On second thought, pehaps I saw the “The Best of CINERAMA” in Milwaukee. Did that come out in 70mm?

“I thought I made a mistake once, and then I found out I was wrong!”

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 12, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Michael-
I use to be up in the EDENS area all the time and went to movies at those theaters. I think I saw the first “STAR WARS” at the EDENS. From what I can remember the screens might have had slight curve, but nothing like a CINERAMA, D-150 or even the curve of the first TODD-AO screens.

I was not aware that “This Is CINERAMA” played at the EDENS, darn I missed that. I did see it on the south side of Milwaukee probably at the SOUTHTOWN or perhaps the SOUTHGATE. Hal T. says the SOUTHGATE had a CINERAMA screen and I don’t recall a CINERAMA screen being installed though I could be wrong, after all this was 35 years ago!

“Ladies and Getlemen, This is CINERAMA!” Lowell Thomas, September 30, 1952

Coate
Coate on May 12, 2008 at 7:41 am

While doing some research on Cinerama presentations in Chicago, I was surprised to learn that the EDENS had a seven-week 70mm run of “This Is Cinerama” during the summer of 1973. I was aware that the film was re-issued in ‘73, but was surprised that of all the venues in the Chicago area where it could have been booked, it played the EDENS…and on screen #2 no less.

Did either screen at EDENS have a curved screen, or does anyone know/recall if a temporary curved screen was installed (as was done in many other venues across the country) just for the “This Is Cinerama” engagement?

GFeret
GFeret on April 17, 2008 at 9:38 pm

baslanides: I’m glad there’s someone else who remembers (and appreciates) Daniello’s restaurant you mentioned above. Their delicious, unique pizza was rectangular, and they gave out free wine samples to customers. A tiny place, that when it closed and re-opened the new name literally was ‘Hole-In-The-Wall’.

baslanides
baslanides on April 17, 2008 at 9:07 pm

My father was a projectionist at the Edens for almost 25 years. I also was one there in the late 80’s and early 90’s. My grandfather worked as a ticket taker for a while. I grew up there, had many a birthday party and sat in the front row for most of the late 70’s and early 80’s. I vividly remember the Star Wars days and being inside the theatre while lines cicling the theatre were outside. I used to see kids outside wondering what I was doing inside, all the while making faces at them. The first place I ever played Asteroids was in the Edens 1 lounge. I used to have a 16 mm film of the construction of Edens 1, I will have to see if it is still in my posession. At my fathers gravesite, there is a brick from the demolition of Edens 1. There was an Italin restaurant across the street, a family owned place called Daniello’s. It was the best. I have a lifetime of memeories tied up in those two theatres.

newtriergrl83
newtriergrl83 on April 14, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I went on quite a few dates there back in high school. I remember also going to the bowling alley next door for birthday parties and then to Barnaby’s for pizza! Does anyone remember the restaurant that used to be across the street from there that was in an old train car? Victoria’s Station? There was also a Holiday Inn a few buildings down as well. (My older brother used to go there for prom parties!)

R2D2
R2D2 on April 2, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Were both auditoriums equippped to handle all of the various widescreen and multichannel sound formats?

billymac72
billymac72 on April 2, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Yeah, the second theater broke ground for construction in August 1968 and was known as “Edens II.” If you’re interested in the Tribune blurb on this (which includes artist’s rendering of theater), feel free to let me know.

R2D2
R2D2 on April 2, 2008 at 4:10 pm

During the time when this was a twin, how were the screens numbered? Was the big original house #1 and the smaller, new auditorium considered #2?

Coate
Coate on April 1, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Me not attending the first matinee screening of “Star Wars” is meaningless to our debate. And just because you were there is not a guarantee that you are correctly recalling all of the details of the event.

1) You claimed the 1:00-something matinee on its first day (May 27, 1977) was not advertised. I have a photocopy of that opening-day ad from the Chicago Tribune and after double and triple checking the ad copy, I can state that the early afternoon afternoon was advertised.

2) You claimed the EDENS ran “Star Wars” for about one year and that it was the last Chicago area theater to be playing it. Again, not correct. It ran there half a year, and the OAKBROOK was the last theater to play the film.

3) You claim the EDENS ran the film in 70mm. Maybe…but (a) your claim is based on a thirty-year-old memory, and (b) contradicts how the film was promoted throughout its seven-month run.

GFeret
GFeret on April 1, 2008 at 2:19 pm

M. Coate, continuing the discussion about STAR WARS at the Edens, transplanted from the Esquire Theatre page:

remember I w/ my buddies were at those early unattended SW screenings there. Apparently you yourself weren’t.

billymac72
billymac72 on January 30, 2006 at 2:29 pm

There are some fantastic pictures posted here. Should bring back plenty of memories!

http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=3471

By the way, I mentioned above that it had red carpeting & drapery. Although these pics are in black & white, I was totally wrong about that. It was all gold. Not sure why I rememebered it as red. Could this have been the interior of the Edens II (built later & next door) that I was thinking of?

GNRSOX
GNRSOX on December 12, 2005 at 10:46 pm

Shame, it was a great place. I remember seeing Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade there. It’s now an ugly mall.

oldyella
oldyella on June 1, 2005 at 2:54 am

I saw the original Starwars and a revival of “This is Cinerama” at the Edens back in the 70s. The later so impressed me that I can remember it in detail today. I recall the theater had a bronze plaque on the wall identifying it as the largest hyperbolic paraboloid" building ever constructed. Sitting in that space was always impressive.

We left the Chicago area in 1977 and after seeing the latest Star Wars Episode III in a new all digital theater (Cinamark in Rochester NY, I began reminiscing about the Edens. I’m saddened to see something like that is no longer in existance.

RobertR
RobertR on May 27, 2005 at 4:07 pm

I would love to see a picture of this place, sounds like it was awesome.

Seshat
Seshat on May 27, 2005 at 3:56 pm

One of my best child hood memories, going to the movies at the Edens I theater, along with bowling at the neighboring Strike and Spare bowling alley. The last movie I saw at the Edens I was “Speed”. What a shame that some developer with an appreciation for fine architecture could not renovate the theater and make it into some type of profitable business, as has been done with other architecturally significant buildings. The ugly strip mall that exists in the space now is a very poor testimonial to the grand 1960’s era theater that once stood there. Very sad.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 14, 2005 at 10:43 pm

Who would have thought theater enthusiasts would ever mourn the passing of buildings built in this era? I agree with you guys. It was a great place.

tojo311
tojo311 on May 14, 2005 at 7:36 pm

Why did Northbrook Court ever have to be built? It would have been fine with me if Old Orchard was the nearest mall. Edens would be great, if it were still there. I’d be able to ride my bike there. I also wish that the bowling alley next door was still there.

alexgor23
alexgor23 on November 16, 2004 at 3:33 pm

As a kid on the North Shore there was only one place to go to see a “big” movie—the Edens. I remember waiting in line as a kid to see Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark there. It truly was an amazing experience. The futuristic Edens I had a balcony where you could go sit when you went with your parents but did not want to sit with them.

The last movie I saw there was the remake of Cape Fear and the place was really run-down. I was on a date and there were like three other people in the whole theater. A sad goodbye to what was the classic theater for North Shore kids of the 70s and 80s.

billymac72
billymac72 on September 1, 2004 at 6:11 pm

The Edens was simply awesome. I miss it, big time. The retro look of it was just amazing, and I often wonder what might have been had they decided to refurbish it. As mentioned, I don’t think anything had been replaced during it entire existence. I remember the 60s furniture, which by the 70s was dated, but still very cool & in good shape. Anyone who’s been there remembers all of that red carpeting and drapery. The front rows had carpeted partitions in front of them, which I used to sit up against when I was a kid (I remember watching “Superman” this way in ‘78). It all added so much to a larger than life presentation (by no means comparable to the “palaces” of the 20s & 30s, Edens instead had an Atomic Age charm all its own). It was sad to see everything start to wear down & fall apart…and ultimately stay that way. I believe the last film I saw there was Phantasm II. The last couple of years were especially sad because there was absolutey no effort paid to keep it up in the slightest. There were talks about a sale for several years and the owners obviously were just waiting for their deal to come through. The parking lots were starting to become somewhat overgrown & cracked long before the place even closed. At least I got to see it packed one last time: sold out showings for “Batman” in….hmmmm….'89???

kryoung
kryoung on July 28, 2004 at 8:20 pm

Sad to see it gone. I saw John Wayne’s “The Alamo” there in 70MM for the last time on the big screen in 1970. Great experience.

figaro14
figaro14 on June 17, 2004 at 5:53 am

The Edens I also had a permanent curved screen and was equipped to show 70mm prints. The Edens I typified the modern cone style post 3-camera Cinerama style theatres of the mid-to late 60’s and was probably designed with the principle idea in mind of showing the 1-strip 70mm type films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey which had replaced the three projector system.

When the theater was used for conventional 35mm standard prints, the curtains and masking were drawn on the large curved screen to reduce it to less than half its full size.

Typical of many of these “modern” theaters, the theater owners refused to do anything to keep them up and by the end of the 1980’s the carpeting was threadbare and the seats worn and broken. The last 70mm feature film ever made, Far and Away, was shown here before the theatre closed. It was one of the few theaters in the Chicago area that still had 70mm projectors and was capable of showing the 70mm print of the film.