Deerpath Theatre

272 E. Deerpath Road,
Lake Forest, IL 60045

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Deerpath Theatre

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The Deerpath Theatre, in the northern Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, opened in 1928. It was designed by the firm of Betts and Holcomb, who were also responsible for designing the Catlow Theatre in Barrington (among several other Chicagoland area theatres).

Both theatres were designed in a neo-Tudor style, though the interior decor differed and the Deerpath Thetare had a balcony.

The Deerpath Theatre remained open until the mid-1980’s. After it closed, it was converted into a shopping center.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

andrewgage on November 2, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Despite most predictions to the contrary, yes I did graduate from LFHS. How ya doin' “Feetsy” Filkins? It’s been a long long time hasn’t it?

jeanfilkins on November 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Andy! Yay! I would love to hear what you’ve been up to in the past… decades… could you e-mail me at jeanlass @ gmail .com? I don’t think it would be good form to shanghai this thread with discussions of 9th grade chorus.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm

The Deerpath in 1982:

View link

I don’t remember this theatre being twinned, and yet there is a big “2” on the marquee. Curious.

balabankatz on October 24, 2009 at 5:15 am

It was not a twin. It was remodeled in the very early 80’s and the organ was even restored. It was reopened as the Deerpath 2. Airline seats, private rooms (back of the main floor) good for crying babies, early satellite TV (in the lobby and private rooms), and a rockin Dolby stereo sound system. Pink Floyd The Wall was there right after it reopened. Another cool theater that died due to the Loews / CO multiplex build mania then bankruptcy.

jwballer on April 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

So where the organ now?

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 30, 2010 at 5:23 am

From the early 1900s a photo of the Deerpath Theatre in Lake Forest.

orsonwellescinema on April 10, 2012 at 2:24 am

Here’s some additional background information on the Deerpath Theatre. It’s from a 2007 interview with actress Joan Taylor (1929-2012), who passed away on last month –

Q: When did you get the itch to start to perform?

My mom was a dancing teacher, and my dad became the manager of a motion picture theater in Lake Forest, Illinois. It was called the Deerpath Theater — a lot of deer used to go past there down to Lake Michigan. We would go to movies at my dad’s theater on Friday nights, Shirley Temple was on the screen and, whoops, all of a sudden I wanted to do “On the Good Ship Lollipop” [laughs]! My first job was as a cashier in his theater. My mom would never let me wear slacks, but I made $13 my first week as a cashier and of course the first thing I did was buy a pair of beautiful wool slacks for $13. I earned that money, so I could go buy myself what I wanted!”

Q: What did it feel like to be 20 years old and sixth-billed in your first movie?

Felt good [laughs]. It felt really good! Of course, going from stage to movies, you have to [modify your acting]. The same way that boiling water has to be covered with a lid, you’ve got to keep things in; you don’t throw things to the back of the house, so to speak, as an actress on the stage would. I had to learn how to kinda hold things in a little bit. That was hard, coming from the stage. The world premiere was in Topeka, Kansas; I remember going there on a train, playing cards with Dale. At that premiere, there was a parade and there was the mayor and duh-dah duh-dah duh-dah [laughs], because there was Randolph Scott and also Dale Robertson, who became a star after that picture. Again, it was great. Then I went on into Chicago and was met by the newspaper people, and pictures in the newspaper, and all of the Hollywood stuff.

Q: Back in your own home state.

Yes! Then we went into Lake Forest and we had a “premiere” at my dad’s theater—with, of course, pictures of me putting my own name up on my dad’s marquee. “Home Town Girl Makes Good”!

DavidZornig on July 4, 2015 at 5:57 am

Crisper original image of the year book cover photo added, courtesy of Bob Craig. Via the I Remember Lake Forest When… Facebook page.

DavidZornig on July 4, 2015 at 6:10 am

1965 photo added courtesy of Erin Murphy Foley. Earlier marquee.

Broan on September 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm

The architects for this theater are sometimes given as Stanley
D. Anderson and James H. Ticknor. Betts may have contributed.

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