Niles Square Cinema

Oakton Street and Waukegan Road,
Niles, IL 60714

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

I remember seeing “Time Bandits” here.

Broan on October 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Actually opened June 10, 1966.

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.

RiisPark on March 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm

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

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”.

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!

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?

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…

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.

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.

GFeret on February 16, 2009 at 6:34 am

DavidZ: from my recollections I’d agree with your above post about OMNI. Not very long after OMNI gave it up their main competition the nearly identical CUB FOODS also entered the local history books. I sort of regard both of them as the direction generic foods, which started back in the ‘70s, took. Now we have a local chain called FOOD-FOR-LESS, the comtemporary manifestation of the old Kroger Foods stores, that’s much in the same vein as OMNI/CUB.

Getting back on movie theater topic before I say bye for now, there must be others out there who feel strongly as do I, the area of the old LAWRENCEWOOD Theatre needs and is a ripe market for positioning a new multiplex.

DavidZornig on February 14, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I think Omni was outright owned by Dominick’s from the get-go. It was Safeway that later bought/merged with Dominick’s long after Omni was history.

Omni was Dominick’s foray into the bulk discount and multi purpose store game. Omni house brands of food products had Dominick’s colors on their labels. In addition they sold stereos, and other household stuff like Wal-Mart does now. There was also an Omni on Clybourn at Wellington in Chicago.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on May 12, 2008 at 2:40 pm

You remember Omni? Wow! I think they merged into Safeway/Dominick’s sometime in the 1990s.

GFeret on May 12, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Nobody has anything good to say about the LW now, and unless I miss my guess, nobody had anything good to say about the LW even then.

I was there in the ‘70s and, unfortunately, can vouch for that poor estimation. I recall lumping it together w/ others of its type that didn’t even have the good sense to turn the lights way down when the picture played. And the screen might as well have been one wall painted matte white for all they cared.

The shopping center it was in took a major downturn in the ‘80s, and that probably took the LW with it. The anchor store there was a (now defunct) OMNI. But we know that shopping center has luckily rebounded since then.

The exact site of the old LW theater is where a Postal facility now stands.

CatherineDiMartino on September 26, 2007 at 3:04 pm

I found Rivest’s website which says that the Lawrencewood/Niles Square opened up in 1966 and was operated by M&R. In 1984, it was re-opened as the Niles Square Cinema and was showing Star Trek 3, The Search For Spock. The ad posted in Rivest’s site says “M&R Niles Square Cinema, formerly known as Lawrencewood Theatre, ‘Totally remodelled, new projection and sound systems. Now a priemier M&R theatre.’”

Rivest’s site says though that this place closed in 1986. I vaguely remember this theatre, but I don’t believe that I have ever seen a movie here.

jimpiscitelli on February 11, 2006 at 3:09 pm

The Golf Glen closed as of Feb. 2, 2006

TRAINPHOTOS on May 12, 2005 at 8:31 pm

This theatre was probably built in the early 1960s and was owned/operated by M&R. It was also one of M&R’s worst theatres in the Chicagoland Area as it was FILTHY and had become somewhat of a hangout. The last movie I saw here was “Christine” (1983) and the theatre closed a few years after that. Towards the end, M&R renamed it the Niles Square Cinema, but apparently that didn’t help much.

It is interesting that of all the theatres that once operated in the Niles/Morton Grove area, only the Golf Glen remains.