5 S. Prospect Avenue,
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Designed by the firm of Zook & McCaughey, the 1,500-seat, Pickwick Theatre began life in 1928 as a vaudeville and movie house.
In 1975, the theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places, insuring its preservation as a cinema treasure. But it did not reach true acclaim until the theatre’s facade was used as the backdrop for the opening sequence of Siskel and Ebert’s “At the Movies” in the 1980’s.
In 1990, three smaller screens were added to the rear of the Pickwick Theatre, enhancing the theatre’s commercial prospects without endangering the original auditorium.
During 2007, the Bog Theatre company, which was formerly housed in the Masonic Temple building in downtown Des Plaines, presented live theatrical productions at the Pickwick Theatre. The Pickwick Theatre also hosts other occasional live entertainment and special events.
In 2012, the marquee was repainted in black & white, with some red, to return it to its original colors. Further renovations were completed in October 2012 which returned the original auditorium it to its Art Deco style splendour. The main auditorium now has a reduced capacity of 1,000, with wider new seats. Seating capacities in the three smaller additional auditoriums are now 160, 96 and 220. In 2017 a fifth screen was added.
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