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Saw my first R-rated movie at The Nortown with my parents – Slap Shot – in 1977. Great movie! Too bad the theater was nasty. Also, learned the word Quonset that night.
Only went to The Thunderbird once while at U of I. Saw the Talking Heads concert movie “Stop Making Sense” and remember being struck by the theater’s cool American Indian design motif. Movie was great too.
The Homewood was a great old theater although by the time I was going there it was really run down. In the early 1980s, it played art house, foreign and independent stuff. I remember seeing “Diva” there for a high school class and they had great midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
I have no idea when it opened but judging by the architecture and interior design as I recall it I would say early ‘70s. I remember The Glenwood as a very nice single large screen auditorium. I distinctly remember seeing “Animal House” there in 1978, my first R-rated movie. It was awesome. In later years they just kept splitting up that nice, big auditorium.