Fox Valley Theaters

4001 Fox Valley Center Drive,
Aurora, IL 60504

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Curt_f on March 4, 2017 at 2:14 pm

My first job out of high school was working Usher at Fox Valley 1-6 in the summer of 1983. I worked there Summers and Christmas holidays. Most fun I’ve ever had at a job. Lots of great memories. Everybody got along. Free movies, popcorn, nachos, and pop. A group of us would party after work in the parking lot(sometimes even during work, but never got caught). I remember when “Return of the Jedi” opened and the crowds just kept coming. “Officer and a Gentleman” had a very long run because people kept coming to see it. I worked a lot of hours and was able to buy my first car and first stereo with this job. Those memories can never be replaced. I had moved to Arizona by the time I heard about Doug Lonsbury(mgr at 1-6) being shot. He was my manager. Nice guy. I hope he’s doing well today. And then the tragedy a few years later at building 7-10 with the mgr being killed by a former employee.

 I think it was around 2005 that I made a point of driving by the old theater and she was still standing--  vacant, but still standing.  It's sad that she no longer exists.  Thankyou, Plitt 1-6.  You've given me memories that will last a lifetime.
DAL on November 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Jacs: Kind words aren’t enough to honor your uncle. He was the best combination of skill, dedication, and good humor, and he was sorely missed by a great many of his fellow managers. My sympathy to your family for the loss of Ron. Time is the comforter that helps us focus on the good memories, which no criminal can take away.

rivest266 on November 16, 2016 at 2:39 am

This opened on December 21st, 1977 along with the Hawthorn 1-2-3-4. Its grand opening ad in the photo section.

Jacs on October 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm

I don’t know if you’ll see this but to theatrelifer and Dal, Ron Roberts was my uncle. Thank you for the kind words about him. It’s nice to know that others remember him and think as kindly of him as we all did and continue to do.

glennimal on January 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Wow, I was the assistant manager when Doug was there, and got shot. I also ran the smaller theater as a manager and left shortly before Ron took over. It was one of my first major jobs,loved it at the time. i will
be starting a new job soon at a casino, still kind of in the entertainment field. Good luck in your job search.I started at Oakbrook theater.

DAL on December 18, 2012 at 6:48 am

AMC graciously offered a lot of Kerasotes area managers management positions at theatres, and I was with them from the Kerasotes buyout until my location, Crestwood Plaza 10 in St. Louis, closed in May 2012. I’ve been looking for work since. (Finding employment is a lot harder in your 50’s than in your 40’s!) Kerasotes is a great organization with some of the finest professionals I have worked with in my long career, and I’m glad they still go on with their ICON concept.

theatrelifer on December 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

I think that you were at on time my DM. When I first came to Oak Brook I had Ed Konrandt,Then you Dave Lang,followed by Mike Sadigain,Jim Felker,Jay Schenkel.When I worked for Kerasotes I saw your name as a DM I was so upset that they sold to AMC but the theatre that I worked at City North along with Webster was not part of the sale do to a judges decree they went to Regal.Working for Plitt and then Century(Sufurys) and lastly the Kersotes was the best then came the chains and they let all the managers go. Regal gave me the Choice of making $8.25 down from $19.00 or loosing all benifets and to work part time so I left.Are you still in the Theatre game?

DAL on December 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

I’m Dave. I also worked with Bill Studdert at Orland 1-4 and will be forever grateful for that opportunity, since Bill was my connection to the glory days of the old movie palaces. Gilbert Tamm was my assistant at Stratford 1-4. Crossed paths a lot with Ed Butkovich. And I was one of Pat’s DMs from 1988 until 2006, in Chicago and then Houston. I’ve worked for six different companies in 10 states in over 120 locations over 39 years. The sad thing, as this website proves, is that probably 75% of those theatres are now gone forever.

theatrelifer on December 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm

My former Brother in Law is Pat Burns He was vp under Irwin Choen at the time. I also have worked for Classic Cinemas,Century(Cinemark) Kerasotes (Regal)

theatrelifer on December 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm

No Greg I worked the Oakbrook theatres till 1991 then went to manage River Oaks 7&8.I also worked at Orland in 1983 to 84 Then I opened Orland Sq 5-8. I worked with Mr. Studdert and Gilbert Tamm at 1-4 and Ed Butkovich at 5-8

DAL on December 15, 2012 at 8:04 am

Sadly, I’ve always realized this day would come, but tried to block it out. The original sentences for the two were life without parole, but those were overturned due to a pre-trial technicality. For the retrial, they pleaded guilty and received 40-year sentences. The two killers would be about 40 years old now, since they were 16 or 17 at the time of the murder. I think Ron was only 28. (Theatrelifer: I’m guessing that you are Jim?)

theatrelifer on December 13, 2012 at 2:25 am

Dal, I worked for Plitt/Cineplex for 17 years.When I was Manager at Oakbrook 1-4 Before this new theatre I was manger of what was then 1-3 before being known as 5-7 after the new theatre was open. Ron Roberts took over as manager of 5-7 after I left to open the new theatre. He then left to manage Fox Valley.I just found out that one of the convicted is being released on the 18th of this month after serving half of his sentence and the other murder is being releasd in 2013. This happened on 12-23-1988. My prayers go out to the Roberts family

DAL on March 1, 2012 at 9:13 am

At age 22, I opened the original fourplex at 4001 Fox Valley Center Drive just before Christmas in 1977. Seating was 308, 400, 400, and 604, with Dolby Stereo in the largest auditorium We opened with “The Gauntlet,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “The World’s Greatest Lover,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” I ran the theatre until spring of ‘79 when I transferred to Orland Square 4. A few years later, a 500-seat auditorium was added to the south end, and a 300-seater to the north end. In the 80’s, prior to Cineplex-Odeon’s purchase of Plitt, the 7-10 location (pictured as “The Foundry” now) was built south of the original site on Executive Drive. We had a tragedy at each of the locations: at 1-6, the manager was shot in the head (survived, with disabilities) during a dispute between customers; at 7-10, the manager was murdered by two teens, one an ex-employee, early on Christmas Eve morning 1988. Two of the best managers I ever knew taken away…such a great loss to the industry and in Ron’s case, to humanity.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm

This was one of at least four 1970s multi-screen theaters designed for Plitt Theatres by the Chicago architectural firm of Finck, Stowell & Frolichstein. The others were:

Cherryvale Mall Cinema, Rockford, Illinois.

Orland Square Cinemas, Orland Park, Illinois.

Hawthorne Theatres, Vernon Hills, Illinois.

aejanis on March 7, 2007 at 3:47 am

The larger (orignal) Fox Valley Theater is being demolished. Demo work started this week, and if I had to guess…it will be reduced to nothing by the end of the week.

Looks like we can post pictures, so I will try and remember to stop and take one of the demo in progress on my way home from work tonight.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 2, 2005 at 12:35 pm

There are two former theatre buildings in Fox Valley Mall. Both are off on the edge of the parking lot in the southwest corner. One has been gutted and turned into The Foundry (a large sports bar). The other, which I believe is the original building, is sitting there silently. You can make out the outline of “Plitt Theatres” where the electrical sign was once mounted. It is easy to miss unless you know it is there, because it sits on it’s own distinct parking area.

It is interesting to note that these early mall theatres, which surpassed the classic cinemas of the inner cities, have themselves been surpassed by larger facilities with stadium seating.

CinemarkFan on November 18, 2004 at 4:39 pm

Fox Valley is about to get it’s theatre back. That’s right, Kerasotes Theatres will begin construction soon on ShowPlace 12 at Fox Valley Center. It is slated for 2005. Check their full list of projects here at:

BTW, Plitt opened Screens 7-10 in December 84.