Des Plaines Theatre
1476 Miner Street,
20 people favorited this theater
Des Plaines Theatre (Official)
Previously operated by: Balaban, H & E, Kohlberg Theaters
Architects: William B. Betts, Hal Pereira, William L. Pereira
Firms: Betts & Holcomb, Pereira and Pereira
Functions: Concerts, Live Music Venue
Styles: Art Deco, Spanish Moorish, Spanish Renaissance
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News About This Theater
- Nov 9, 2010 — Historic Des Plaines Theater gets a new lease on life
- Aug 10, 2006 — Des Plaines Theatre restoration at standstill
- Aug 11, 2005 — Des Plaines Theatre Prepares For 80th Birthday
- Oct 28, 2004 — Des Plaines Theatre to Host Halloween Events This Weekend
- Oct 1, 2004 — Classic Films Joining Bollywood Features At Des Plaines Theatre
- May 21, 2004 — Des Plaines Theatre Supporters Seek Happy Ending
- Jan 20, 2004 — Des Plaines Theatre Study Funding Temporarily on Hold
- Dec 19, 2003 — Future of Des Plaines Theater Still Uncertain
- Dec 12, 2003 — Silent Classic Screening at Pickwick Theatre to Benefit Des Plaines Theater
- Dec 8, 2003 — New Des Plaines Theater Owners Consider Restoration
- Nov 13, 2003 — Des Plaines Theater May Get Second Chance
The Des Plaines Theater was opened as a vaudeville/movies house on August 9, 1925 with Adolphe Menjou in “Are Parents People” plus five acts of vaudeville on the stage. Built for the Polka Brothers circuit, the theatre was designed by architect William B. Betts of neighboring Park Ridge, who also designed the Glen Theatre (now the Glen Art Theatre) in west suburban Glen Ellyn among other theatres. The Spanish Moorish style foyer led into a Spanish Renaissance style auditorium, which originally seated 1,018 patrons and had a large stage and orchestra pit. The theatre was equipped with a 3 manual Geneva theatre organ which was installed in December 1925, and removed from the theatre in August 1934. The theatre’s exterior was in an Art Deco style, complete with bright, multi-colored terra cotta on the façade.
In 1935, members of the Balaban family (of the Balaban & Katz chain fame) purchased the Des Plaines Theater, and it became primarily a first-run movie house. That same year, the theatre was remodeled by the firm of Pereira & Pereira, adding some Art Deco style touches, especially to the marquee. In 1982, a fire nearly destroyed the theatre, but it was reopened a couple years later as a twin, with each auditorium seating about 275 patrons and screening second-run films.
The Des Plaines received a much-needed renovation in 1998, and showed primarily first-run East Indian films until closing in early-2003.
The Des Plaines Theater was again showing East Indian movies in 2006 and 2007, but was not been used since January 2008 when the theatre was used to for a special showing of “High School Musical 2” hosted by Radio Disney. It then re-opened as a performing arts venue, which also shows movies.
In October 2010, work began converting the theatre back to a single auditorium. Renovations were completed and the theatre re-opened on November 11, 2011. Seating is now provided for 700, with hopes of adding a further 250 seats in the near future. Programming live theatre, Bollywood movies, independent movies, and hopes of including Hollywood movies and film festivals.
The Des Plaines Theatre was closed in January 2014. Renovations began in November 2019 and were completed on October 1, 2021. It reopened on October 31, 2021 as a concert. live music venue with Kevin Costner & Modern West appearing. Seating is now provided for 958, with 824 in the orchestra and 134 in the balcony.
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Recent comments (view all 108 comments)
Facebook page for the Des Plaines Theatre.
Four 2019 marquee removal photos and below description added credit Des Plaines Theatre Facebook page.
“The crew is hard at work this week removing the old marquee. We are looking forward to seeing the new signage shortly!”
Another photo here.
The opening of the theater has been pushed back to October or later:
1967 photo via Flickr in below link.
October 19, 2020 behind the scenes video tour of Des Plaines Theater by Ron Onesti. It appears that the comments were turned off.
Set to reopen Labor Day Weekend.
Target date for reopening is October 1st.
Grand reopening Halloween night, October 31st with Kevin Costner & Modern West. Official website below.
I re3cently went to see The Great Pretenders (a Pretenders Tribute Band) here recently and I thought, “What a great restoration!” The previous time I was in here was in 1990 to see the movie “Joe Vs the Volcano'. I remember thinking, "What a dump” back then.
As a side note, the Great Pretenders are also known as Deacon Bleus, a Steely Dan Tribute Band.