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I remember all the hoopla when this place opened in 1997 or so. The partners in Inner City Entertainment made all this hoopty-doo about how they were bringing movies back to the inner-city areas.
What went wrong?
I re-reviewed BW’s photos above and it looks like this place is in fairly decent, if not spectacular, shape. Nothing that some general renovations couldn’t fix.
Someone else stated that the nearby Lincoln Village Shopping Center has been recently renovated and is now doing well. Why can’t this theatre fare just as well? Between the LV Shopping Center and the Home Depot across the street (and that the theatre building is enormous), it’s not like this place is hidden.
I wonder why AMC-Loews gave up on the place.
So I was on Oak Street last week and I noticed that demolition has not yet begun on the Esquire. The marquee is still being used for public service announcements and Citibank is still occupying the first floor. I thought that demolition would begin in April or May, 2007.
Village has not updated its website since September 21, 2007. What’s that all about?
You are probably right because the Melrose Park is actually quite a distance from the Norridge. If anything, the Muvico in Rosemont would be the one that robs this theatre of attendance.
Interesting review of this place View link
I vaguely remember this place. I went here when I was young. As it ended up in the Cineplex-Odeon chain, was it ever a Plitt or an Essaness?
Another website says that it was stripped to the walls and in a shambles towards the end. Was this for renovations that were never done?
For awhile, this theatre will be closed on weekdays in order to do renovations.
This is per their website.
I found Rivest’s website which says that the Lawrencewood/Niles Square opened up in 1966 and was operated by M&R. In 1984, it was re-opened as the Niles Square Cinema and was showing Star Trek 3, The Search For Spock. The ad posted in Rivest’s site says “M&R Niles Square Cinema, formerly known as Lawrencewood Theatre, ‘Totally remodelled, new projection and sound systems. Now a priemier M&R theatre.’”
Rivest’s site says though that this place closed in 1986. I vaguely remember this theatre, but I don’t believe that I have ever seen a movie here.
The function of this theatre should then be “Casino” or “Office Space”.
Kerasotes has placed its own logo on the side of the building facing the Kennedy Expressway and the railroad tracks. It now says “Showplace City North 14.” I believe that the AMC letters (Ie. the “label scar”) have been erased.
I haven’t been here for a few years. But the reviews on www.yelp.com have not been positive for this theater. That includes reviews written for both AMC and Kerasotes management. It’s a shame that a place less than 10 years old is getting bad reviews. Has anyone been here recently? I’d like comments from my fellow Cinema Treasures fans about this theater.
They are currently only showing “Eastern Promises” and “In the Valley of Elah.” These are probably in the newer rooms, so it indicates to me that they are doing renovation.
The Will Rogers was closed within a year after the Cineplex-Odeon takeover and some people stated that they never saw C-O logos at that theatre (the Plitt/Plitt-Essaness/CO-Plitt name continued for about a year after that, say into 1986). Did Cineplex-Odeon ever place its logos at the Nortown, which lasted about 5 years after CO took over?
That’s good news. I like this place.
It is interesting that the theatre’s 2005 occupancy permits show it as being a Cineplex-Odeon. But if I’m not mistaken, C-O passed from the Chicago scene a few years ago. Also, the theatre doesn’t look bad at all. It looks like it just needs someone to come in, spiffy up the auditoriums, and promote the place. It makes me wonder why Classic Cinemas won’t come into the city and take over places like these.
Also, my good friend and fellow CTer Paul Fortini once said that places like these were an attempt by Cineplex-Odeon to modernize the movie-going experience for Chicagoland movie-goers. The original Linclon Village had become so run-down that this place was originally seen as an improvement. It is certainly an impressive looking structure. I think it would make money given the right management.
Speaking of which, how is your theatre project coming along? Don’t you think that this place, in the right hands, could be good again? Maybe as a 2nd-run place?
Wow, it looks just like the old Burnham Plaza!
Per Rivest’s website, this theatre was opened by Essaness in 1981, then operated by Cineplex-Odeon, then finally by Loews-Cineplex. His site says that it was closed in 1998, which would coincide with Paul F.’s comment above.
Oddly enough, Essaness also operated another Plaza Theatre in Chicago which closed in 1951—thirty years prior to this place opening.
I believe that of all the theatres built for Cineplex-Odeon in the city of Chicago, this will leave only the 600 North Michigan. All of the others (Bricktown, Burnham Plaza, & Lincoln Village) are or will be gone.
But I believe that the 600 North was built sometime after these and of a different design.
Rivest’s website says that this place is closed. Is that true?
Riis Park and Paul F.
I’ll go one better. I once saw “BJ & Dirty Dragon” here. A special episode of the TV show was being filmed here.
Now I’ve REALLY dated myself!
Was the granite facade (or whatever material that is) later extended to cover Citibank’s part of the building? The vintage photos on www.cinematour.com seem to indicate so.
Let me try that again