Grove Theatre

127 S. Grove Avenue,
Elgin, IL 60120

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp.

Functions: Church, Restaurant

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

Grove Theatre, Elgin, IL

Elgin’s first silent movie house, the Grove Theatre, opened in 1920. It remained in operation until 1976, when competition from new mall multiplexes nearby, as well as a general decline in Elgin’s downtown, led to the Grove’s being shuttered. A similar fate met the Crocker, not far from the Grove, a few years later, after that movie house spent its final years screening Spanish-language features.

After sitting vacant for almost two decades, the former theater was converted into a Prairie Rock Brewing Company restaurant and microbrewery in 1995, and another part of the building became a church.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

RichPeterson on November 13, 2003 at 5:50 pm

The Grove, Elgin was operated by Great States Theatres of Chicago, Illinois until its final three years under the banner of Henry Plitt theatres.

It was a single screen theatre with all seats on one floor. Total seating was 897. Mono sound only. 35mm only. Was considered a “shooting gallery” by Chicago film-row.

Rich Peterson
Manager 1968 – 1973

BrendanM on November 23, 2007 at 8:27 am

Here is a picture of the Grove Theatre is it looks today:

View link

jlinamen1229 on July 24, 2011 at 6:42 am

The information here is not correct. Though is currently stands empty, it has gone through several renovations and re-purposed first as a restaurant,then in 2010 as a performance venue. It has not been demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 27, 2014 at 11:09 am

jlinamen1229 is correct. The Grove Theatre’s building is still standing at the corner of Grove Avenue and Prairie Street, as seen in Street View. Part of the building is still occupied by the Prairie Rock Grill, reopened in 2012. The former auditorium, however, once the location of the microbrewery, is now occupied by Discover Church. A new entrance was built for the church at 200 Prairie Street.

sunset_lines on November 4, 2015 at 8:50 am

The Grove Theatre was not in continuous operation until 1976. Of the three theatres in downtown Elgin in the fifties, it was the weakest, and closed in the early fifties. It was something of a dump at that time. It was reopened after the Rialto disaster in 1956. It was the venue where my mother took my sister and me to see “Wizard of Oz”, which inspired nightmares. I have since recovered.

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