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Oh yeah, Plitt took over operations of the Diana in December of ‘84.
JRS40, River Oaks 1-6 opened on 12/16/88. First movies to play there were “The Land Before Time”, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, “Tequila Sunrise”, and “Twins” on two screens. From what I got from the ad, the sixth screen opened the next friday with “Hellraiser 2”. Also, all 14 screens operated until about October, maybe early November ‘89. At least from what I’m getting via my mircofilm collection. My family says the last movie that they saw at 2-3/13-14 was “Do The Right Thing”. I have a microfilm for that date too, and it was on both screens. And interesting enough, “Batman” was on both 9-10 and 11-12. #9 being in 70MM.
Don’t quote me on this, but I have a wild hunch as to why it was called the Diana. When it opened in 1975, it was owned by Essaness Theatres. Perhaps the head of Essaness named the theater after a family member? That could be a reason. Because had someone like General Cinema or Plitt got the project, it would’ve been called the Washington Square Theatre, named after the mall it was located in.
I myself never went inside the theater or the mall. I remember going by there in ‘97 or so, and I saw the CO logo around the outside of the mall. It’s page says it closed in 1994, but it was open until 1998. I have a copy of a “Movie Facts” from early 98, and Diana was listed under CO’s other area locations. My brother saw quite a few flicks there, and he remembers that neverending hallway to the concessions/screens after you bought tickets.
I think with all the 3-D craze today, these theaters should have at least 4 auditoriums equiped for 3-D. Though I’d like to see them projected on a 50ft wide screen with 400-500+ seats, because they’re being installed in the smaller auditoriums at most places.
I’m glad nobody built one megaplex at RO. The way the theaters were set up were very unique. Back when my father was taking me and the rest of us there, I couldn’t wait for the friday paper to see which location our movie would be playing. Even if it weren’t 9-10, I would still get giddy if it were playing in 1-6, 7-8, or even 11-12. It seems as if each building had their own character. Remember the smell of burnt popcorn in the lobby of 7-8? The red carpeting and cream colored lobby of 11-12? Remember the thin hallway leading to the spacious screens of 11-12? The neon colors and marble floors of 1-6? Those are the kind of touches you don’t find in today’s megaplexes. And what’s even worse is the top-down masking/shrink-scope of the screens in said megaplexes.
Anyway, I want to say that should I build 2 screens next to 9-10, they would hold about 300-350 each. Also, the revamped lobby of the building will look somewhat like this.
DietMAX wasn’t gonna be nothing special anyway. Real IMAX are those with the 5-7 story tall screens.
The indie festival for area filmmakers is a great idea. I’ll put that in my notes. I had classic titles already in mind. In fact, I hope to run a 70MM festival every year. And I hope to show a demo of the Super Dimension 70 system.
JRS40, the last time I can remember 9-10 using the curtains was in the late ‘90s. I saw “Phantom Menace” there, and the curtain covered the screen. When I returned to see “MI:2”, the screen was exposed from that point on. And what was the deal with those flood lights? Every time they came on, I could barely make out the credits on the screen. River Run had lights that came on after shows, but I could still see credits. That really sticks out in my mind from when I saw “Scream 2” and “The General’s Daughter” there.
If my plan becomes a reality, then I’ll take you up on that offer. And the price will be right.
I also want to add that should I operate the theatres, I will install signs around the mall so shoppers will know where to go. If you’re headed in the direction of Sears, I will have a sign (possibly with arrows) saying, “Showmanship Cinemas 1-6 this way”. And if you’re heading towards Westwood College, “Showmanship Cinemas 7-8 this way”. And if you’re heading to Macy’s, “Showmanship 9-10 this way”. I also want to make a point that 9-10 have the largest screens outside of IMAX in the suburbs.
Also, I need some votes here. Should there be stadium seating or traditional staggered seating? I favor the ladder, but a few insiders (investors) suggest the former. If I have to go stadium, then fear not. I hear this screen became a stadium house, and they say it’s still a great experience. We’ll see.
If it were open today, here’s what would be playing. This is in order of the auditoriums.
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop”[PG]
“Notorious”[R] on 2 screens
Cinemas 9-12 (11-12 attached to #10)
“Curious Case of Benjamin Button”[PG-13]
At River Run/Lansing 8
“Not Easily Broken”[PG-13]
“Hotel for Dogs”[PG]
“My Bloody Valentine 3D”[R]
“Marley & Me”[PG]
“Last Chance Harvey”[PG-13]
So you see, they still get a good piece of movie pie. With all the theaters, Cal City/Lansing will become a top moviegoing destination.
Wow, JRS40 answered before I did. And I have the ad for the opening date for “Tron”. While that played in #5, “The Thing” and another movie(might be “Firefox”) with it was playing in #6. If only I were alive back then. Summer ‘82 must’ve been a great time to be at the movies.
Also, when you walk in Office Depot, my brother says you can make out where the screens were.
No, the theater in the photo was always 7-8. In the 10/21/83 Plitt Theatre guide, they announce the grand opening of 7-8. The ad says, “2 all-new theatres to entertain you! River Oaks 7-8. Located 1 block N E of River Oaks 1-4. Grand openings tonight at 5:45pm”.
5-6 (later 11-12) was at the River Oaks West mall near the post office. Address was 520 RO West. This is where I saw “A Low Down Dirty Shame” and “Mercury Rising”. My family saw “Poltergeist” there back when it came out. It opened in December of 1980. The opening day ad for that said, “GRAND OPENING TODAY! River Oaks 5-6 Calumet City, Located in the west mall”. First movies to play there were “Resurrection” and “Mountain Family Robinson”. It’s very easy to get the bulidings mixed up, since they built so much in and around that area. Another thing, even when it was under CO, the building always had the sign, “River Oaks”, and then “Plitt Theatres” under that. It closed in ‘98. It was torn down (along with the old Kohl’s next to it) in late '07 to make way for the Sam’s Club that’s open now. When 2-3 closed, it became a Silo eletronics store. That lasted until the late 90’s. It was gutted inside and out, and turned into an Office Depot and Men’s Warehouse.
Like 9-10, 1-6 and 7-8 are still sitting, closed. I’m still writing by business plan and gathering up some funds. Perhaps if my proposed theatres get off the ground, it could lead to the mall getting more upscale stores/resturants.
On another note, I hope Cinematour can correct the info in that photo, because they have it has aka RO 2-3.
It closed because of the bankruptcy of Loews-Cineplex. During the 99-01 period, they started getting rid of locations they felt really didn’t need. In this case, CR would be fine with the 6 screens in the mall. Same with what they did with River Run. Since they had 10 screens at River Oaks, they could afford to lose RR.
Chicago Ridge Mall and the Commons strip mall are actually seperated by 99th street. CR mall streches from 95th to 99th. If Commons Cinemas were still open, one could exit the mall at Carson’s, cross the street (99th), enter the Commons parking lot and go right. You couldn’t miss the theaters (now X-port Fitness).
Also, Commons opened June 24th, 1988. Seating capacity was 1700. It ran “Backdraft” in 70MM in ‘91.
No, this is one of the rare locations that didn’t get remodeled into that style. The carpeting has the same style that the Esquire had (sea green/blue). The auditoriums now have blue drapes on the walls. Before 2003, it had red/gold drapes. Wild guess here, that style may have dated back to Essaness. The two sets of concession stands and lobby colors are pink/light red (the lighting scheme makes it pink). And this also has the honor of being one of those rare 80’s cinemas with multiple bathrooms. There’s a set of bathrooms right after you buy your tickets, one right near the entrance to auditorium #4 (or is it #3?), and one by #1. Nice theater, but my only problem is the screens. #5 is the largest, with nearly 500 seats. Yet you can tell that #5 and #6 used to be one large and wide screen, Possibly the one that ran 70MM. My guess is CO split it in ‘94.
On another note, Kerasotes is opening the Showplace 14 nearby at 71st & Harlem. I hope CR will still hold it’s own.
Now that David Barton Gym will be located at Roosevelt Collection instead of 108 N State, perhaps the Muvico’s seating capacity can be expanded.
Damn, now I’m jealous of ya’ll in Seattle. You guys get to see Vertigo not only at the Cinerama, but in 70MM too.
Ah, if only plane or train tickets cost $5.
My guess is that it (GG) will reopen in the spring, right before the 25th anniversary.
Can anyone tell me what is the largest audiorium here? And how wide is the screen?
If you think Voight was bad in that, wait ‘til you see him in the crapsterpiece, “Karate Dog”, in which he yells out with MISconviction, “Get that dog!”.
Yes, they were attached to the mall. Photo here. Interesting note, before 7-8, it was a Jewel Foods store from the mall’s opening. Theaters 7-8 & McDonalds went in the Jewel space in ‘83. And thanks JRS40, I had a feeling the capacites might be close to 400. I always remembered them being big, but not like 11-12, or even the larger screens in the mall.
PS: I saw “Most Wanted”, “Art of War”, and “The Score” at 7-8. Funny story, when my parents went to see the 10:15pm showing of “What Lies Beneath” there, some women started arguing/cursing, and one of them said to the other “I’ll cut ‘your a$$ and no one will be watching this movie!”. Thankfully, management had police to take them out.
JRS40 or Audiodude,
Can you remember the seating capacity for RO 7-8? I want to put this in my business plan.
How wide is the screen in the main auditorium?
I haven’t been here yet, but I wonder if some 70MM revivals could be run in the future?
I agree Movie534. In order for a movie to have staying power today, the movie has to be extremely good, as was the case for TDK. Last year, “No Country was in theaters into March/April, and that was released in November.
Going to 1979, I wasn’t born for 11 years, but some movies that I enjoy today came out that year. While Sci-Fi was the thing, other greats include “Apocalypse Now”, “The Warriors”, “The Onion Field”, “All That Jazz”, etc… My father took my siblings to see “Alien” in 70MM at the River Oaks #2 (500 seat auditorium, now an Office Depot) in Calumet City, IL. I saw it about 12/13 years ago on the Encore channel. Perhaps when most studios are run by people (not bankers) again, then we could have intelligent films coming out all year around, and not just the end of the year for oscar consideration.
It’s sad really. It was just shy of it’s 20th birthday. I don’t know what will become of it now. But if I can’t reopen it, then are there any good spots nearby for a new theater?
Damn, this leaves Rivertree Court, Bloomingdale, and the Nova (AKA Westridge Court) as the only CO’s still remaining with their respective interiors. North Riverside is going strong, but it’s been remodeled.
It was developed by Robert D. Weisgerber. It is an updated version of 70MM projection. Check out these
I am really hoping somebody will give it a shot.
I thought I posted this already, but…
Due to a last minute wrinkle in the plans, I wasn’t able to see WSS like I wanted. However, I emailed the GM of the Music Box, and he said that they plan to run 70MM again this year.
And on another flipside, I’m trying to get the Super Vista Coporation to show a demo of the SDS-70 system here in Chicago.
You best believe I will make it there ASAP.
My first 70MM, I can’t wait.
Meanwhile image quality isn’t as good as real IMAX film projection. I mean really, who would want to spend $15 on a screen which is nothing more than a 1.85: 1 screen with digital projection?
Pretty soon, IMAX will end up phasing themselves out with this move. Mark my words.