Hillside Mall Cinemas

4541 Harrison Street,
Hillside, IL 60162

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Showing 18 comments

gxceb0t on February 24, 2017 at 8:01 pm

I liked this one – I remember seeing “the buddy holly story” here. Packed audience.

rivest266 on June 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm

This opened on July 13th, 1962. I uploaded the grand opening ad with picture here.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Nice marquee,but quite tacky with the third feature,I know save money leave the marquee alone.rpb.I hope you didn’t marry your “girlfriend”.What a jerk.

aek316 on August 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Hi, I was looking up info about the Hillside theaters online the other day and someone posted on a website thread remebering the Hillsdie Mall that the churches that are currently housed in both former Hillside Theaters are not really operating as churches. Can anyone elaborate on that?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 10, 2009 at 1:23 am

I thought I posted this comment last night, but I must have only hit “Preview” and forgotten it. Luckily I have a copy.

Photos of the new Hillside Theatre appeared in Boxoffice Magazine, January 7, 1963. The Hillside was designed by the Minneapolis architectural firm Liebenberg, Kaplan, Glotter, & Associates.

rpb on October 31, 2009 at 11:40 pm

This was the “coolest” theatre I was ever in. I loved the “Sputnik atom” margue sign. You saw that thing for miles. My girlfriend and I were tossed out of this theatre when we went to see “Christine”. She decided to throw two huge buckets of popcorn (and they were huge) all over the people seated in front of, and behind us “just for the hell of it”. I went back the next day, by myself, to see the rest of the movie.

suewendt on July 29, 2008 at 10:26 am

I used to live on Lee Blvd, back in the 70’s, and I could see the huge orb from my bedroom window. I can’t believe that they shut it down. I sure miss that place. We used to skip school at PW and go to the mall and have fries and ketchup. I sure do miss that place. I saw all the Disney movies there. Ah, the memories!! Does anyone know what happened to the orb? Probably destroyed, huh?
Thanks, Sue

300bowler on March 28, 2007 at 8:59 am

Another one of my favorite theatres. Saw 101 Dalmations when I was 5 with my mom and older sister in 1985. RIP Hillside Mall Theatre.

aek316 on January 12, 2007 at 6:42 pm

I remember seeing The Patriot here weeks before it closed. It was the only showing after 7pm (they were also showing Chicken Run and Thomas the Tank Engine) the box office in the front wasn’t even open, we paid for our tickets at the candy counter. I don’t even think the lights worked in the theater they showed the movie in. I knew the end was definitely near. Sure enough, next time I drove by on 290 it was shuttered. It’d be interesting to see what it looks like on the inside as a church. It’s ironic that there was another theater directly across the expressway and shortly after Hillside Mall closed, so did Hillside Square and it became a church as well. I always thought Hillside Mall was kind of dumpy even when I was a kid. That marquee was so unique though. It’s so unfortunate the church removed it from the building-

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on December 16, 2005 at 3:33 am

You’re right, now that I remember it. Sometimes with all the mergers that took place, it’s hard to remember who owned what. For example, M&R owned this place, the Norridge, the Portage Park (I believe) the Lawrencewood, etc. M&R was bought out by Sony/Loews which merged with Cineplex-Odeon, which is now Loews-Cineplex, which may become AMC-Loews or whatever.

Many of the chains which operated in Chicago are antecedants of today’s Loews-Cineplex. These include Cineplex-Odeon, Essaness, M&R, Plitt, and Sony-Loews. If you stretch, you could even consider Balaban & Katz as an ancestor to today’s Loews-Cineplex. Quite a “family tree”.

As for the mall itself, it was one of the first in the area. Now. most of it is a Carmax Used Cars.

jimpiscitelli on December 15, 2005 at 3:55 pm

It was never a Plitt Theater. When M&R bought it in the early 80’s it was twinned and renamed Hillside Twin. In the mid-80’s a third screen was added where the the lobby used to be and renamed to Hillside Mall. It closed in August 2000, with one of its last flims were “Autumn In New York” starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder. The films I saw (when it was Hillside Mall) were, “Three Amigos”, “Dead Poet’s Society”, “Indecient Proposal”, “Beverly Hills Cop III”, “Blankman” and “A Low Down Dirty Shame” (which was the only time I saw when it was packed). It also had a great sign too.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on December 14, 2005 at 11:40 am

I beleive that this theatre may have been a Plitt. Hillside Square, which was across the Eisenhower Expressway, was an M&R.

thebubwan on March 11, 2005 at 12:43 am

I remember that you had to pay an extra quarter to sit in the smoking area. It was listed with the admussion prices.

klimkm on February 10, 2005 at 8:31 am

I remember going here as a small child with my grandparents. I remember seeing “snow white” here as a very small child. Also Mary Poppins – my first movie experiences were here and the York Theatre in Elmhurst. I remember seeing “Saturday Night Fever” here.
That orb was so retro – I loved it!!
I remember that is had a smoking corral – you never wanted to sit in the balcony above the smoking section – I remember that. I also recall that the interior was a very period flat limestone walls type of thing. Also it had a fountain or something in the interior. I really liked this theatre in it’s glory and though it was very cool!

rickc on January 1, 2005 at 12:15 pm

I was an usher at the Hillside Theater in 1969. The 4 movies I remember to this day were: “Midnight Cowboy”, “The Reivers”, “True Grit” and “Sterile Cuckoo.” I saw these MANY times over and we’d amuse ourselves by reciting dialogue by heart. Especially Hoffman as Ratso Rizzo. I believe I made a $1.00 an hour and later $1.10 when they made me “head” usher. The manager was Lillian Bove, a warm and wonderful woman who we called “Mom.” This was a primo job to have during high school. We got paid to watch movies, dress in faux tuxedos, flirt with the candy girls and cashiers, and sneak handfuls of popcorn when no one was looking. Nothing but wonderful great memories fueling my passion for (old) movie theaters that continues to this day.

MovieMan26 on February 17, 2004 at 1:33 pm

The last movie I saw here was “BARB WIRE” back in 1996.

vicboda on February 9, 2003 at 6:12 am

The Hillside Theatre was built in 1961 by Morris Handler. It was owned and operated by Brotman and Sherman Theatres. Oscar Brotman and Leonard Sherman saw the Terrace Theater in Minnesota and commissioned Handler to reproduce the theater for them on a piece of land that was once a nursery, the highest elevation in Hillside. The premiere night was a screening of “Dondi” the first film to play for the general public was “The Horizontal Lieutenant.” It was a spectacular building with huge vertical windows in the lobby. There was a smoking loge in the first four rows of the balcony, crying rooms up top for people with babies, a party room, a fire place and a beautifully landscaped lawn. Known especially for the huge “atom” sign that is still a landmark and can be seen for miles, the Hillside had 1,437 seats. It was later converted to a lazer show, then twined and eventually tripled with a third theater in the lobby. It is now a church.