Evergreen Theater

9730 S. Western Avenue,
Evergreen Park, IL 60805

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

DavidZornig on April 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Undated photo added courtesy of Rich Bird.

olscoob on August 29, 2013 at 11:28 am

very fond memories of the old Evergreen Plaza theatre. saw ALIENS there with dad, and in high school me and my friends would be there every Friday of opening night for the Halloween/Nightmare on Elm Street sequels. my last good memory was seeing The Blob remake on my day off from working at Evergreen Aqua. it was a huge theatre and it was awesome. Good times!

bbfarmer on February 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I only went to this theater once, as I lived nowhere near it, but it’s a fond memory. Saw “Taxi Driver” when it first came out, and the theater was still a twin. The other side was showing the Elliott Gould movie “I Will… I Will… For Now”.

DBuckley on September 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I was an usher at the Evergreen in the Summer of 1970. Pay was .85/hour. Saw “Airport” & “Paint Your Wagon” numerous times. When they showed “Snoopy Come Home”, I had to stand in the lobby next to a guy in a Snoopy suit so the kids wouldn’t mob him. A sad note, one of the managers, Karl Hyde, was murdered in the theater in July 1973. Here’s a link about the homicide: http://il.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.%5CIL%5CIL2%5Carchwaf%5C1979%5C19790511_0000738.IL.htm/qx

rivest266 on June 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.

Sirrom0206 on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

Wow, sad to hear about this. I saw the first run of Up In Smoke in this theater.

whtesoxfan56 on November 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Ah, okay. For whatever weird reason, I was thinking it was C-O that eventually took control of this theater, but I see it wasn’t. Thanks for answering.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on November 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

It was originally an M&R Theatre, then it became a Loews Theatre in the late 1980s. And then………with the big merger; it became a Loews Cineplex Theatre and closed in the summer of 1999. It later got demolished.

whtesoxfan56 on November 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I very vaguely remember this theater, if just for seeing its name in newspaper ads. Does anyone remember if this was a Cineplex Odeon, or a Loews theater? I thought it did get into the hands of one of those chains, and wouldn’t be surprised if they chose to close this theater, as a result of their merger in the late 90s.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on April 12, 2010 at 12:34 am

CF If you get a chance check out Colony Theatre facebook page and become a fan.

CinemarkFan on April 12, 2010 at 12:10 am

Thanks for the info Tim. Now I can kinda remember #1 now. That auditorium, along with River Oaks’s screen 9 were probably the biggest auditoriums of the south suburbs in their day. And sadly, both went down due to changing times and rough audiences.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on April 11, 2010 at 11:16 pm


Okay, let me first give a little history on the Evergreen Theatre because I think I might have caused some confusion. The theatre opened in 1964 as a two-plex. When you walked into the building back in it’s early days, there was an enoromous lobby. On the right side (the southern end of the lobby) was Theatre 1. It had roughly 1200 seats (blue in color); on the left side (northern end of lobby) was Theatre 2, approx. 950 seats (orange in color). When I first went to the Evergreen Theatre in December, 1977, to see CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND in 70mm, I watched it in Theatre 1. About 6 months later, M&R added a new screen, constructed in the huge lobby area. It was called Theatre 3 and they cramned in 550 seats. In the early 1980s, the general manager decided to change the number order. The 1200 seat remained known as Theatre 1; however, the small theatre between the orginal two auditoriums became known as Theatre 2 and the 950 seat theatre became known as Theatre 3. In the fall of 1983, Theatre 3 (formerly 2) got a wall built down the middle; henceforth, they became Theatre 3 (440 seats) and Theatre 4 (470 seats). The last time I saw a movie there was in 1986. Theatre 1 was still the same and as far as I know it remained that way unti the theatre closed in 1999.

CinemarkFan on April 11, 2010 at 1:24 am


Since #2 was the one that was twinned, does this mean that #1 retained a seating capacity of 1000+ throughout its 35 year run? I remember seeing movies (notably “Pulp Fiction” & “Waiting to Exhale”) in there, and I remember it being a big auditorium, but I don’t remember it being THAT big. Do you or anyone else think the capacity of #1 was reduced to 900+ when it got new seats in the 80s?

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on April 11, 2010 at 1:05 am

I used to work at the Evergreen, in 1983. M&R converted a section of the huge lobby into a smaller 550 seat auditorium in 1978. In 1983, they twinned what used to be called Theatre 2 and they became Theatres 3 and 4. The theatre closed in 1999 as a Loews Cineplex theatre.

CinemarkFan on April 11, 2010 at 1:02 am

Thank you so much Joe! I’ve always wanted to see pictures of it as a twin. And for the first time, I was able to see the outside in its entirety.

When we would go there, we would enter via the second level of Carson’s, and walk up a flight of stairs to the box office. And when leaving, go down stairs to the bus stop.

That exterior was really nice and dare I say it, better than any of these new AMC/Regal complexes.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm

My previous comment should read Wheeling, Illinois, as the location of the Wheeling Twin Drive-In.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 10, 2010 at 11:10 pm

CinemarkFan: It’s been a long wait, but there are four photos of the Evergreen in this Boxoffice feature of May 17, 1965.

This theater was built by M&R Amusements, and was designed by the Chicago firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates, who had worked for the M&R circuit at least once before (Old Orchard Theatre, Skokie) and would design at least one more project for them later (Wheeling Twin Drive-In, Wheeling, Michigan.) In its original twin configuration the Evergreen seated 2,360, with 1,320 in the larger auditorium and 1,040 in the smaller.

CinemarkFan on October 2, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I wish there were pictures of this place floating around.

And did anybody hear that the mall will be redone in a few years? Perhaps a new theater would fit in too.

Stedy26 on September 28, 2007 at 9:32 pm

I live two blocks from The Plaza. The site looks so baron without the theater and the parking garage. They really needed it.

kencmcintyre on January 31, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Here is an account of the homicide in the theater on 7/19/73:

mattlife75 on January 1, 2007 at 2:00 pm

I saw many film here also. I remember one morning, the theater was offering a free showing of Karate Kid II. My mom woke us up early and we were among the first to arrive. The last movie I saw here was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I believe that part of the reason for the demise of this theather during the early to mid 90’s was the opening of the nearby Ford City 14 multiplex, which was one of the first on multiplexes on the Southwest side of Chicago. Great memories.

LYNNMICHALI on December 16, 2006 at 9:52 pm

I loved the Evergreen. It was so easy to get to. Just go right down Western and there it was. The last movie I saw there was Gandhi. I miss it. Chicago Ridge theaters are quite a bit farther.

HDTVdesignteam on July 12, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Another theater from my childhood. I remember it quite well. High school days. Used to come from Palos to see movies and shop in the mall.

CinemarkFan on February 14, 2006 at 8:01 am

Grand opening was June 26th, 1964 with two screens. They later cut up one of the screens to make it a triplex. Between 1982-1983, they cut up another one of the other screens to make it a quadplex. I’ve only seen 8 movies here and I remember them well. Jurassic Park, Hard Target, Pulp Fiction, Hideaway, Kiss of Death, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Vampire in Brooklyn, and the last movie I saw here, Waiting to Exhale. it closed a little after June 1999. It was torn down not long after. The parking spaces under the theatre remains.

Does anyone have any pictures of this place? Exterior, interior
etc… My older brothers would love to see them. They saw almost over 80 films here. If I get my theatre corp off the ground soon,
I’m going to try and build a theatre back at the mall. I miss this place so much.

DBuckley on October 10, 2005 at 11:43 am

I was an usher there for about 3 weeks in the summer of 1970. The pay was .85/hour. Saw “Paint Your Wagon” & “Airport” numerous times. Once I had to stand next to a guy in a “Snoopy” costume to keep the kids from pawing him too much. He was there for the Charlie Brown cartoon feature “Snoppy Come Home”. A sad note: The theatre manager was shot to death in a robbery in the theatre in 1970-72.