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If you read this, I would like to team up with you to write a list of films shown in it’s main auditorium from it’s 1971 opening ‘til it’s 2003 closing. JRS40 has provided the listing from 1971-1980. I will start from 1981 to it’s brief closing in '87 when CO walled in the balcony for two screens. After it’s triplexing, #1 was indentified via the movie presented in THX or in some cases, 70mm THX.
Before the triplexing, #1 held 1271 (including balcony). After 12/18/87, #1 held about 760. The two screens in the former balcony held about 230-240 each.
Great list guys. In fact, in my alternate universe, “Sunshine Cleaning” would be opening Friday in #7.
Very touching story indeed Mr. Parsons. It sounds like your father was a great man.
If I were running the theaters now, the 3-D films would probably be in the mall, seeing that those screens are perfect for it. #9 would be difficult seeing that the screen is 40 by 85ft wide, and a digital projector doesn’t have the power (or light) to fill such a mammoth screen, or at least for the time being. Now it’s possible that #10 could get away with one, seeing that it’s about 60ft wide or so.
JRS40, Audiodude, in my marketing plan, I will advertise the fact that these screens are the largest in the Chicago area (outside of IMAX). And I will show art films, the kind that NW Indiana doesn’t get for a while. The business plan is coming along. Pretty soon I will take it a step further and seek out financial investors.
…And if I were running it today
1/30/09 – TAKEN
2/13/09 – FRIDAY THE 13TH
2/27/09 – SLUMDOG MILLIONARE (why this isn’t playing at Lansing is beyond me)
3/6/09 – WATCHMEN
More movies that played in #1 (9)
3/14/86 – GUNG HO
11/13/87 – THE RUNNING MAN
12/11/87 – WALL STREET
5/25/88 – CROCODILE DUNDEE II
12/9/88 – TWINS
10/20/89 – HALLOWEEN 5 (moveover from #13 aka #2) of note: my father turned 47 that day
3/23/90 – THE FOURTH WAR
8/3/90 – MO' BETTER BLUES
8/24/90 – DELTA FORCE 2: OPERATION STRANGLEHOLD
11/16/90 – ROCKY V
12/25/90 – THE GODFATHER PART III
2/15/91 – THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
6/14/91 – ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THEIVES
3/6/92 – THE LAWNMOWER MAN (of note, this was my second b-day!)
9/11/92 – SNEAKERS
2/18/94 – BLUE CHIPS
5/19/95 – DIE HARD WITH A VENGENCE
10/13/95 – JADE
12/13/96 – THE PREACHER’S WIFE
12/19/97 – TITANIC
2/26/99 – 8MM
With the economy in the state it’s in right now, I wouldn’t expect to hear anything anytime soon.
In a perfect world, this or McClurg Court would reopen as indie houses. This could be restored to a triple or a quad, with a large movie place-esque screen. But those developers just love high-rises that the area has enough of.
I’m fighting hard, real hard to reopen that theater.
PS: So did the McClurg Court. But thanks to the AMC 21 nearby, it sits vacant, with the building owners not knowing what to do with it.
Ah, if only Chicago had screens like that to show 70mm.
The best 3D/digital projectors cost up to $150,000. A 35/70mm projector costs about 35/40,000, and even less if it’s refurbished.
Note to Sony: Call me when ya’ll can install it on screens up to 80ft in width. That’s when this realD will really look good.
I found a picture of the concession stand of RO in 1976. I can’t tell if it’s from #1.
Thank you for posting the info KenC. Multiplexes these days only have about 2 big rooms, and the rest are little screening rooms with 80-90 seats. I hope Costco will go elsewere, so Norridge may soldier on.
Who knows, maybe when my chain kicks off, perhaps I’ll pick it up from AMC and give it a much needed facelift.
M&R in partnership with Loews due to the fact of them taking over M&R in 1988.
Another CO with the M&S design remains open, the Rivertree Court, operated by Kerasotes!
Thanks for the info. How did you get ahold of it?
Oh well, looks like someone (me) will have come in and construct a new theater nearby.
Regarding nothing being removed, how recent is the info? I often get worried because the windows are blacked out, and for the past few months, trailers have been parked far in the lot. Other than that, the building is still there. 1-6 and 7-8 is still there too.
PS: The business plan is coming along nicely. It prepares you for building from the ground up, but I’m revising to fit my buy and remodel plan.
I tell ya, someone needs to take over the 6 screener, remodel, and maybe expand if possible. Perhaps using retail space. If done right, it can hold it’s own against the Kerasotes 14.
JRS40 and Audiodude,
What do you think about a night sky ceiling for #9? It would look almost like the one at the Music Box.
PS: The business plan is coming along nicely. Once I get it pristine, I will look for investors.
That’s my main problem with Digital 3D too. Since they talk about it being the future, they should try and come up with a process of projecting it on screens like these
Project ‘em on those screens, then you have a fantastic expereince. If not, then the novelity will wear off.
As an advocate of actual film, I like the digital 3D. I had a blast seeing MBV in 3D. And while it’s great, people like Jeff Katzenberg shouldn’t expect it to be the end-of all in how we watch movies. And the cost to convert is too high in these times of financial turmoil.
They want to convert up to 20,000 or more screens for the format, which would cost about a billion dollars. Yet they won’t spend a microcent of that to convert 100-200 large screens to SDS-70MM. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I’m starting to believe that digital purists are kind of affraid of the power in which shooting in 65MM and projecting in 70 or SDS-70 possesses. Just go to your 35MM theater and watch the trailer for “The International”. The 35MM scenes are typical of the projection, yet when the trailer shows the scene with Clive Owen and the bad guy on the roof, you see an instant surge in picture quality due to the scene being shot in 65MM.
I like digital 3D, but I want it to coexist with film.
The Plaza 1,2,3 opened December 12th, 1980. First films to play here were “Stir Crazy” on two screens. “Any Which Way You Can” took over one of those screens on 12/17, and the the third opened on Christmas Day. Roy Leonard of WGN attended the grand opening ceremony.
Now if I were running it today…
11/26/08 – TWILIGHT (moveover from #10)
12/19/08 – SEVEN POUNDS
12/25/08 – CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (in Sony 4K DLP)
1/16/09 – GRAN TORINO (moveover from #10)
1/30/09 – TAKEN
More from #1
4/2/82 – SOME KIND OF HERO
4/1/88 – BEETLEJUICE
4/8/88 – ABOVE THE LAW
9/30/88 – GORILLAS IN THE MIST
10/7/88 – ALIEN NATION
6/1/90 – TOTAL RECALL
6/8/90 – ANOTHER 48 HRS
5/28/93 – CLIFFHANGER
6/11/93 – JURASSIC PARK
Also, I got the Cineplex Odeon directory for 4/7/89, and “Lean on Me” was still playing (sixth week BTW) in #1, but what caught my eye was that #14 was closed. #13 was showing a movie called “Sing”. But I have a CO directory for May of ‘89, and #14 was up and running.
I still hope Costco will go elsewere. This theater has too much history to just vanish in the wind.
I mean, look at how many classic films played here in it’s almost 39 year history. “Halloween”, “Alien” etc…
Aek316 and Paul Fortini,
This was the color of the curtains on each of the 3 screens at McClurg. The cinema in the photo was also a remodel by Cineplex Odeon.
I sure will A_projectionist.