Evanston 5 Theaters
1716 Central Street,
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The Art Moderne style Stadium Theater opened April 16, 1937, with a champagne gala and the movie “Champagne Waltz”.
By the late-1940’s, the Stadium Theatre ceased showing films, and was hosting stage shows, a practice which continued into the 1950’s.
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 and was renamed the Evanston Theater.
In the early-1980’s, Loews acquired the Evanston Theater, and it was further enlarged into five auditoriums, and renamed the Evanston 5 Theaters.
Although other Evanston movie houses closed their doors during the 1980’s and 1990’s, like the Coronet Theater and Varsity Theater, the Evanston 5 Theaters continued to draw an audience.
However, when a new 18-screen Century Cinemas megaplex opened nearby, it spelled the end of the Evanston 5 Theaters, which struggled to get the first run features that the Century was screening.
As part of its bankruptcy restructuring, the Evanston 5 Theaters was among many theaters that the Loew’s chain closed in the Chicago area, in early-2001.
In 2002 there were discussions in the city of Evanston of converting the former Evanston 5 Theaters 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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