Plaza Theatre

3343 W. Devon Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60659

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Ad from Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, Monday, January 27, 1986, showing what was playing at the Plaza Theatre

Located in a strip mall and first operated by Essaness, later (briefly) by Plitt then finally by Cineplex-Odeon. This HAD to be one of the most generic/non-descript theatres ever in the Chicagoland area. Located right across the street from the Lincoln Village Theatre, it seemed to be operated as an adjunct to that theatre.

The Plaza 1, 2 3 was housed in a former discount store (I believe it was called Community). To be more precise, it occupied the north end of the building. It was opened December 12, 1980 with “Stir Crazy” playing on two screens. The third screen opened December 25. I saw “Superman II” and “The Lost Boys” there, I know that it operated until 1987. The Plaza probably closed when Cineplex-Odeon built the new section of the Lincoln Village Theatre, right across McCormick Boulevard.

Although the address listed was on W. Devon Avenue, the theatre did front McCormick Boulevard. Later, a K-Mart opened in the space formerly occupied by Community(?) and also took over the space occupied by the theatre. I haven’t been up that way lately, so I don’t know if the K-Mart is still in business. Any further information on the location and the dates that the Plaza Theatre was in business would be appreciated.

Contributed by Paul Fortini

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

DavidZornig on December 30, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Not to beat the Zayre thing to death, but didn’t Zayre start out as a store called Venture? They had several Chicago locations, but two were North and close to each other.
The one mentioned above and one on Peterson Ave. East of Western, where the Target is now.

I saw the first run of “Robocop” at the Plaza. Thanks BWChicago for steering me towards the Plaza’s name.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on January 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm

David Z

Zayre and Venture were two different stores. I don’t believe they were ever related. Venture lasted until the late 1990s, I believe. Most Zayres were purchased by Ames in the mid- to late-1980s, however I believe this Zayre lasted a little longer. If you’d like more information, try this website or this site

This theatre should be updated. Originally it did open as an Essaness (one of the last), then passed to Cineplex-Odeon. It was briefly known as a Plitt.

CinemarkFan on January 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm

The Plaza 1,2,3 opened December 12th, 1980. First films to play here were “Stir Crazy” on two screens. “Any Which Way You Can” took over one of those screens on 12/17, and the the third opened on Christmas Day. Roy Leonard of WGN attended the grand opening ceremony.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on January 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Actually, the sequence would briely be Essaness, Plitt (briefly),
then C-O. Not positive whether or not it made it into Loews.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on January 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Oh, and C-O opened the newer section of Lincoln Village around 1988. The Plaza lasted until late 1998, so they did operate concurrently.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 2, 2009 at 8:49 am

Paul is correct with regard to Zayre and Venture.

I remember when all three sites around this intersection were operating. It seemed like they valued this market and were trying to create a “megaplex” by combining them. Judging by the large crowds I remember at the original Lincoln Village in the 80’s it was probably a good judgment call at the time.

DavidZornig on December 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I don’t know why I just remembered this. But I think when we saw “Robocop” here, they ran trailers for “Alien Nation” with James Cann.
And one of the scenes showed a mall parking lot that looked almost like the one we’d just come in from.

I think it was a scene with ET’s Leeza Gibbons as a newscaster, saying something about President Reagan to establish a time reference.

EricV on February 19, 2010 at 8:39 am

Just for the record, the purple brick building opened as Shoppers World on August 15, 1962. The chain was sold in late 1967 and all stores became Community Discount World on February 29, 1968. Later Zayre/Ames/Kmart, etc.

moviefanaticfan on September 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

This theater was located in the West Ridge neighborhood of Chicago. For some reason it doesn’t show up on the map of the neighborhood search. The Theater was a nice place to see a movie.

One of the things I remember was, if you paid to see “beverly hills cop” you could stay and see it again. There were only 1 person selling movie tickets at the window and 1 more selling popcorn. There were no movie users.

The Theater was clean and had good popcorn.

DavidZornig on June 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

FYI. Park on the site of the Plaza Theatre to be renamed after late Alderman Bernard Stone.

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