Nortown Theatre

1107 S. Halsted Street,
Chicago Heights, IL 60411

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NORTOWN Theatre; Chicago Heights, Illinois.

Opened in 1949 at S. Halsted Street and 11th Street, the Nortown Theatre was a Quonset-hut style movie house. The Nortown Theatre remained in operation until 1985. In 1992 it became Ochoa’s Rainbow Hall, then became home to a Tejano dance club. It now operates as a banquet Hall and concert venue known as El Tunel Ballroom.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

jjc on August 28, 2007 at 3:18 am

Saw my first R-rated movie at The Nortown with my parents – Slap Shot – in 1977. Great movie! Too bad the theater was nasty. Also, learned the word Quonset that night.

kencmcintyre on April 20, 2009 at 3:15 am

The related site link is no longer working. Here are some 1983 photos:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 27, 2009 at 9:05 am

The Nortown was one of three theaters pictured in an ad for Poblocki & Sons in Boxoffice, December 3, 1949. Poblocki & Sons built theater marquees and signage, but also designed and erected pre-built theaters, using quonset hut construction. As the Nortown was in a quonset-style building, it might have been one of Poblocki’s pre-built theaters, but this ad, which was for their marquees, doesn’t say it was.

Poblocki & Sons is still doing business, under the name Poblocki Sign Company, and is still designing and building signage for new theaters and restoring signage on old theaters. Their web site is worth looking at. Click on their “Entertainment” link to reach a page with links to pictures of some of their theater signage, old and new.

Beadee on July 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Ken, thank you for that link! I saw Breathless there!!! The last film I remember seeing was Nighmare on Elmstreet 3 or 4 and it was a rough crowd.

They used to sell orange soda that was really just orange HiC or Kool-Aid. Adorable little candy counter. Perfect neighborhood theater. Not a palace like the Lincoln-Dixie, but really a small town feel.

Such a loss, but the current owners seem to be doing a great job w/ mexican concerts and private events. Cheers to them for keeping the building open.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm

What else was playing besides “BREATHLESS”.

TLSLOEWS on July 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Looks like “The Meaning of Life” on the marquee.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 9, 2010 at 2:34 am

Yes,you are right I didn’t look at the other picture.stupid me.

Gilvo on September 15, 2010 at 5:29 am

I posted pictures of the Nortown in the Facebook group “I grew up in Da Heights”. My father-in-law (Walter Tokarcz) and his brother were partners in it’s construction.

JudithK on October 25, 2010 at 4:41 am

I really enjoyed seeing films at the Nortown in Chicago Heights. Unlike the Lincoln-Dixie Theatre the Nortown had a parking lot (gravel I believe) and for what was (I presume) an independent movie theatre got some great bookings. I saw movies at the Nortown right until they decided to close up shop.

DaveP on September 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm

It wouuld seem that this theatre opened in 1948 and not 1950 as stated in the overview. Look at the movies dating to 1948 shown in the marquee picture in the photo section.

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