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Would be great to have photos of the interior, old photos and more info!
Manteno, IllinoisMP 47 on the IC/CN/AMTRAK “Main Line of Mid-America”
Would be great to have photos of the original theater, both inside and out and more info too!
PLEASE CHANGE SEATS TO:
Built by the Butcher Brothers, a local family, it was two years in the making and cost $50,000.00. The Mar opened on Tuesday June 15, 1937. The engineering was state of the art for the time. The building was riveted structural steel with masonary and plaster walls. The ceiling, walls and floors were solid concrete to contain any fires. The projection booth was fireproof due to volatile nature of early film material. It had steam heat from two boilers in the basement and the new invention of chilled air conditioning.
The theater has always been used as a movie theater and is much as it was in 1937. Outside tenants occupy the two small storefronts on either side of the Mar just as it was originally. It still has the orignial marquee. The ticket booth and lobby are in the original configuration. Much of the original architectural hardware and lighting fixtures are still in use. The original stage and decorative ceiling are still intact. The original auditorium seats 300 with 4 channel sound and DTS digital capabilty.
In the late 1990’s a second auditorium, which seats 64 was made from storage space. It has 4 channel Dolby.
The Mar Theatre is the OLDEST and ONLY PRIVATELY OWNED OPERATING THEATRE in the WILL COUNTY AREA
The Mar is still a FIRST RUN THEATRE, playing CURRENT FILMS on the NATIONAL BREAK. They also play a limited number of old classsic movies 3 to 4 times a year.
2012 Owned by Denise & Rick Smith
Owned by Anderson Theatre Circuit of 118 E. Jefferson St., Morris, Illinois. They also had theaters in such towns as Coal City, De Kalb, Morris & Naperville all in Illonois.
Manteno, IllinoisMP 47 on the IC/CN/AMTRAK “Mainline of Mid-America”
Broan, My parents and grandparents lived on the Northside, but I was raised on the Southside (still a CUBS Fan). Seems to me they talked about Belmont Park, but I must have got it all mixed up with Belmont Central, Gardens & Cragin along with the Parks of Portage, Hombolt and Albany. Can’t ask them now, they are all at that great movie palace in in the sky.
The old Chief’s not so great at math either, 30 years for the Bepark is even worse!
Photo is of Paul Cullen sitting at the Console of a Mighty CHRISTIE Theatre Pipe Organ, NOT a WurliTizer.
Paul Cullen played Palatial BURWOOD Theatre from 2/34-1/41 alternating every 6 months with Knight Barnett.
The Cristie Theatre Pipe Organ, Opus 2698 (made by Hill, Norman & Beard Ltd.) was a 3/10 (Manual/Rank, Keyboards/Units of Pipes). Originally in 1928 it was installed in Clou Konzert Haus, Berlin, Germany. In 1929 it was supposed to go to Civic, Auckland, N.Z., but it was not sent there. It was installed at the Palatial BURWOOD Theatre in 1932. In 1958 it went to Seventh Day Adventist Church, Wahroonga. In 1999 the console was replaced with a drawstop console. Anyone know what happened to the old console? Any futher news on how the pipes of Opus 2698 are doing at the church?
More photos and info are always welcome!
Manteno, Illinois, USAMP 47 on IC/CN RR “Main Line of Mid-America”
Named for being in BELmont PARK.
Opened 5:00pm, Saturday March 12, 1927.
Closed 1957, only 40 years!
Started out with movies, but also had Vaudeville on Saturday and Sunday.
A Barton Theater Pipe Organ 3/17 (Manual/Rank Keyboards/Sets of Pipes)was installed in 1927. Dan Barton’s Barton Organ Company of Oshkosh Wisconsin started building theater pipe organs in 1918 and was the fifth largest builder of theater pipe organs.
There is no record of what happened to the organ, any of it left in the building, anyone know?
Have any old photos of the theater or more info?
Manteno, IllinoisMP 47 on the IC/CN RR Mainline of Mid-America
Open 1926-January 1 1957
Called Hollywood 1926-1945, Holly 1945-demolished.
1950 had Allied Buying and Booking Service.
Demolished mid 1960’s?
More photos and info are always welcome.
Mighty WurliTizer Theater Pipe Organ
The photo of the interior of theater shows the organ pipe chambers to the sides of the stage above the emergenency exits. The organ was shipped to the theater from North Tonawanda, New York on April 2, 1926. It was Opus 1309 a 3/8 Manuals/Ranks Keyboards/Sets of Pipes. Besides the pipes, it had Cathedral Chimes, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Sleigh Bells, Chrysoglott, Bass Drumm, Kettle Drum, Crash Cymbal, Cymbal, Snare Drum, Tom Tom, Castanets, Tambourine, Chinese Block, Triangle, Auto Horn, Fire Gong, Steamboat Whistle, Horse Hoofs, Surf, Bird, Machine Gun, Siren and Door Bell.
Must have been great fun to play, but no longer needed when sound was put on film!
In February 1932 the organ went to the United Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota and later to a private owner in Bismarck, North Dakota. In 1969 it went to a private owner in Lemon Grove, California and was still playable. Anyone know what’s happened to it in the last 42 years?
“Gee Dad it was a WurliTizer!”
MP 47 on the IC/CN Main Line of Mid-America
In 1925 a Kimball Theater Pipe Organ 3/21 Manuals/Rank (Keyboard/Sets of Pipes) was shipped to this theater.
William Wallace Kimball founded the W.W. Kimball and Company in Chicago in 1857. At certain times in the 19th and 20th centuries it was the largest piano and organ manufactuer. Kimball began assembling REED organs in 1877. The factory produced 15,000 organs a year, as the world’s largest organ maker. They produced 403,390 REED organs. The PIPE organ division built 7,326 models. They also went on to make ELECTRONIC/ELECTRIC organs.
From the photos above the console in 2007, was in a residence in Omaha, Nebraska. Anyone know what happened to the pipes?
Open till 1945.
A Robert-Morton Theater Pipe Organ, 2 Manual/3 Rank (Keyboarb/Sets of Pipes) Style 49, was shipped to the theater in 1924. Does anyone know what happened to the organ?
Robert Morton Organ Company was located in Van Nuys, California. “Robert Morton” wasn’t a person, rather the first names of a major stockholder’s sons. It was the number two volume producer of theater pipe organs, building approximately half as many as the industry leader WurliTzer.
Early 1940’s opened.
1945-1950 Theatrical Managers Inc owners.
1955-1961 Y&W Theatres ownwers.
Early 1960’s closed.
Sure could use an address, photos and more info!
CT also lists the other Crown Point theater the Crown/Palace.
The name CROWN Theater came of course from the city name of CROWN Point. Sota a strange name for a place first known as Robinsons Prairie, for Solon and Milo Robinson. Allegdly, when Solon Robinson saved his neignbors' lands from speculators, he was nicknamed ‘KING of the Squatters,’ and the settlement was named ‘CROWN’ for the ‘KING’ and ‘Point’ for the elevation on which Robinson’s cabin and the old beautiful historic courthouse now still stands. And now you know the rest of the story!
Opened around 1924 and may have been called the Crown Theater.
1930-1961 Palace Theater
1940-1950 Owned by Theatrical Managers, Inc.
1955-1961 Owned by Y&W Theaters.
Early 1960’s Closed.
1990- Crown Theater
1924 a 2/manual (keyboard) Barton Organ Company Theater Pipe Organ was shipped to the CROWN Theater. Dan Barton of Oaskosh, Wisconsin founed his company in 1918 and it became the fifth largest builder of theater pipe organs. I don’t know what happened to the organ. Any pipes left in the theater?
105 year old (in 2012) Edith “Sautter remembers watching silent movies accompanied by piano music at the Palace Theater (now Crown Theater).”
See also the [url=/theater/25681/]Rex Theater[/url] in Crown Point
Anyone have old photos, photos of the inside, more info?
Thanks Mary Harrigan
theatre123 thanks for the info. Now that’s gonna be a BIG job!
?Who is the current owner of the theatre/building?
PLEASE CHANGE ADDRESS TO:
33 NORTH MAIN STREET, MANTENO, IL 60950
Edward, I’ve noticed those sockets on some old theaters, sometimes they still have bulbs in them that have turned almost black. Some theaters covered them over with mortar. The Chicago Theatre, Downtown, had them off, for I would guess at least 50 years and then about 5 years ago restored the lights. That must be a job to replace the sockets and wires behind the terra cotta. They look GREAT! The GREAT theater expert, the late Jim Rankin, told me those are called “STUD LIGHTING”. Thanks Jim, RIP.
The Google Map takes you to 18900 S Halsted near the Aldi Supermarket. Click on “View Larger Map”, then “Open in Google Maps”, make larger. The Red Dot is in the theaters parking lot and points right at the theater. The theater is really located on W Arquilla Drive (at least thats what it’s called East of Halsted (Route 1), West of Halsted it’s 183rd). You could say it’s at the Northwest corner of Arquilla and W Sunset Road.
Wendy’s is on the corner between Halsted and the theater. Years ago, of course, Wendy’s was not there and it now blocks the view of the theater from Halsted, that couldn’t help business. I can’t remember if the theater parking lot went all the way to Halsted and if it had a sign out by the street. Anyone have more info on this?
It’s a shame Prairie State College didn’t do something with it, they are only 2 miles to the South. If someone would have done something with it they would have got a tax break, it was in a TIF District. A big strip mall is accross the street to the South and most of it is empty, so I don’t know what the rush is to tear it down, nothing will be built on the site.
I went by Wednesday, August 3, 2011 and no signs of demolition yet.
I like that sunken lounge, it had a fireplace.
It is better to see the CINERAMA demo in FULL SCREEN. If you click on the 4 arrows in the bottom right hand corner to get FULL SCREEN it won’t work. If you click on the You Tube Logo and use that CINERAMA you can get the FULL SCREEN and a better idea of CINERAMA.
The black and white Lowell Thomas Prologue does not do CINERAMA justice. It was much longer and much smaller. When Lowell Thomas said “Ladies and Gentelmen, This Is CINERAMA” the curtains open to the left and right to show much more screen, but a curtain also raised above the Prolouge to show much more screen above the Prolouge, all part of the CINERAMA Showmanship.
When Lowell Thomas said CINERAMA in mono the next sound was in stero, black and white turned to Technicolor, a small sorta square screen turned to a really wide screen that was really curved so much so that you saw the movie out of the corner of you eyes.
For the first time, when you “rode” that roller coaster or “rode” that plane on the screen you felt it in your stomach. CINERAMA put you in the picture!
Mike Todd would have been in his 40’s in the 1950’s. That was his son, Mike Todd Junior who was born in 1929.
FULL-SCREEN is the 4 arrows in the bottom right hand corner.
In the original CINERAMA release, the black and white prologue which is of course much longer TAKES UP MUCH LESS OF THE SCREEN THAN YOU SEE IN THIS YOUTUBE SIMLEBOX EXAMBLE! When Lowell Thomas says “Ladies and Gentlemen This is CINERAMA” not only do the curtains open sideways to show the sides to the screen, but a curtain raises up above the prologue to show the the top of the screen. At the same time the sound changes from mono to stero. Folks had never seen a movie with a wide screen, stero sound, plus because of the big curve in the screen also saw the movie out of the corner of your eyes and it “Put You In The Picture. The YouTube though not perfect does give a good effect.
I guess IMAX would be OK, but it was the great curve of the screen that made CINERAMA so very special.
BELAIR I & II
CHARLES A. BELINKY; WILLIAM RISEMAN ASSOCIATES
More info and photos always welcome.
Escalators were “born” around 1900.
I’ve seen it listed as Wurtsmith Air Force Base Cinema(S), I wonder if it ever was a twin?
Was a base from 1923, named for Major General Paul Wurtsmoth, had 4,626 acres, now a public airport, Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport that has an Air Force Museum.
Open in 1967.