Morton Grove Theatre

7300 Dempster Street,
Morton Grove, IL 60053

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Broan on October 15, 2013 at 7:12 am

Architects were Footlik & Rose

rivest266 on June 23, 2012 at 6:38 am

June 24th, 1966 grand opening ad uploaded here.

Trolleyguy on December 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Drove by yesterday and saw that the facility is now a fitness center. This seems to be the fate of a lot of these older multiplexes, just like what happened to the nearby Golf Mill 1-2-3.

rollem on October 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for the welcome. Does anyone know what the upper floor of the building is being used for now?

TLSLOEWS on September 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Great Theatre Story roolem,good to hear that from someone who lived it.Welcome to Cinema Treasures.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Nice looking theatre i bet with one screen,but they just have to mutiplex everything for that buck.Good stories to read.

rollem on September 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I grew up going to this theater and have very fond memories of the time I spent there. My father was the projectionist there from the time it opened (I think) until late November of 1984. When I was allowed to go to work with my Dad I would sometimes sit down in the house and watch with the other patrons but more often I liked to stay up in the projection booth with him. I watched him splice film, make changeovers from one projector to the other and change carbon arcs, etc. My Dad had a large reel to reel music library that he selected from to play for the moviegoers when the pictures were not running. When she was old enough, my cousin worked there at the candy counter. I remember that upstairs next to the projection booth there was a huge room full of HVAC equipment and it was very loud and I had to stay out of there. I really do appreciate seeing the picture that was posted by “Life’s Too short”. I loved going to the Morton Grove. Thanks for the memories…..

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on July 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I miss this place. I think the last movie I saw here was “Bulworth” and as I recall, the place was packed!

My sister lived nearby at the time. I also recall her saying how she was so surprised this place closed.

Trolleyguy on June 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm

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Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Sweet photo:

View link

I miss the place after seeing this.

DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 10:06 pm

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kimfaith on February 20, 2009 at 6:40 am

My family, Kohlberg Theaters, were the ones that sold the theater to Value. We ALWAYS did big business, why do you think we enlarged it to two screens. We did open one year with King Kong. My dad had an employee dressed in a forills suit to greet the customers! Boy, them were the days:)

DavidZornig on February 14, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Insert giant cartoon Monty Python foot, with Shoe Carnival boot & SFX, squashing the Morton Grove Theatre here.

mgtcarl on October 1, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I worked at the theater until it was closed. I’ve got a ton of photos, If I have time someday I will scan them and put them online.

KJB2012 on April 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Does anyone have pictures of this theatre?

mp775 on March 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Heh; I bought two pair of shoes here about six months ago. Never knew it was a theater!

The location is still showing up on Shoe Carnival’s website, so I’d guess it wasn’t torn down.

RobinW on February 13, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Somebody tod me that this place has been demolished and a bank put in its place. Can someone please confirm?

bleedingchicago on March 16, 2006 at 5:51 am

Hey everybody

I am a Michael LeVan. I have lived in the city of Chicago my entire life. I am a filmmaker and a attendee of Columbia College, heading into my final year. I love all the old movie palaces of Chicago. It has been my intent for sometime to Make a documentary on the history, and the ongoings of these historic theaters in the present. The means to make this documentary are finally in my grasp. I planned on featuring 3 theaters, the Copernicus Center(formally The Gateway), The Patio(Formally The Avalon), and The Uptown. While the Documentary will focus on the entire history, These are the three that will be visual examples, and the ones i would like to film in. I have spoken with the People at The Gateway Theater, and they are estatic that i am doing this. The only problem now is The Uptown and the The Patio. These two theaters seem to have ghosts of owners , or even managers. If somebody could help me in finding someone to talk too, i would be very appriciative. Also, this documentary will require interviews, and finding old information as well. If anybody would be kind enough to do either that would be fantastic. My somewhat set date to start filming is June 10 ,2006. My goal with the entire project is to help and benifit these theaters. Help alot more people to gain interest, and all the profit that i attain, if any, will be donated to help with these theaters. I am going to submit it to Wttw(Pbs Chicago) , and also the History Channel. So if anyone would like to help in anyway, they can contact me at my email.

or by phone (773)-656-5821

Well i appriciate if you read that entire thing, and hopefully i will be hearing from you

Michael Levan of Bleeding Chicago Productions

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 1, 2006 at 8:23 am

Yeah. I saw the X-Files movie there, whatever year that was. All the theatres were packed that night. Line at the box office. It was a lot of fun. And yeah, it doesn’t greatly enhance the community to have a Shoe Carnival. I think the landlord blew it on this one. Even if retail does pay more rent the theatre drew people to the other businesses there when there are plenty of half-empty shopping malls in Chicagoland struggling to survive. Plus the theatre sounds like it was a reliable tenant. It’s a problem I see a lot in my business: there are a lot of guys out there who are too fixated on up-front money to pull back and see how the bigger picture can be more profitable.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on March 1, 2006 at 8:04 am

The comment above confirms what I’d rather suspected. As I recall, the theatre always did great business. Just what the community needed—another boring shoe outlet selling footwear that falls apart after a couple of months.

idlegim on January 11, 2006 at 2:06 pm

OK OK OK OK….lets get this all straight here. let me 1st state who i am. My name is Brian and i ran the morton grove theatre for the last 4 years it was open. let me tell you really what happened. sit down and listen….1st of all the morton grove theatre was a family owned business and called Value Theatres. They also had 7 other theatres in the chicago land area including a 1st run theater that charged a normal $8 to get in. Out of all the other theatres, the mortong grove theatre was the #1 theatre. So, what does that mean? money was not an issue jayne2. The theatre was the 1st building to go into that complex with a handy andy. They took the handy andy and turned it into 6 retail stores. the owner of the property realized that retail payed more than we did so what they did was they renovated the whole lot. paved the ground, gave a new facelift. but left us alone. we had problem with the plumbing, the roof, and the parking lot they never re-paved. we had 7 years left on our lease. they ran us out. that place was a landmark it was a great place to be. money was no issue, we had plenty of staff and it was $1.75 a ticket $1 tuesdays. NEVER did 1st runs…nwo when you drive passed there you see a shoe carnival with 3 cars in the parking lot. we were the hottest thing in morton grove…we sold out all movies friday,saturday, and sundays no matter what condition it was outside they lined up to TJ maxx to get a ticket on a saturday night and if you ever went, you know what im talkin about…i think thats it. MGT 4 Life!

Jayne2 on August 8, 2005 at 7:31 am

The last time I went to the Morton Grove was in early 2001. It was a Saturday night, second run movie (can’t remember which one), and there were a lot of people there, but at $1.50 per ticket it may not have been making money. And, probably the land was worth more than the cost of running the business, which is usually the case. It seemed like a family was running the theater, which made me think maybe they weren’t making enough money to hire too many people.

TRAINPHOTOS on July 25, 2005 at 9:16 am

Correction: Per another post, the Harlem Corners has been closed, leaving only the Buffalo Grove operated by Value.

TRAINPHOTOS on July 25, 2005 at 9:10 am

Towards the end, this theatre was operated by Value Theatres, which apparantly was trying to make inroads into the Chicagoland Area. Value had a few theatres going, now only the Buffalo Grove and the Harlem Corners remain.

This theatre may have also tried to do first run showings towards the end too, but I can’t confirm this. I can’t understand why this place closed (perhaps the owners received a good offer to sell?). It always drew a good crowd.

ArtF on October 19, 2004 at 8:52 pm

The large “awning” was removed from the building when the theater closed, and converted to a shoe store. I was an employee here from 1977-1983 (assistant manager for the last few years). During that time, it was a single-screen theater having 1236 seats.