Showing 1 - 25 of 55 comments
“One of the large old-time movie theaters in the area that closed due to competition from more modern venues at nearby shopping centers. In March, 2004 it was torn down. Mackenna was one of the big old theaters in the Crucible of Construction. Along with Scala and Lido in nearby Siam Square, it was one of the large, old-style theaters where big movies opened. With the advent of smaller, modern luxury theaters in upscale shopping centers, it could not compete, as Mackenna is a stand-alone theater not near any shopping area. After it closed as a theater, it served for a short time as a snooker hall. No word on what will replace it. Mackenna was developed by the Poolworaluk family (they control Entertain Golden Village Co Ltd – EGV)."
There are about a dozen photos of the Gem from 2007 up at
(Those links should’ve been pointed at View link and View link respectively)
You can see a nowadays photo here, and an old photo here.
You can see a photo of the MM Cinemas at
A March 27th, 2008 article about the Palm at
My uncle used to take the bus to the Evanston on Saturdays when they would play 13 cartoons in a row followed by a full-length Western feature. Since he was under 12 at the time, he got in for just 25 cents. He said he hated turning 12 because it meant that his admission price jumped up to 90 cents. Decades later I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Evanston with he and his two TMNT-loving sons. The only other films I saw there were Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Flashback (1990).
The links no longer work, so here is the text of the article:
“Progress sinks small theater: Once-regal Evanston movie house another casualty of multiplexes
Jul. 25—It debuted with a hit comedy back in the day when a Saturday matinee started with a Porky Pig cartoon and children lined the sidewalk to pay 75 cents for a movie and a bag of popcorn.
Almost half a century later, Evanston Theaters is a dank and musty place filled with cobwebs and torn movie screens. High-rise condominiums threaten to replace the theater’s high ceilings and plush curtains.
Like other family-owned movie houses in the Chicago area, the small cinema on Central Street couldn’t compete with modern multiplexes offering the latest blockbuster, even after the owner, Gordon Magill, carved the grand old theater once operated by his grandfather into four screens.
“These community theaters are just going the way of the dodo bird,” Magill said. “They’ve been dwarfed by the multiplex.”
Across the Chicago area, small theaters have been closing for more than a decade, casualties of a changing industry. From Hinsdale to the North Side, they have found it difficult to stay afloat.
“People tell me it’s a shame all these small theaters are closing,” said Jim Burrows, owner of 3 Penny Cinema, a Lincoln Park theater that recently closed. “But people stop going.”
A few years ago, the Hinsdale Theater ran into similar troubles, said owner George Avgeris. In that case, even a grass-roots effort to save the theater didn’t keep it open. It closed in 1999, and a bank and a retail store moved in.
“It really became economically not feasible” to operate, Avgeris said.
Last week, the owner of the Esquire theater in downtown Chicago announced that he wanted to close the once-gilded movie house and replace it with stores. Burrows predicts that more of the opulent theaters built decades ago will follow.
“They’ve built all those new ones,” he said. “It’s become too hard to compete.”
Four years ago, Magill closed the Adelphi, another family-owned theater in Chicago. It has been replaced by condos, he said.
And condos are likely to replace the Evanston cinema, which shut in 2001 and went up for sale two years later.
Magill has sold the theater to developers who hope to convert the lot into 55 condominiums, pending permission from Evanston.
Developer John Crocker said he hopes the $20 million condo project can be started in 2007.
“It’s a little bit disheartening,” Magill said.
He remembers the first movie the theater showed, “The Wackiest Ship in the Army,” a comedy starring Jack Lemmon. It opened to a packed house in 1960, Magill said.
His grandfather, Jack Kaplan, expanded the theater in the 1970s, converting the health club he owned next door into a second screen, Magill said. Kaplan dug up the shallow end of the club’s swimming pool and filled in the deep end so seats would slope toward the screen.
Eventually the theater, which started decades earlier as a live performance hall, expanded into a quadraplex, Magill said. But the theater kept its high ceilings and balconies.
In 2001 Sony, which had been renting the space, abruptly cut the lease, Magill said. At first he sought to bring back the live performances that had once defined the theater.
He said he spoke with Evanston’s Light Opera Works about converting the screens to a stage, but the cost, estimated at $13 million, was prohibitive.
In 2003 he put the theater up for sale. A few months later, developers offered to buy it and drew up plans to convert it into condominiums aimed at empty-nesters and young professionals.
“It was sad because we had been in the business for 50 years,” Magill said."
â€"Deborah Horan, Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, July 25, 2006
You can see a current photo of the theater’s former site here.
Here are two photos from Nicholas Van Hoogstraten’s book “Lost Broadway Theatres”:
The Republic theatre in 1901
and the Victory theater in 1989
Lost Memory, looking at a theater map from Cecil Matson’s book “The Way It Was” (a scan of which I posted on Flickr at View link) it looks like the “Empress/Hippodrome” was on the northwest corner of Seventh (Broadway) and Yamhill. So yeah, the Hippodrome wasn’t related to the Heilig, or even in the same spaceâ€"but in fact, one block north.
From The Estacada News, Aug 9, 2006
“Mason Building up for sale… When the Estacada Lodge No. 146 built the Mason Building on Broadway in 1924, it was built with a common model in mind: to create a meeting temple on the second level, and subsidize costs by leasing street level space. Also included in the building was a theater, located on the east side.
Over the years, the retail spaces have been home to a wide variety of businesses, including Safeway, the Forest Service, a bank, Harmony Baking Company, doctors and dentists, and currently a deli and antique store.
The theater was in operation until the early 1980s. After it closed, the Masons acquired some of the theater chairs. They are in the temple, still. The theater space was then used for storage space, until it collapsed in 1995. That portion of the building was then torn down and the space replaced with a parking lot."
So perhaps, before the Estacada theaterâ€"which Frank seemed to be saying was open from from the mid-‘60s to mid-'70sâ€"possibly it was the Esta theater, and then later still, up until the early 1980s, it was a different theater (or at least owner, after the Estacada guy retired) altogether…
I just happened to be passing through Estacada after a hike so I only spoke to one person really who remembered the theater. If there’s a reader out there in Estacada who wants to ask around some of the local shops, we might be able to get a much clearer idea.
Lost Memory, take a look at the 4th photo down on the page at
It looks like perhaps in between the space being the Heilig and the Fox, it was the Hippodrome for a while…? Although in the photo at
it shows the Heilig sign up and an over-the-street sign for the Hippodrome down the street at the same time—maybe the theatre went by two names? Or partitioned into two separate stages or something?…
Please add a new comment if you find out the answer as I’m curious as well.
And another photo from August 4, 1962 here.
Old photo from August 4, 1962 here.
The page also mentions about the city: “Vernonia dates from the 1870’s and was named after the daughter of one of its first settlers, Ozias Cherrington of Ohio. Its population in the 1980’s was less than 200.”
And a JPEGy looking photo from 1935 here.
You can see a black and white photo of the Lithia back in 1949 here.
You can see a black and white photo of the Varsity back in 1949 here.
There are also three tiny photos at http://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/11241.html
There are some old photos of the theater on the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society website at http://www.pstos.org/instruments/or/eugene/rex.htm
There seems to be a super-lo-res photo of the current building here.
According to this PDF (Googled into HTML format), it looks like the theater was built in 1911.
The Eltrym theater is set to re-open on May 4th, 2007. An agreement was reached to install fire-resistant doors (instead of sprinklers).
"The Alameda Theatre, located at 3000 NE Alberta Street, opened its doors to the public in 1927. Renamed in 1937 and 1964, it became the 30th Avenue Cinema then Cine 30. In 1969 the theater returned to its original name. After 51 years of service, the theater closed in 1978. The Alameda is one of a handful of motion picture houses that have been converted into churches. The building was home first to the Macedonia Church of God and later to the Victory Outreach Church , its current occupant. The exterior still looks much as it did 74 years ago, with its distinctive Mediterranean clay tile roof and stucco walls. The marquee was removed years ago, but painted-over movie poster boards at the corner entrance summon up the once busy theater."
The Oregon Historical Societies' "Meet Me at the Movies" exhibit