Raue Center for the Arts

26 N. Williams Street,
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

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Texas2step
Texas2step on July 19, 2016 at 8:40 pm

The El Tovar Theatre opened on July 25th, 1929.

jmins
jmins on March 19, 2014 at 2:17 am

Thankss, Bruce C. Actually gave their group a tour and got some info from them. Just looked like some of the people on here had personal memories/info they might want to share.

jmins
jmins on March 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I am a volunteer with the Raue Center and working on the theatre’s history. If anyone is willing to share photos, stories, etc., please let me know. And in reply to an old post by Warren Harris asking about the pronunciation – the name rhymes with “wow”

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm

In the early 1950’s, the organ from this theater was purchased by Leon Berry and installed in his basement. One of the very first stereo album releases was “Leon Berry at the Giant Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, volume 3” released March 31, 1958 on Audio Fidelity records – AFSD, 5844.

gatormak
gatormak on December 8, 2005 at 12:16 pm

I think it was called the Lake in the 1950’s and 1960’s during a span when it only showed movies. Sometime in the 1970’s Rhyne Management bought the building and named it Showplace 8, which was a sister theater to the old Showplace 1-7 on Rte 14 near Rte 31.

I have an employee pay logbook from the 1950’s that I took out of one of the basements while I worked there in the mid-90’s. I also have part of the marquee that was hung out front “Downtown Showplace” in white and black letters, which was the incarnation before the massive renovation.

I was in the building this year and went up into the control room above the balcony. The original movie projector and film platters were still up there and functional, so perhaps they are still considering movies from time to time.

Broan
Broan on December 7, 2005 at 7:51 pm

Also, the Crystal Lake historical society notes that it was also named the Lake at one point and includes more info at View link

Broan
Broan on December 7, 2005 at 7:36 pm

It was indeed an Elmer F. Behrns theater. Note, his name is properly spelled ‘Behrns’, not ‘Behrens’. Also notable is that Behrns was with Rapp & Rapp from 1917-1923. He also lived in Crystal Lake. In addition to the theaters listed at this site, he built St. Luke’s Church in Chicago (http://www.elca.org/archives/chicagochurches/stluke_gc.html) and apartments which no longer stand on W. Washington Blvd. Chicago Tribune, August 19, 1928, B3

Broan
Broan on October 10, 2005 at 2:52 am

I think this might’ve been from Elmer Behrens, plans originally for an unbuilt Lombard cinema look relatively close to the Raue, although different (cheapened?) in a few ways. See the Chicago Tribune, “Cinema for Du Page County Suburb”, July 24, 1927. This was part of the Polka Brothers circuit in the 1930s.

gatormak
gatormak on June 24, 2005 at 11:28 am

I worked at this theater from 1993-1996 when it was known as Showplace 8. It was affiliated with Showplace 1-7 located on Rt 14, which was rebuilt in the mid 90’s as a 16 screen modern megaplex. My teenage career as an usher began with “The Firm” and ended with “Twister”. Often priding myself on pursuing 80 work weeks in the summer, I spent more time in the building than I did at home. Who could pass up the draw of $4.75/hour? The theater was one screen and could seat close to 900 when the balcony was open for big shows.

Broan
Broan on March 12, 2005 at 6:43 pm

The new link is here