Old Orchard Theater

9400 Skokie Boulevard,
Skokie, IL 60077

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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 35 comments)

DavidZornig on December 1, 2008 at 2:19 am

I saw “North Dallas Forty” at Old Orchard. We had also gone there to see “Animal House” when it opened, but all the later shows were sold out.
I think we drove to Golf Mill after that and got in.
Also saw “More American Graffiti” here in 1979.

The bowling alley was called Fair Lanes in 1978. I was on our league that Winter for Holiday Texaco in Evanston.
That 78-79 Winter was brutal at both.

Vogue Tyre had a showroom & garage on the S/W corner of Golf & Skokie Blvd.

DavidZornig on April 15, 2009 at 6:07 am

Reactivate Notification Status.

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.

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