Old Orchard Theater

9400 Skokie Boulevard,
Skokie, IL 60077

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September 16, 1960.

The Old Orchard Theater, located on Skokie Boulevard at Emerson Street, was opened in 1960 by M & R Theaters. In the 1970’s the theater was used for 70mm projection. In the late-1980’s Loews acquired it (later Loews/Cineplex) and it was later operated by Meridan Theaters. The last booking at the Old Orchard Theater was “Unbreakable” and “Bounce”.

It was closed in late-2000 and demolished in March 2003. The Siena at Old Orchard condominium and retail development is now located on the site of the Old Orchard Theater.

Contributed by James Piscitelli, Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 37 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 11, 2010 at 7:21 am

Boxoffice devoted three pages to an article about the Old Orchard Theatre in the issue of January 9, 1967. The original single-screen theater seated 1,700. It was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates.

Morris’s firm would later design at least two other projects for M&R Amusements: the Evergreen Theatre in Evergreen Park, and the M&R Twin Drive-In (later called the Wheeling Twin Drive-In) at Wheeling, Illinois.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Here is a fresh link to the Boxoffice article about the Old Orchard Theatre. The text begins on the following page, and a third page of text and photos follows two subsequent pages of advertising. An additional photo appears on the cover of that same issue.

rivest266 on June 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

This opened on September 2nd, 1960. I uploaded an photo and grand opening ad here.

RSH1967 on August 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

In the pic posted here a few years ago by Catherine, I believe the Shell station is the only building still standing. View link

Broan on October 6, 2013 at 12:44 am

Original screen measured 60x25

DavidZornig on October 6, 2013 at 2:28 am

RSH1967, the B.F. Goodrich building bnehind the Shell in your photo is still standing too. But it is a Goodyear dealer today.

cubdukat on October 20, 2015 at 4:55 am

That was a beautiful theatre. It’s a shame Loews Cineplex let it go.

alex35mm on December 8, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Some VHS quality footage of the main auditorium and brief exterior footage of the Old Orchard can been seen on this news report for the Phantom Menace release in May of 1999. https://youtu.be/VcSHFMiAZng

DavidZornig on December 9, 2015 at 12:44 am

Thanks for posting that. I re-posted it over on the McClurg Court Cinemas page courtesy of you, since a lot of the exterior is shown throughout.

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