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Wow…so hard to believe. 15 years is a very short lifespan for a movie theater. This theater replaced the old Randhurst twin. It is very similar to the AMC at Northbrook Court that opened at the same time.
Oh well. I’m glad to see, at least, that AMC opened a new theater there.
True, but it did have “stereophonic sound!” The makers of “Star Wars” were, of course, huge innovators in that field.
Some of my fondest memories were seeing “Star Wars” here (and I also saw it at Mt. Prospect General Cinemas, Golf Mill on re-release, and Palwaukee….probably on re-re-release!) and “Superman: The Movie.” One of the theaters, I think Edens II, had these carpeted partitions in the front of the first row. I remember sitting on the floor in front of those things to watch some movies.
There is a fascinating little 5-part documentary up on YouTube with footage of the demolition. I was very surprised to see this! Amazing:
PS – I don’t know how to post a link here anymore. Anyone?
You’re welcome! A lot of fun to reminisce about those early movie memories.
Ah, finally, this theater gets a little love with a page of its own! I have such fond memories of this General Cinema probably because I saw my very first movies there: Star Wars, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, For the Love of Benji, Pete’s Dragon, The Cat from Outer Space, Return from Witch Mountain, Candleshoe, The Jungle Book (re-release), Hot Lead & Cold Feet, to name a few. Yes, I was a little kid then (hence the Disney heaviness), so maybe my memories of it are nicer than it actually was. But I remember it as clean, and being decently sized theaters (I understand it was originally one screen and twinned later on). Even though I was so young, I can recall the audience booing at Darth Vaderâ€™s entrance, and kids clapping along to the jazzy General Cinemas theme song (you can see the bumper here: View link) I lived in Northbrook, but back then, movie theaters only had 1-3 screens, so it was not unusual to drive a few towns over to see what you wanted. I drove by the place not too long ago, and the memories came flooding back. Iâ€™m a little surprised my parents took the time to haul us all the way out there. It is now a now banquet hall, but I could still recognize how it appeared then. Iâ€™m surprised it closed in â€™83â€¦longer ago than I thought! How time flies. I know I saw Jaws there on a re-release, and some of the last few films I attended included Halloween II and Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.
Yeah, me too. I definitely miss it. My favorite memory is waiting in line to see “The Empire Strikes Back” on opening day. A close second was doing the same for “Rocky III”. At the time, I thought that movie was the greatest thing I’d ever seen. I called my mother on the lobby payphone to tell her that we were staying to watch it a second time. And you know what? Rocky III still kicks butt!
I also saw there: Star Wars, Hooper, Return of the Pink Panther, Flash Gordon, The Blues Brothers, Hangar 18, Smokey and the Bandit 2, The Great Muppet Caper, Return of the Jedi, Octopussy, Never Say Never Again, Firefox, Buckaroo Bonzai, Easy Money, Tootsie, Grease 2, The Toy, The Right Stuff, Lone Wolf McQuade, Twilight Zone, Red Dawn, The Ice Pirates, Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Pulp Fiction…..oh my, I could go on & on. The last few I went to there was Boogie Night, and Men in Black
Hey Mike, I checked on that too. Looks like “Mad Max” did play pretty extensively in the Chicagoland area in 1980, but not at Golf Mill. It was indeed re-released on April 8, 1983 to capitalize on the new popularity of Mel Gibson after “The Year of Living Dangerously” and “The Road Warrior.” The re-release poster’s tagline was “now you can see what made Max so mad.” Also playing at the time was “Gandhi”, “The High Road to China”, “Black Stallion Returns” and “Man, Woman and Child” (whatever that last one was…don’t remember it). I know Golf Mill only had three screens, but they ran matinees on the weekends.
I just checked the Chicago Tribune Historical Archive and can confirm the opening date at Golf Mill for “The Road Warrior” on August 20, 1982. Feel free to email me for the scan.
The Mill Run Theater (or Mill Run Playhouse in its old days; it opened in 1965) was in the space occupied by Kohl’s today. It was a completely different building, of course.
Incidentally, its first play was “A Man for All Seasons” starring Charlton Heston. I have a couple of Chicago Tribune scans that show “artists' renderings” of the interior. There’s an exterior shot as well, but it’s not very clear. Email me if you’d like and I’ll forward them:
I was likely at the same shows poster Joe was at too.
When Empire Strikes Back came out, my mother – knowing what Star Wars fanatics we were – picked me and brother up at lunchtime to get out of school early that day (it was a Wednesday). We waited in line at Golf Mill for at least two hours. I remember how long line was!
I prepared to do the same when Jedi came out, but it wasn’t necessary for whatever reason. I waited about 30 minutes in line, right in the lobby.
I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find the exact capacity for these theaters, but the best I could find was a mention in the Tribune that Edens II had 1,000 seats.
I suppose it’s possible that the Cinerama show had some traveling equipment?
I didn’t see “This is Cinerama”, but it played at Edens II. If memory serves, this theater did have a concave screen. The theater building itself was a round-ish shape.
That’s an excellent story.
The land that the Twin once occupied is still largely vacant (not sure what it’s purpose is). If you drive along Hintz Road, going West off of Milwaukee, just look over to your left. One of the old screens actually stood along here for at least a few years after the theater closed. There is a new building there now, which is some kind of Korean religious school. Before that was built a couple of years ago, there were still about 4-5 speaker stands still in that lot. Now, I don’t think there’s any trace of it left. In the 80s, there was a go-cart track & batting cages built right by the entrance to the Twin. This is now a car lot of some kind. The fence/screens for the track are still there. It’s pretty obvious once you know what it was. So, that should give you a rough idea where it was.
Yeah, the second theater broke ground for construction in August 1968 and was known as “Edens II.” If you’re interested in the Tribune blurb on this (which includes artist’s rendering of theater), feel free to let me know.
Of course, one could never forget to honk the horn when the hot dog finally jumped into the bun!!
You’re definitely welcome. I’m glad I took them. I wish I took a few more. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a closeup of the marquee someplace. I’ll have to see if I can find it. If you look by the door, you should be able to see the poster for one of the last pictures that played there. It was a Nicolas Cage movie called “Holiday Man” or something like that.
Hmmm…that was a really long time ago. I almost vaguely remember that. I’m sure I was aware of it at the time. Do you know what the color scheme was originally? Any chance you could post scans of the Historical Society photos?
What did they change exactly? It looks the same to me as it always did.
Here’s a couple of pics I took of the shuttered Town & Country mall exterior. I believe this has now all been torn down. This entrance also lead to the theater. I wish I put my camera up to the glass for a few photos…I might have caught the theater in the back.
Along with Town & Country, Golf Glen was one of the first few “multiplex” type theaters to open in the northern Chicago suburbs in the early to mid 1980s. It was located near the popular Golf Mill Theaters and shopping mall. During it’s heyday, it saw a large mix of often-younger patrons from nearby Maine, Glenbrook, Niles, and Morton Grove school districts. It operated until around early 2006 (it had closed for a period several years earlier, only to be reopened under new management). Since it’s opening, a funny thing happened with Golf Glen: it never changed. Not only was the place never modernized/remodeled, the demographics of the area also changed pretty dramitically. Personal memories: I saw many horror films here for some reason, including several of the “Nightmare” films, “The Believers”, “Silence of the Lambs” and a laughably bad Wes Craven film called “Deadly Friend.” I remember seeing “Ferris Bueller” and the “Karate Kid” here as well.
Here are a few pics of what remains of the “old” Deerbrook mall (built circa late 1960s). Actually, a great deal of the mall is still functioning quite successfully, but mostly stand alones and outlots. The indoor portion is virtually deserted. I believe one of the anchors, Best Buy, was originally a Montgomery Wards that was accessable through the mall. Best Buy – operating in a completely new structure beginning in the mid-1990s – was originally accessable through the indoor mall, but eventually closed off this entrance with a giant white wall. This indoor mall was originally much larger and designed with a quaint street theme. Among the original fixtures still remaining are the fountain, most of the brick-lined floor, some of the original brick wall, several mall directories (amazingly!) and I believe the payphone kiosks (now without phones). I also think some of the ceiling is original although highly modified thorugh the years as are several of the walls and many of the storefronts (an effort to “open up” space). The “streetlamps” are no-longer original but replacements. Half of the indoor mall was demolished for new retail (Office Max, Bed Bath, etc.) in the late 1990s or early 2000s. The wall which now blocks off the demolished portion is clearly visible in the background of the shot below detailing the entire original fountain. This corridor originally lead to a Turn Style, then later a Venture. When these photos were taken, the only business operating was TJ Maxx, barber shop and nail salon. The theater operated as a two-screen General Cinema until the mid-1980s when one of the theaters was tripled to terrible effect. The marquee may be original, but I believe the concessions inside were redone during this time, even though their placement remained the same (a few pics here, but more to come. Stay tuned). The exterior mall entrance for the theater is accessible through the back of the mall. It appears exactly as it did originally, or at least the 1970s. Deerbrook Mall’s primary reign lasted until the opening of nearby Northbrook Court in 1978. Ever since, it was seen as a second-rate, albeit quaint, mall. The fact that any of the original indoor mall remains today is surprising given the affluence of the area.
Here’s a few photos I took shortly before the theater was converted to a fitness club. It had already closed by this point. In hindsight, I really wish I put my camera up to the glass doors for a few shots inside! I looked in there and most of the fixtures were still in place but furniture, etc. were all over. The exterior never changed as far as I remember throughout its 30+ year reign. Anyway, enjoy.
Thanks again for the great details, Mr. Jensen. I was under the presumption that the new Glen theater had incorporated some of the old Naval structure. You would certainly know better than me. It is, however, right next to the Hangar One area.
I grew up in the area from the early 70s on, so that was a little before my time. I’m sure much of it was still the same in the 70s. I grew up with a hundred acres of cornfield in my backyard and beyond that was the base runways. The thing I miss most are the summer air shows. I’d park up with friends along Euclid Ave to watch them every year, including the last one in ‘94.
Glenview/Northbrook is certainly not a bad place to live today by any means. But I have come to the realization that it little resembles the community I knew growing up (this is the same phenomena that happened with my dad and Oak Park). As far as Golf Mill and Niles goes…Yikes! I think there’s no question that it was a nicer place then. It did, however, begin getting a somewhat seedy reputation by the late 70s, at least in comparison to Glenview.
Listen, I tracked down an old Chicago Tribune scan for that fire. It was on happened on the morning of May 13, 1967, so your memory serves you well! Apparently, it took out the entire recreation facility (bowling alley, et. al.) If you’d like me to email it to you, just let me know:
Those are some great recollections, Mr. Jensen. Thanks for sharing that. You must’ve been stationed there in the 1960s? That may have been a little before my time. I never knew the Naval base had a movie theater. It’s funny, because in many ways the contents of the base seemed so mysterious to many of us. It’s also strange how things come back around again; the Glen development that took over the base has a great movie theater. It is housed, incidentally, in one of the base’s older remaining stuctures (I think where the control tower was).
In a way, I feel a little bit sad reading about how Golf Mill once was, and upset about how it’s changed. I guess if there’s one certainty in life, it’s that nothing stays the same. Oh well. One can’t dwell in the past.