Meadowview Theater

55 Meadowview Center,
Kankakee, IL 60901

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Meadowview Theatre

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Since opening on July 14, 1967, the Meadowview Theater has always been a clean, lovely and wholesome cinema to enjoy with the entire family, as will many future generations to come.

Originally a single screen theatre seating 840, it has an interior designed by Chicago interior designer Hans Teichert. It is tasteful, yet attractively decorated; immaculate, yet innocently provocative; conservative, yet esthetically rich. The warmth one feels in this jewel of an All-American, hometown theater is heart-felt and nothing short of memorable.

It has proudly stood the test of time and gracefully remains as charming today as the day it opened.

In 1975 a second auditorium was built next to the original one, and then in the 1980’s the original auditorium was split into two screens. It features first run movies with its sister theatre, the 5-screen Paramount Theatre located about a mile away.

Contributed by Meredith Rhule

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on August 11, 2005 at 5:39 pm

I applaud Willis, Shirley and Chris Johnson, owners of the Classic Cinema theater chain. This family thrives on rebuilding, redefining and rejuvenating old downtown movie theaters and breathes new life into them while allowing the precious personality of each cinema to shine through as it originally had been intended.

By restoring, preserving and protecting the gleam and glitter of our proud movie palaces, the Johnsons have fashioned a means of expression by which to reinforce hope in the significant strengths within our souls and commemorate character throughout our communities.

It is in the seclusion of a beautiful movie palace, much like the solitude of a public library or the sanctity of a religious institution, that one can be awakened, conditioned, motivated, nurtured and united.

The Johnsons should serve as an inspiration to us all. We can only trust by their gracious examples that others shall learn to bequeath respect to the inner beauty of their own, hometown, cinema treasures.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on August 12, 2005 at 5:35 am

Imagine, if every community had a Willis, Shirley and Chris Johnson.
Please visit their website below and view their palaces.

http://www.classiccinemas.com

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 17, 2005 at 8:30 pm

Meredith, you are a sentimental sap, but then again so am I!

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on August 18, 2005 at 8:09 pm

so true… so true… Saps knows me! He actually knows me!

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 30, 2012 at 10:27 am

Did AMC run this at some point or did classic just borrow the “Theatre” sign from another site?

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on August 31, 2012 at 4:37 am

The sign was there when the theatre opened. I was the first projectionist and it was my first full-time job as a projectionist. I was there from 1967 until January of 1974 when I left to become Head Projectionist at Radio City Music Hall (a slightly larger venue!) The theatre was built by L&M Theatres and was their first new shopping center threatre. They also ran the classic Rialto in Joliet at the time. Later Bob Bachman, who was President of L&M bought the Meadowview and the downtown Town Theatre, and was responsible for the eventual tripling of the Meadowview. The original sign had “Meadowview Theater” (a spelling Bob Bachman and I both questioned) on top, and the whole attraction board below was for one screen. For several years after I left I made an annual visit back to have lunch with Bob who gave me a fantastic insight into film booking. I’m glad to see that Classic Cinemas have taken such good care of the Meadowview and the Paramount. (It’s hard to believe that 45 years have elapsed since I first walked into that booth while the theatre was still under construction!)

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on August 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I should add that the sign I was referring to with the “theater” spelling was the one in the parking lot, not the one on the theatre canopy itself. That one must have been added by Classic, since it wasn’t there the last time I was there sometime after the addition to the right was added.

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