Saint Charles Theaters

2065 Prairie Street,
St. Charles, IL 60174

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Chicago-based Essaness Theatres opened this triplex in the mid-1980’s. It was taken over by Cineplex Odeon in the late-1980’s and remained in operation until 1995.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

xtopher1974
xtopher1974 on January 22, 2005 at 10:26 pm

This was part of the St. Charles mall which was actually built on land that had been owned by the city of Geneva. Geneva, not wanting to sully its repuation with crass commercialism, sold it to St. Charles. St. Charles then allowed the mall to be built. As K-Mart had trouble and Joseph Spiess' backruptcy, the two major tenets, the mall closed and with it the theater.

I saw most of the major 80s movies here: Empire Stikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Can’t Buy Me Love, and all the Disney classics (before VCRs took away the rereleases of Disney movies).

The lobby (which was really just a hall way on the back side of the mall) featured a mural of theater goers waiting in line for the movies. This you studied as you waited in line for the theaters. As a kid it always seemed really cool, although it was behind plexiglass to protect from vandles and people used to slide pennies into the space between the wall and the plexiglass.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on May 30, 2006 at 3:46 pm

The FILM LITERATURE LIBRARY lists the following articles in VARIETY about the Essaness Chain:

1) Ingram, B. Essaness will run 89-screen Carisch Minneapolis circuit. Variety 330 Mar 30 (1988): 7 + [2p].

2) Chicago Essaness chain to buy Theater Operators Inc. of Montana. Variety 331 May 4 (1988): 8.

3) Odeon/Plitt buys 41 Essaness screens in Metro Chicago. Variety 323 May 14 (1986): 3+ [2p].

4) Essaness Theaters acquires 15-screen chain in Wisconsin. Variety 320 Oct 2 (1985): 5 + [2p].

Apparantly, Essaness was active up to and after the C-O/Plitt takeover.

CatherineDiMartino
CatherineDiMartino on December 5, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Here is a photo of the theatre’s marquee.

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Bruce C.
Bruce C. on April 24, 2012 at 5:58 am

The mall and theater have been demolished. There is just an empty lot now. The Jewel/Osco next door to the mall is still there.

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