Lans Theatre

3524 Ridge Road,
Lansing, IL 60438

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DavidZornig on October 27, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Also the 1969 photo I added had this description.

January 1969 photo & copy credit The Lansing Journal. New owner William Mallers took over. They remodeled some of the interior and they starrted showing “First Runs” of older movies

DavidZornig on October 27, 2016 at 11:05 am

The Lans had a a pre-opening event on January 28, 1947. An image of the invite has been added to the Photos Section, courtesy of the Lansing Historical Society. So the Overview should be changed to Opened January 28,1947.

DavidZornig on October 27, 2016 at 10:43 am

1965 photo added courtesy of Brian Pearson‎.

DavidZornig on October 27, 2016 at 10:38 am

August 1954 photo added courtesy of Lansing Historical.

editpro on July 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

As a kid in Lansing in the ‘50s, I remember that the Lans had a unique programming approach—it would play family/kids films Friday-Monday, then offer more adult fare the nights of Tuesday-Thursday. And it never offered double features…. we would head to Hammond, Indiana, theaters for twin bills.

justinterested on September 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Please note, there is an pipe organ in the old Lans Theatre, the console was moved to I assume where center stage would have been, (if there was a stage) the organ is played for the entertainment of the diners. The Pizza is very good.

TLSLOEWS on March 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm

In my days with Loews we had our conncession girls trained to ask if the patrons want “Butter Flavoring” since it was not really butter and to avoid any lawsuits.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm

fred,enjoyed the story on Buttered popcorn.I have been on CT a couple of years and that was the first time i had ever read that on the Butter.It was the same thing at the theatres I worked at.thanks.

TLSLOEWS on March 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Thanks for the photo Don, and the story anon99.

ratkins99 on March 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

It is a summer morning and Scott and I do our usual of collecting pop bottles from sand lots and pooling our money together. You get 2 cent deposit on the bottles, which we turn in at the meat market. The movie cost 35 cents, and you want 10 cents for popcorn and 5 cents for pop. 50 cents total. Then we ride our bikes over to the Lans from the Indiana side. The movie matinee is “The First Men in the Moon” based on the novel by HG Wells, released in 1964, and I was eleven.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

From around 1949 a photo of the Lans Theatre in Lansing.

kencmcintyre on March 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm

There were some photos in Boxoffice in November 1947:

Alive on December 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I was on my way home one evening and as I walked passed the Lans that they just finished they were having there Grand opening for all the dignitaries in town. The door was open so I walked right in and passed through the lobby into the theater. There was a 4 foot high wall before the seating so I leaned on that wall and watched the movie. The movie was Three Little Girls In Blue with the Andrews Sisters.I think it was early in 1947. I later got a job there and was a usher and did other things like make popcorn, clean the popcorn machine, change the outside marquees and the posters discribing the movie. It was great having it in town. Rich

chinaboat on June 28, 2009 at 1:18 am

803, well wha’d'yanno, didn’t think it was that big. The walls were stucco painted with a bizarre underwater theme basically aqua or blue-green with 18" wide twisted strands of darker blue and green seaweed going up perhaps 15 feet, five foot high sea horses floating about and huge seashells. The house lights were huge wall sconces that looked like immense scallop shells; I regret not being able to obtain one but I had left town by then.

As I said, it was a tad bizarre, but at least it was decorated unlike today’s boxes.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 12, 2009 at 1:12 am

Construction on the Lans Theatre began during WWII, but was delayed by material shortages. Kalafat Brothers, the operators of the house, scheduled the opening for January 29, 1947, according to an item in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of February 15 that year. The Lans was designed by Chicago theater architect Erwin G Fredrick.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 14, 2008 at 12:15 am

The Lans Theater now Beggars Pizza is a building that is now 61 years old which means the Lans Theater must have opened in 1947. Lansing was settled by a lot of Dutch folks and those Dutch Reformed are pretty strict so it’s understandable what kind of movies the Lans showed. It’s a wonder they allowed the theater to be open on Sunday!
When it was Pipes and Pizza, Roger Triemstra, the WGN AM720 Radio, Superstation WGN TV9, Meteorologist from 1965 to 1998 was one of the owners. As far as I know a theater pipe organ had never been installed in the theater and the owners installed a 4 manual Barton Theater Pipe Organ. I don’t remember how many ranks and I don’t recall where it came from, but it’s a safe to say it came from Wisconsin cause all Bartons came from Oshkosh.
I don’t know about now, but as of last year Glenn Tallar was playing the Barton each Tuesday and Saturday night for Beggars Pizza. He’s 20, lives out southwest of Chicago in Homer Glen, is a Lockport Township High School graduate and goes to Columbia College. He sure makes it a fun place to eat pizza!

“Gee Dad, it’s a Barton!”

jeffdal on January 13, 2008 at 6:05 pm

This was indeed a great place. I think I saw every Disney movie there from 1974 until it closed!!!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 5, 2005 at 11:59 am

Listed in the Film Daily Yearbook,1950 edition it had a seating capacity of 803.

editpro on May 5, 2005 at 11:18 am

My older brother and sister worked at the Lans in the mid-50s; my brother was friends with the son of the owner, Roger Shearer. I did see a lot of Disney movies there, but I also such offerings as Psycho, The Manchurian Candidate, and Dr. Strangelove. Things I most remember:
For years, the theater has a split-week billing schedule—family movies played Friday-Monday and more adult films played Tuesday-Thursday.
Summer Kiddie Matinees—Tuesday afternoons throughout the summer, the theater offered free shows for kids, which consisted of 26 cartoons (so they said; nobody ever counted) and a movie. It was sheer bedlam with popcorn and candy boxes flying about and hundreds of kids laughing, screaming, running and pretty much ignoring what was on the screen. Very similar to the scene in the movie theater in Gremlins. Ears would be rinnging for an hour after you left the theater. It was great fun.

RobertR on August 16, 2004 at 2:29 pm

This is what makes this site so great, the memories of all the neighborhood and dollar houses.

Fred Schiller
Fred Schiller on August 16, 2004 at 2:08 pm

My first job was working as an usher at the Lans from 1976 to 78. What a great experience. We did show a heck of a lot of Disneys, but we also showed some 3rd run classics like Jaws, The Sting, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Thursday nights were always a thrill ride because after the last show started for the night we had to go out and change the marquee. The ladder was barely tall enough to reach the top row of letters, and you had to pray for good weather because if the wind started blowing there was nothing to grab onto except lightbulbs. The terror factor went up during the winter months. We didn’t top our popcorn with the motor oil they use in theaters today, our butter came in plastic kegs. The stuff was solid until we floated the kegs in a bucket of hot water. Then we could pour it into the dispenser. It made the popcorn a little mushy, because of the water content in the butter, but it tasted oh-so good. There was no soda dispenser behind the candy counter but we did have a soda vending machine. My duties included keeping the machine full of syrup and cups. It cost a quarter for a cup of so-so soda. I learned a trick that used to puzzle the boss. Through hours of practice I figured out how to zing a penny into the coin slot to fool the machine into thinking it was getting a quarter. Soda for a penny! Woo hoo! Whenever the boss would empty out the coin bucket from the machine she used to blame all the pennies on those darned kids.

The Lans wasn’t the greatest theater in the world but it meant the world to me back then.