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Great photo BWChicago but I have to correct you on the date. Having looked up HOW TO STEAL A MILLION and DUEL AT DIABLO (both clearly playing on the right side of the picture) both were released in 1966. If you look at the United Artists across the street you can see Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starring in a movie. In 1966 it would have to have been WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Having done much research in the past I know for sure WOOLF played the UA and was its all time highest grosser until 1975 when JAWS opened. So the picture has to be a 1966 night.
This link lists Indiana theaters. Note that the Ridge is listed and the address is the same as the Glen. The mystery continues.
MPol you are correct. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was the set up for SOME LIKE IT HOT. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon witnessed it and had to go on the run, thus dressing as women and joining a band. Although it took place in Chicago I don’t think those scenes were filmed there.
RegionRat those are outstanding photos. As one who drives by the theater nearly every day I have always wondered what it looked like inside. How did you ever gain access to the theater? I can only think of two ways – posing as a potential buyer or less gentlemanly means.. lol. Did you find any good souveniers to sneak home? Plan on going back again? If you would prefer to not answer here feel free to email me at
Sounds great Cinemark. I am keeping my fingers crossed every day for you. I hate seeing that beautiful building just sitting there. I think it would be great if you could get films like THE VISITOR and FROZEN RIVER, neither of which came to NW Indiana.
FYI – Back in the eary 80’s the only theater that was equipped to show 3-D was #5-6. I saw HOUSE OF WAX with Vincent Price there as well as DIAL M FOR MURDER.
I have two older brothers and in asking them seperately they both insist the Ridge was the same building where the Glen was. Both also remembered another theater right on Broadway that Jase may be referring to that was turned into a furniture store but neither could remember its name. It does make sense though. Why would a theater named the Ridge sit on Broadway and not Ridge Road? Even though we are taling about intersecting roads it makes more sense that the Ridge was on Ridge Road close to Broadway instead of vice versa. Also the status of the theater should be changed to OPEN and its function be LIVE SHOWS.
David – My pleasure. I know how fun it can be to peruse a list like this and have many memories come flashing back. I was never in the Playboy (or subsequent theaters) but wish I had had a chance to.
Back in the 70’s River Oaks was an outdoor mall such as Oakbrook still is. You only went inside if it was in one of the stores. I truly don’t recall an ice cream shop in the mall but I think seeing the word INTERMISSION on the menu board tilts it towards being a drive-in.
Actually when you look at it closer I don’t know that it is River Oaks at all. I don’t ever remember them serving cones and shakes. RO was a classy operation and I think they wouldn’t have allowed that in their theaters. Plus the concession board says INTERMISSION which makes it sound like a drive-in. The whole front counter was glass for candy and there doesn’t appear to be any glass there. I don’t think this is RO after all. Someone either mis-identified or was just guessing.
Yeah it’s too hard to tell but it must be. If I remember correctly the stand at 2-3 was one big area sharing both theaters but, again, from that angle who knows? But it had to be one of those two buildings.
I remember seeing “Sense and Sensibility” there and seeing a mouse scurry back and forth across the aisle the whole movie. That was a first (and last) and surprised me seeing that the theaters hadn’t been around that long – maybe 5 years.
I took a tour of the Chicago and it was revealed there is no projection equipment left in the building and on the rare occasions that they do show a movie (such as the opening of the Chicago Film Fest) they rent the equipment.
As an occasional visitor to the Music Box I would say that’s not a bad idea. It would add some ambiance to an already beautiful theater. Keep me updated. I am eager to see you pull this off.
You’re quite welcome OeOeO. Back in the 60’s and 70’s when I was young I kept a notebook and would note each Friday what was playing at the downtown palaces. A few years ago I happen to come across them again and since I knew of this website I thought I would share hoping others were interested in what these great theaters played and when. If you check out many of the other palaces in Chicago you will see their bookings as well.
So there was a small gap of maybe a year where all 14 screens were up and running. My apologies Audio – I simply can’t remember that. “Batman” opened in June of 1989 so chances are it was still around that time when it played on all 4 screens. I can’t imagine it was later then July due to a load of summer movies that year. I can remember that being the busiest year for summer movies I ever saw as a manager. Besides “Batman” there was “Indiana Jones,” “Ghostbusters 2,” “Weekend At Bernies,” “Field of Dreams,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Parenthood,” “Roadhouse” “Dead Poet’s Society” and others.
The reason for the Diana naming is as good as any. Yes I remember the long walk from the box office to the theaters and concession. It wasn’t a bad place to see a movie in the 80’s and sometimes they played movies that GCC in NW Indiana or River Oaks didn’t play. It was always busy on weekends and I was shocked when they went to a second run discount house. I also remember that right next door was a big arcade which we always hit before and after the movie.
Audio – According to the River Oaks 1-6 page the renumbering wasn’t done until after 2-3 closed so maybe that is why I don’t remember it being known as 13-14. But since my memory is a bit suspect I won’t disagree further.
On a different note I would love to go over to the Diana page and hear some stories as I frequented that theater in the 80’s as well. If you can find out I would love to know how the theater got its name.
Yeah I think you are right about the sign, which is still there by the way but it still seems to me 2-3, which may have been slated to be number changed, closed before 1-6 opened thus negating the chance to re-number it.
Cinemark – You seem to have good research on this. Was there ever a time all 14 screens were open at the same time? I seem to remember being told 2-3 closed for two reasons: One the lease had expired and it was too costly and two, because a new group (1-6 obviously) of screens were being constructed.
2-3 closed in 1989 so I don’t think they were part of the re-numbering. The last film I saw there was “Breaking In” with Burt Reynolds. A few weeks later it closed. I don’t believe 1-6 opened until 90 or 91.
Funny you mention it Cinemark but I can remember in the 70’s eagerly waiting to see the movies that would be playing at 1-2-3 because often times they would play movies that didn’t open in NW Indiana. “Chinatown,” “The Godfather Part II,” “The Drowning Pool,” “Day of the Locust,” “Airport 1975,” “The Ritz,” “Star Wars,” “Revenge of the Pink Panther,” “The Bad News Bears Go To Japan,” “Alien,” “The Fury,” “Barry Lyndon,” “Network,” “Logan’s Run,” “Return of a Man Called Horse” and “The Sting” are just some of the movies we ventured to Calumet City to see. And sometimes even if a movie was in NW Indiana we would go to River Oaks if it was in #1. I know we did that for “King Kong,” “Close Encounters,” “Magic,” and “Superman” just off the top of my head. Not to mention the “Star Wars” sequels and the “Indiana Jones” films (the first two anyway).
Funny but every time I visited the curtain remained open. Maybe it is selective memory on my part. Yeah the flood lights, which were the lights the janitors used when they cleaned the house after closing, were a great annoyance. Last time I was there was for “King Kong” and you couldn’t read the credits at all. I can remember back in the 70’s (and it may have been like this for you in the 90’s) that when you walked in only the sidelights and curtain lights were on and they weren’t overly bright so it was hard to see the seats. But it added a bit more ambiance to the place.
I love the 70MM idea. Maybe you could do like the Music Box and run some weekend morning classics and midnight movies for the younger crowd. There’s so many things you could do. There is a plethora of ideas and movie lovers who would welcome it all.
Cinemark, I, too, would vote for traditional seating if only in 1 and 4 (or 9-10) because I am a traditionalist naturally. But at this point whatever it takes to get them open and as clean and beautiful as I remember them. One thing I know was an issue on the big screen was that back in the late 80’s the curtain machine broke and they never bothered to fix it so the curtains remained open from then on. I would love to see that fixed and get that big, beautiful curtain to open and close per each show. Incidentally, I used to work in management in General Cinema in NW Indiana for many years so if you ever get that big screen open I would be happy to come work for you (if the price is right of course..hehehe) if you need management.
Yes Office Depot and not Circuit City. My mistake. Cinemark it was great moviegoing in the 70’s and early 80’s. Sorry you missed out.
No the pic is of 7-8 and was always 7-8. The original 5-6 were River Oaks West. I saw TRON out at 5-6 and I remember because the film was sold out and a group of us went down the parking lot and played touch football for two hours until the movie started. 7-8 opened in 1984.
To answer your other questions – 2 & 3 is CIRCUIT CITY now. The building was not demolished but shelled and painted. 5-6 is empty or at least it was the last time I was by there. I can remember just a week after it closed I went by there and was able to walk in to the area and it was completely empty. 7-8 still has the marquee up so I imagine there is nothing in there now.
The first movie I ever saw in 7-8 was a sneak preview of “Starman.” Now of course it was sneaking in NW Indiana but I HAD to get a look at the new theaters and my dad was a good enough sport to go with me. It was a nice but not spectacular theater plus the movie was terrific. I did see many a movie there too.
Cinemark I am only going by memory here. 7-8 were the ones on the same side as 1-2 right? The ones attached to the mall itself? If I remember they were smaller then 2-3 and 5-6. I would guess they seated around 400 each but don’t hold me to it.