Grove Theatre

310 Northwest Highway,
Fox River Grove, IL 60021

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Grove Theatre

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The Grove Theatre opened in the 1920’s, located on Northwest Highway near Lincoln Avenue. The theatre operated into the late-1950’s. In recent years the former theatre has been home to a bar and grill which also featured live entertainment. This was closed around 2010/2011.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Some interior and exterior photos from 2004 on this site:

Broan on April 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Now closed but the false front has been removed.

DavidZornig on April 13, 2016 at 4:02 pm

1938 photo and below copy added, both credit McHenry County Historical Society.

The Grove Theatre, 310 Route 14, Fox River Grove.

The availability of motion pictures in the early 1900s opened a whole new world of entertainment possibilities. Jim Dvorak opened the first regular movie theater in Fox River Grove in the Prokop garage building in 1921. In 1923, Joseph Kosatka bought the Dvorak business and built the Grove Theatre building.

The Grove Theatre became a mainstay of the Fox River Grove entertainment world for 32 years. The theatre was so popular it was necessary to add balcony in 1927. They even had a cry room so mothers with young infants could enjoy a movie without disturbing others. There was also a smoking room for men.

The 35 cent admission entitled patrons to additional premiums. Ticket holders benefited from many promotional ventures as the theatre offered free china, linens, and towels. Drawings were held for the lucky numbers on ticket stubs. Children were charged 15 cents admission. A bus brought people in from the German Turner Camp in Algonquin one day a week, and there was also a special free show for the Tribune Camp children (Camp Algonquin). Popcorn sold for 10 cents a bag and 25 cents a box. One thing it did not have was soft seats and patrons remember taking pillows to view long movies such as Gone with the Wind.

During the silent film era, a $7,000 Wurlitzer pipe organ was purchased and an accomplished organist, Warren L. Kolby of Crystal Lake, would accompany the pictures. When “talkies” came in, he played the organ before the film started.

The theatre went out of business in 1957 when the building was sold to the Fox River Grove Lions’ Club. In the late 1970s the property was sold and converted into a restaurant. It has seen several changes of ownership as a restaurant, among them Giordano’s, Pasta Garden, and Gerardo’s Pizza and Pastas.

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