Evanston 5 Theaters
1716 Central Street,
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The Art Deco Evanston Theater opened in 1937, with a champagne gala, as the Stadium Theater.
By the late 40s, the Stadium ceased showing films, and was hosting stage shows, a practice which continued into the 50s.
In 1956, the Magill family purchased the theater, and transformed it back into a movie house. (They also opened another screen down the street.)
It was remodeled in 1969. By this time, it had been renamed the Evanston Theater.
In the early 80s, Loews acquired the Evanston, and it was further enlarged into five auditoriums, and renamed the Evanston 5 Theaters.
Although other Evanston movie houses closed their doors during the 80s and 90s, like the Coronet and Varsity, the Evanston continued to draw an audience.
However, when a new 18-screen Century Cinemas megaplex opened nearby, it spelled the end of the Evanston, which struggled to get the first run features that the Century was screening.
As part of its bankruptcy restructuring, the Evanston was among many theaters that the chain closed in the Chicago area, in early 2001.
In 2002 there were discussions in the city of Evanston of converting the former Evanston into a performing arts center and dance studio, but the building continued to sit empty and was demolished in August 2007.
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