Edens I & II Theaters

320 Skokie Boulevard,
Northbrook, IL 60062

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alexgor23
alexgor23 on November 16, 2004 at 9:33 am

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 12:11 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 2:20 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 16, 2004 at 11:53 pm

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.