Showing all 16 comments
I took my wife to see “The Artist” at the Tivoli on Valentine’s day. It was pretty cool to see this silent film, set in the 20’s and 30’s, in a theatre from 1928. Especially cool because the Tivoli was built to house talkie movies but openned with one of the last great silent films “Fazil”
There were multiple additions to the York. The original theatre was split into 3 auditoriums (now numbered 3,4,5). An addition was put on the north side of the original theatre adding two screens where the candy store and parking lot were. Then a 2 screen addition was put on the south side of the original space (where Leonard’s had been). These were larger stadium seating houses. Then the addition on the north side was remodelled. Tearing down one auditorium and encompassing the rest of the parking lot behind the stores. This gave 3 more stadium seating houses. Later improvement to the 3 auditoiums in the original space included light lock entrances for the 2 closest to the main lobby. It also included converting #4 (the front half of the original auditorium) to stadium seating.
It is original, except the piping. There used to be an identical one in the main lobby near were the butter dispenser is now.
OK… since you blocked me from voting for “Blues Brothers”, my vote goes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I was working at the Tivoli theatre in Downers Grove when this movie came out. I remember walking out on Thursday night as the ushers were changing the marquee. They had laid the 18 inch Wagner letters on the sidewalk before putting them up; but. had spelled out “Ferris Bueller’s Off Day”. I commented to them, that would be a completely different movie. They still put it up wrong. The manager checked it and made them fix the error. Those were great times and a terrific movie as well.
The theatre was 3 screens and a concession counter. One theatre to each side of the counter and one behind it. The theatre was built at one end of the Riverboat Pavilion. There was no lobby or bathrooms in the theatre because the pavilion had plenty of both. I remember reading that when the Casino was negotiating with the city of Elgin one of the requirements was they include a theatre or other “family” entertainment. At first the theatre did pretty good business. People would buy concessions there while waiting for the next cruise to load and some families would split up part getting on the riverboat and part seeing a show. Once the boats stopped leaving the dock, and people could come and go as they pleased business began to drop. Eventually the Casino wanted to expand there offices and patitoned to remove the theatre so they could use that space. With the village’s OK the theatre was gone.
Hey it might be time to pay them another visit. Last year they added a “Grande” screen and 8 track sound to the biggest auditorium. The screen is 50ft wide and the sound is excellent. Although I thought 8 tracks were a thing of the past, maybe they are making a comeback. LOL :0)
I like the idea, though 10 minutes doesn’t hardly seem long enough to cover a “Code of Conduct”. I think 30 minutes might be more reallistic. You have parents present to hear what is expected in your theatre. Both parent and child have to sign a “contract” that if they fail to adhear to the code of contact they will be ejected from the theatre without a refund and loose their ID card thus revoking their right to see movies un-chaperoned; and, you collect the parents information so they can be called to pick their child up. If the parents can’t be bothered to see a movie with their child, why should the theatre have to babysit them.
The Paramount theatre is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary with a week of movies from the past seven decades. Here is a link to the Classic Cinemas page listing the films.
The Classic Cinemas Woodstock theatre history page has been moved to
The Classic Cinemas York theatre history page has been changed to
I think the Foxfield theatre was a very nice location after Classic Cinemas renovated it. The seven screens with all new equipment and Stadium seating were a great place to see a show. Sure it wasn’t the historic Arcada theatre which Classic Cinemas also ran, but very nice for a modern theatre. I am not a big fan of Stadium seating, even though I’m only 5'7", but the seating at Foxfield was great. There was plenty of width and leg room larger then I have ever seen in any auditorium before or since. The biggest problem this theatre had was being hidden behind a liquor store. As to the events behind it’s closing, let me set a few things straight. At the time of the renovation Classic Cinemas also operated the Arcada theatre. Regal cinemas had contracted to build a theatre in the mall. Classic Cinemas hoped that by renovating they might deter Regal from building since the population base really could not support that many screens. Dispite this, Regal broke ground and built the Charlestowne 18 confident they could outlast the competition. With now 26 screens in town, and splitting the product between the 3 sites, both companies were feeling the financial pinch. The financial overhead of operating an 18 screen proved to be more then Regal could continue and they closed shop. Shortly after that, the mall management company approached Classic Cinemas about taking over the Charlestowne 18. One of the conditions would be closing both it’s current sites. At about the same time, the Franks (who owned the Arcada building) decided they wanted to change the venue to more live theatre. With Classic Cinemas lease about to expire it worked for both to not negotiate a new one. With the prospect of continuing at the newly remodelled Foxfield and risking a new competitor taking over the Charlestowne, or taking over the Charlestowne and closing the Foxfield to be the only movie theatre in the market, Classic Cinemas made the move to the mall. After a few monthes of adjusting managerial style and fixing mechanical problems in this relatively new building the Charlestowne started to actually show a profit. Today business is booming at the mall. As for the Foxfield building, after the theatre closed there was speculation the high school might buy it to expand their campus. This appearently never happened. I don’t know the current status of the building.
At the time Regal openned this theatre, Classic Cinemas was already running the Historic Arcada Theatre and the Foxfield theatre in St. Charles. The Foxfield had been recently renovated by Classic Cinemas from four to seven screens with state of the art equipment and Stadium seeting. Regal had committed to the project and continued to build anyways. 26 screens in St. Charles proved to be to many. Business was split between the three locations and finances were tight. The overhead cost of an 18 screen theatre proved to be to much and Regal pulled out. Shortly after that, the mall management company contacted Classic Cinemas about taking over the Charlestowne 18. One of the conditions was closing the other two locations. The owners of the Arcada Theatre (the Franks) had already decides to change that site to more live theatre events. With that lease about up and the potential to sell the Foxfield property Classic Cinemas decide to take over the Charlestowne 18 to keep yet another competitor from coming into the market. After a few rough monthes of adjusting managerial style and correcting mechanical problems with this relatively new facility, the theatre started to show a profit and now business is booming.
It openned as a single screen and is still one today (only closed). There never were any more screens. I think someone may have been confused with the Grove theatre on 75th street which was a 4 screen.
Looking through this website I found reference to a Stillwell Theatre in Bedford Ohio that was torn down in the 80’s and a Ford dealership put in its place. It was at 310 Broadway. I didn’t see any pictures but hoefully having a name will help you.
The theatre most recently known as the “Tivoli South” opened in the late 60’s (sorry I don’t know the actual date) as part of the Jerry Lewis chain of theatres. Sadly after the end of that circuit it went from running “Family Fair” movies to porno, like a number of other Jerry Lewis sites. It was only a single screen house with 330 seats. Classic Cinemas took over this site and upgraded the projection and sound system. It made for a nice presentation but none of the atmosphere of the big Tivoli. It did however give the Tivoli Theatre in downtown Downers Grove some of the advantages of a multi screen without having to remodel the historic Tivoli. It allowed for moving over films from the 1000 seat house that still had some gross left while freeing up the big screen for the next feature. As of this time it still sits empty. I will send a picture of the “Marquee” once that feature is available again.
Not to worry! I know the owner well; and, when I told him of these postings he wanted to reply immediately. There are no plans to tear down the Tivoli or convert it to condos. The Tivoli was the first theater aquired by the Johnson’s and holds a special place in their hearts (as it does for many of us). In 2003 they invested a lot of money getting the Tivoli ready for its 75th anniversary celebration. Fresh paint, new carpet, new seats, and new restroom facilities. I dare say, the Tivoli is nicer than any time in its history. While there are now only 1012 seats (plus wheel chair locations) they are much nicer then the 1044 from the 50’s.