Wheaton Grand Theater

123 N. Hale Street,
Wheaton, IL 60187

Unfavorite 17 people favorited this theater

Showing 51 - 75 of 369 comments

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 16, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Saps: Wheaton is a first-rate community filled with first-rate people. A nice-looking vintage downtown with many successful businesses, a respectable college, and many fine residential neighborhoods. That is only a partial list. It is unfortunate that such a fine community has been cursed with a presence more suited for a trailer park in Dumpwater, Florida. But nothing is perfect. Be sure to visit if you ever get the chance.

CatherineDiMartino on January 12, 2007 at 10:51 am

I’ve been reading the thread on this theatre (and the Portage—I’m originally from Portage Park) and I find the adventures of Mr. Waurshauer very amusing (because I’ve never had to deal with him). Now, I don’t know the man personally, so I’ll not pass judgement. However, judging from the many things I’ve read about him, he is definitely “persona non grata” among cinema fans.

The ironic thing is, from what I’ve read on this guy (from a Google search I did out of curiosity and from other sources), he HAS had a lot of live theatre experience and has managed to get his plays produced (I.e. “Murder at Meigs Field”). So with this vast experience he’s had, imagine what Mr. Warshauer could do if he used his talents for good and actually completed a project!

See my post on the New Regal because an investor was actually considering using Mr. Warshauer’s GVI to manage the project.

goaway on January 7, 2007 at 2:58 pm


Wheaton is a great town and with the restoration of the theater, will be even greater. Don’t let the fact that the flim-flam man is residing there and trying to hold a sideshow every 15 minutes influence your decision. Stop by the theater and speak to Ray Shepardson, and have a bite to eat in one of the fine restaurants, and then make your conclusion.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 5, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Jeez, remind me never to come to Wheaton, Illinois. This thread is a load of crap.

Ulalume on January 5, 2007 at 1:12 pm

The “Mouth That Roared” is back again and now is criticizing the city council as well. How does he know what is going on in the Wheaton Theatre? He’s not allowed in it.

Mr. W, please go do your thing in Ohio and leave Wheaton alone.

Besides, a bunch of fat ladies are warming up their voices in the wings.

kza347 on January 5, 2007 at 8:46 am

I see that Paul Warshauer just couldn’t resist going back to the city council to cry about what he believes is a lack of progress in the restoration. Of course, he’s been out of the loop for over 9 months and has no clue what progress is happening or has happened. He’s just itching to get onto the Fine Arts commission. To bad Liz Corey wasn’t there to give him another smack down like she did last year.

I see Grand Venues moved again. It appears it’s being run out of an apartment now.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 4, 2007 at 7:38 am

How can someone criticize the Wheaton Grand Board for not having the doors open in nine months while he talks about how it will take many, many years to reopen the Youngstown Paramount over on the string for that theatre (while fishing for donation money). I also hope Paul succeeds in Youngstown. But it looks like the same old story to me:


Trish & Ballerina & Others: We own the theatre and appreciate the public’s input however there is a great deal of misinformation. That will change this year as we assist some folks in the creation of a not-for-profit group and improve the website: www.lptheatre.com I am not sure why the owners of Cinema Treasures refuse to list our website as we are the legal owners of the property and have every intention of rehabilitating and operating the theatre. It will take years! Perhaps you can ask Cinema treasures why they refuse to list our site, as well. We have gone into the building with architects, (Ron Faniro of Youngstown & Gary Martinez from Washington DC) engineers, roofing specialists, city officials, historians and some volunteers. IT IS DANGEROUS AND NO ONE SHOULD ENTER; IT IS TRESPASSING AND COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY! I hope that Trish was authorized by someone to go in; (maybe the YSU class?) We have invested a great deal of time creating the business plan and model for operation. We have the complete support of city officials, historians, bankers and the folks at Youngstown State University. We had two press conferences and a BIG public forum coming in the next month or two for the public to ask questions and to finally get involved. The major issue is how to get a roof on the building to stop the damage and some electric to proviode lighting. A temporary roof will cost $40-50K and temporary electric service will cost $5K. Ideas?
posted by Paul Warshauer on Jan 1, 2007 at 5:11pm

TheNeighbor on January 4, 2007 at 4:54 am

Well, as far as I’m concerned it is over. Mr. Warshauer is nothing more than an annoyance, a distraction from the work at hand. He’s completely irrelevant to any discussions here, or really anywhere but perhaps on a board discussing mystery theater. He’ll never be involved with any decisions regarding the theater or the use of it. And as far as theater restoration goes, I hope he someday does succeed and prove us all wrong. It simply won’t happen in Wheaton. So, Mr. Warshauer…not that you’re even vaguely interested in any advice I’d have to offer you, but I’ll pen it anyway. Look to your own interests; pay attention to Youngstown. Move on. Grow up. Let it go. You’re really not doing yourself any favors. You’ve become more of a joke in downtown Wheaton than a person of import. No one is taking you seriously any more. You’re nothing more than an inconvenient pest. Go somewhere where they might appreciate you, where you can start fresh. Where they don’t know what everyone on this board knows.

It takes a person of maturity to realize when its time to go. Whether or not you think Wheaton “needs” you, it takes wisdom to know when that’s simply not going to happen. If you know you’re so wonderful, then simply share it with someone else. Make Wheaton “rue the day” they turned you away. But do it somewhere else.

The theater is being restored by Ray Shepardson. There’s all kinds of things being worked on right now; beleive me. I’ve seen it. Plans being made, meetings attended, contractors hired. It is moving. But as someone said above…its only been 9 months. The fundraising alone was supposed to take a year. The actual physical labor will probably take another year after that. There’s engineers and architects to consult with, all sorts of building specialists who have to evaluate what’s there before anything else can be done. So the initial work will NOT be seen by most of us. But it is being done.

I’m looking forward to seeing the day that it all starts coming together!

The Neighbor

goaway on January 3, 2007 at 3:34 pm

God, are you an idiot. The theatre closed in April of 2006 to begin working on getting the restoration under way. It’s been NINE MONTHS! How many theatres have you seen get restored and reopened in that time? They have a highly credible theater consultant working on the project. And they are being questioned by YOU? Someone who has “a passion for saving old theatres” Which theatre have you saved, you con man? Name it! Zoe, Lawford, etc, etc – a trail of failures. And unfortunately for the people of Youngstown, their Paramount will be added to that list before too long. Maybe if the folks at the Grand didn’t have your pathetic excuse of a lawsuit to deal with they could do even more than what’s been done so far, which from the gracious view of “behind the scenes” I was given, is a LOT. You have once again violated your stated intention to stick to posting positive comments and have again dragged this fine site down with your drivel. Oh yeah, you also spelled your attorney’s name incorrectly, you idiot! It’s HAAS.

rroberts on January 2, 2007 at 9:07 am

Remember, kids. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings. Our lawyer Mr. Chris Hass, will appeal…naturally. I could not agree more: What a waste of time and money. We are not in this for the money. Believe it or not I have a passion for saving old theatres. Why doesn’t the public focus on opening the Wheaton Grand Theatre and not on attacks of me or others who think ONE big theatre is a disaster waiting to happen in downtown Wheaton? Study other theatres. Study the theatre consultants. Study the City of Wheaton’s Walker Parking study. One question to the public: Why isn’t the theatre open yet? It appears that nothing has been done on the Wheaton in over a year! You are right: There are always more than two sides to every story. Dig in, folks. I will check in with you next year when the theatre isn’t open…again.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 23, 2006 at 10:03 pm

It’s always smething around here.

schmadrian on December 23, 2006 at 5:36 am

Not that it’s possible…and I’m only musing on this because I’m a writer and this is the way my mind works…

I would love to see a ‘He Said, She Said’ film version of a scenario like this. Because man; this has all manner of human existence in it, from the ridiculous to the astonishing, from the morally-questionable to the honourable. And only after seeing all sides of it would you ever really gain an understanding not just of the facts, but more importantly, the motivations.

Of course, I’m also reminded of that old saw ‘There’s three sides to every story: yours, mine…and The Truth.’

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 23, 2006 at 5:27 am

What an unbelievable waste of time, money and energy.

goaway on December 23, 2006 at 3:50 am

Lawsuit against Wheaton Grand Theater gets thrown out
By James Fuller
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, December 22, 2006

Now playing at the Wheaton Grand Theater: “Death of a Lawsuit.”

DuPage Circuit Judge Hollis Webster this week dismissed the remaining parts of a lawsuit against the theater. The ruling potentially ends more than a year of legal battles and innuendo surrounding the theater’s renovation.

Grand Venues Inc., once managed and booked acts for the theater, but was fired. Grand Venues then sought at least $100,000 in damages for breach of contract and work the company claimed it was never compensated for.

Tim Newitt, the theater board’s attorney, said Grand Venues lost its case because there wasn’t enough proof it had a good reason for withholding contractual payments to the theater.

Grand Venues claimed it didn’t make the payments because it was forced to work in an unsafe environment.

“Their claims had no merit,” Newitt said. “Now the suit is gone, gone, gone. We have won.”

Grand Venues attorney Christopher Haas said he’ll consult with his clients about their desire to file an appeal. They have 30 days to do so. Grand Venues partner Paul Warshauer was on vacation in Oregon and said he was unaware of Webster’s decision.

The theater board has a counterclaim pending for the $11,000 of withheld payments. Newitt expects that claim will die because he said he believes Grand Venues may not be able to pay it.

“My impression is nothing more is going to happen,” Newitt said. “This was sapping a lot of time away from what the theater board ought to be doing. Now their way is clear. They don’t have to worry about it.”

Ray Shepardson, who is in charge of the theater’s ongoing restoration, called the lawsuit’s dismissal the correction of a mistake. His work continues on the renovation project.

Shepardson said his latest “heartburn” is the excavation of the basement for more dressing room space.

“It’s getting very expensive to get just a little space, which I absolutely have to have,” Shepardson said.

He expects to have updated project costs shortly after the first of the year.

kza347 on December 22, 2006 at 6:04 am

The Daily Herald and the Wheaton Sun are reporting today that DuPage Circuit Judge Hollis Webster has dismissed a final count in a lawsuit against the Wheaton Grand Theater. Grande Venues filed a suit for $100,000 against the Wheaton Grand Theater for breach of contract and non-payment for work after their contract was terminated in early 2005. Grande Venues has 30 days to appeal the decision.

GWaterman on December 6, 2006 at 3:06 pm

My goodness. It took me almost all afternoon, but I read this entire board. All I can say is, thank you all for the entertainment. If I could ever write a theatrical mystery novel, Mr. W. certainly serves as the model for a great character —– and yes, I’m aware he produces murder theatre pieces.

As someone with a background in venue management, I can say that a venue with fewer than 800 seats would be very difficult economically to program with quality name acts, even in a small town. An 800 seat venue is also a desirable size for rentals, where cutting it up smaller would very much limit rental opportunities. Also, it is nice to think of having 3 simultaneously programmed venues, but it often doesn’t work well in actual practice. There is noise conflict; it is difficult to accommodate 3 separate crowds in the entry; it is difficult to provide adequate restrooms and support areas for each venue without conflicting with the others.

The discussion that the drama group and the programming proposed in the 1-theatre proposal will split the same market is not consistent with my experience, either. Amateur drama, even of high quality, is not the same as professional music, dance, and touring theatre. Production values, format, and – yes – price are as different as apples from oranges.

I don’t see from Mr. W’s information on line that he’s ever actually run and programmed a building for a prolonged period of time. Nor do I see any discussion of technical issues, common practices of venue management, contracting, and development. Maybe the name-calling pre-empted that, but these issues don’t seem to be very important to Mr. W.

I do find it odd that someone whose contract was terminated nevertheless, a full year later, still aspires to “run” the theatre. Sir, your business is supposedly theatre restoration. Move on, and find another theatre that will hire your firm.

I was acquainted with Ray Shepardson during the mid 80’s and was quite impressed with his work, so I hope that he is serving the folks at the Grand well.

Ah, well. Maybe I’ll write that novel.

Broan on November 30, 2006 at 5:23 pm

I don’t know, that story doesn’t look like there’s actually any NEWS reported. It sounds more like someone in the newsroom used Google.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 30, 2006 at 4:55 pm

It is hard to say anything for certain. But it seems the situation in Youngstown may be decaying:


moody1785 on October 19, 2006 at 7:08 am

Paul is on the move again .
Log on the link .

Youngstown Ohio .


DuPagefiends on October 13, 2006 at 4:10 am

Here is an update from The Daily Herald:

View link

DuPagefiends on October 13, 2006 at 4:10 am

Here is an update from The Daily Herald:

View link

schmadrian on September 7, 2006 at 9:33 am

So what’s the latest for the Wheaton Grand Theater, etc?

kza347 on July 22, 2006 at 4:51 am

Nice article on the Wheaton Sun News Website.

View link

Highlights where they are, where they have been and where they are going.

goaway on April 17, 2006 at 5:02 am

And yet, talking out of both sides of your mouth, you CONTINUE to mention your legal case in each one of your posts. No one is asking about your misguided lawsuit. I want to know, did you keep money that was given to you as a donation meant for a not-for-profit organization? Yes or no? Obviously the answer is yes or you would have stated otherwise. I believe you’ve committed fraud, my friend. And no, I don’t want to give you my email address, or meet you in person, I’m not that crazy.

And you’re the ass who started this latest non-restoration talk with this remark:

“Good luck with the next "phase.” Hopefully those with property inside will be able to get it out before too long.
posted by Paul Warshauer on Mar 30, 2006 at 4:05pm"

If you notice, when YOU don’t post here, then theater restoration talk resumes. Mind your own business and concentrate on staying out of jail.

rroberts on April 17, 2006 at 2:42 am

Goaway: Again this is website for cinema treasures not for the legal aspects of this case. E-mail me privately and I am happy to respond. For the record one last time: Grande Venues, Inc. claims that the Wheaton Grand Theatre has done three primary things to destroy our company. They cancelled our lawful contract, they spread lies about us to business people and have retained money for concerts we wrote contracts for. They also cost us upwards of $90,000 of commissions. Balance the small amount we collected from activities that WE created against the money they owe us. Again we are willing to let the courts decide. The lawsuit is public. We filed it last summer. Read it! I am happy to meet you and others at the DuPage County Courthouse one day to go over all these matters. How is that? Now can you let this go and allow theatre restoration business to resume here?