LaGrange Theatre

80 S. La Grange Road,
La Grange, IL 60525

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LaGrange Theatre

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This 1,450-seat movie house in downtown LaGrange opened in 1925, and was designed by architect Edward P. Rupert working out of the architectural firm R. Levine & Co.

Operated by Chicago’s Balaban & Katz chain during the 1930’s thru 1950’s. It was re-modeled in 1949 to the plans of architect Roy A. Blass. The LaGrange Theatre remains in business today, divided into four screens in the 1990’s, and screening second-run fare.

In November 2008, the theater’s owners received $1 million from the village of La Grange towards the renovation and restoration of the theater, which is expected to take a year to a year and a half to complete.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 85 comments)

jwballer on January 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm

A 4/10 Barton was installed in the theatre in 1925

300bowler on August 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm

If anyone has list of movies shown at the LaGrange from 1960-1990 could they please post that list here? Thanks.

CmdrTwit on August 19, 2010 at 10:35 pm

I worked at the theater from 1976-1978 when it was still a Plitt property. Started as an usher and moved on to janitor/maintenance. Best high school job. We had the run of the place (especially the balcony and the backstage). We were paid sub-minimum wage of $1.85/hr, but always signed in for extra hours. Ushering was OK except the jackets we had to wear hadn’t been cleaned in any of our life times, and “You Light Up My Life” played for EIGHT weeks! DOH! Maintenance meant I was in charge of the baling wire and duct tape that held the place together. And the staple gun! This because the biggest part of the job was re-covering the seats as they wore out/were destroyed. The scariest part of the job was starting the heaters. The heating system consisted of 3 oil fueled flame throwers that blasted open flames at brick walls under the stage. The warm air was then circulated past the glowing bricks through tunnels under the seats. There was no thermostat so we had to manually ignite those ancient dragons. I was sure that one was going to blow up! Good times …

spectrum on October 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

According to their website, the $2,000,000 has been completed – new decor, sound system, seating, restored ceiling mural, new concession stand.

jwballer on March 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

In these photos, you can see what it looked like before it was made into a quad
View link

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on December 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Still a great place to see a show. Good selection of 2nd run films, great people working here, and the recent renovations have made it a comfortable place to see a show.

DAL on April 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm

This theatre was the source of some of my stranger experiences back in the 70’s when I was working as a relief manager, including this one: On a beautiful weekend afternoon, the lobby doors were open to take advantage of the outside air. As the concessionaire was filling the buttermat with Kraft topping, a bird flew through the open doors and into the buttermat and drowned.

JPK on April 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

That concession stand was cursed. On a Sunday afternoon in ‘76 the Chicago area was hit with a heavy downpour. A roof drain above the stand plugged up with leaves and stuff. It literally rained inside until I was able to get to the offending roof drain to open it. I got soaked to save that stand.The things we did in the name of our theatres.

Another time a pipe in the dressing rooms under the stage split during an extreme cold snap. It was a Saturday. Ed Konradt was the DM. Rather than pay a plumber the Saturday rates, he went home picked up his wrenches and between the two of us we repaired the offending pipe before losing the first show. We were a little late going on screen but got all shows in that day even with having to turn off the water for awhile.Fortunately it was an easy repair.

Oh, La Grange was such an old place. I’m glad it is still around.Does anyone remember cleaning plenum chambers in the old theatres?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm

The remodeling of the LaGrange Theatre by Roy B. Blass in 1948 occasioned a three page article by decorator Hanns R. Teichert in the January 8, 1949, issue of Boxoffice. There are several photos.

Broan on April 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm

The La Grange was NOT designed by Rapp & Rapp. It was designed by E.P. Rupert for R. Levine & Co. Article in photos section.

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