Niles Square Cinema

Oakton Street and Waukegan Road,
Niles, IL 60714

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Niles Square Cinema

The Lawrencewood Theatre was located at the Lawrencewood Shopping Center at Oakton Street and Waukegan Road. The theater was opened in June 10, 1966 for the Kohlberg Theatres chain. The architect was Patrick Perretti.

It was closed for a while, then reopened in June 1984 by M & R Amusements as the Niles Square Cinema. operation at least into the 1980’s. The shopping center and theater were later razed and replaced in the mid-1990’s by “big box” retail stores and the new Niles Civic Center.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

DavidZornig on February 16, 2009 at 9:29 am

Yes, I would probably agree. I’m not sure what theatres if any, are situated that far West or considered nearby to Oakton St.
Even Grand Crossing or whatever it is on Touhy Ave. near WalMart, is much further East. Not sure if Golf Mill still has theatres, or is considered adequate by residents near Oakton’s needs.
There’s no loss of still developable land along Oakton East of the old Lawrencewood for a theatre though.
The old Community Home Center (like a Handy Andy), is still vacant. And there is land across the entrance drive from Menards that has had signs up for a couple of years.
Handy Andy and a slew of smaller mom & pop hardeware stores succumbed to what was initially dubbed Agent Orange=Home Depot.

kimfaith on February 20, 2009 at 6:20 am

The Lawrencewood Theaters were owned and run by my family a.k.a. Kohlberg Theaters. We also owned and ran The Morton Grove Theater. I managed it for many years and we ran mostly family films. We had a very strong “Disney” following.

balabankatz on October 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm

It was great as Kohlberg Theaters but that was when Goldbatt’s was the anchor and S&H green stamps was a big draw there. Cineplex, Loews, and the like did the buy all then go bankrupt plan on the industry then run away with your pockets full of money. Chicago lost…

floont on November 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I remember my parents dropping us off at the Lawrencewood theater to see some of the worst kiddie matinees on weekends in the late 1970s. This was rock bottom schlock too—not the movies that were playing the other normal theatres in town. These were the K Gordon Murray movies you now see for sale in the Something Weird Video catalog. Anyone else remember these movies or titles?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Yes, we played those cheapie Kiddie shows for the Kids on Summer break,Daycare,Kids in the neighorhood,summer camps.Film rental went with cheap kid shows.Did get on Charlton Heston’s “PLANET OF THE APES”.What bunch of upset parents. We also played one of the first music clips from a late show,“WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAND” by Grand Funk.It was always adventure with me at Regency Mall I,II,and III and National Hills theatre.I think the Daycare folks liked it!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on February 11, 2011 at 7:09 am


I don’t remember any of the titles (and nor had I ever heard of K. Gordon Murray until now) but here’s what the Internet Movie Database has to say about him:

“Towards the end of his life Murray got in tax trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, which seized all his films and took them out of circulation. Before the case could come to a conclusion, Murray died of a heart attack.

He is buried in Ottawa, Illinois."

So because of that litigation is probably why no one has seen his movies in recent years.

Here is a list of his films. If you click on a few of them, you’ll notice they’re shown as “lost”. He did other shlock too, including one with Mickey Rooney called “Thunder Country”.

RiisPark on March 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I just uploaded above a shot of the Lawrencewood when it was shuttered

BobbyS on July 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I went to the Lawrencewood when it opened..Soon after they twined the Portage Theater in Chicago..M&R were on a buying spree. Must have been a diaster for those theaters didn’t last long.

Broan on October 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Actually opened June 10, 1966.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on July 20, 2016 at 7:03 am

I remember seeing “Time Bandits” here.

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