Village Art Theatre may close

posted by Paul Fortini on April 10, 2006 at 8:11 am

CHICAGO, IL — The Village Art is rumored to be closing soon.

A “For Rent Summer 2006” sign has gone up over the marquee. I have heard nothing about why this theater is closing — it is a very popular place. Perhaps they’ve lost their lease or (more likely) someone wants to build condos on the site.

The chain for the Village Art should be listed as ‘Village Theatres’ and the website is and any information on this theater closing is appreciated.

Theaters in this post

Comments (16)

RobertR on April 10, 2006 at 9:02 am

Will anything but plexes be left in the next 2-3 years? Sad times for sure.

Broan on April 10, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Not that i’m saying anything here, but generally, paying your rent helps to keep your landlord from evicting you.

Broan on April 10, 2006 at 2:19 pm

Also, the Village is listed as an orange-rated building (second tier, from Red) on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, which means that it is subject to a 90-day delay on issuance of a demolition permit, during which time it is researched to decide if it is eligible for landmark protection.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on April 10, 2006 at 2:48 pm

Brian Wolf,

I don’t think that paying rent was an issue. This theatre has been very popular and profitable for many years. I think that whoever owns this building received a better offer from someone else (i.e. condos again). Also, if Village hadn’t been paying its rent, the company would have been evicted much sooner (the “For Rent” sign went up around December).

alex35mm on April 10, 2006 at 6:16 pm

Paul, I used to manage here up until recently. Trust me, its absolutely rent and a slew of other reasons (not fixing the heat all winter in theater 2?). The company most likely will take the owner to count and, doing what village does best, waste a lot of time with the court system. Mostly the firm and landlord that rent the property to Village Entertainment are very nice people and would like to see the building remain a movie theater. However they are very tired of dealing with Village. After my time there and seeing how the company is run, I don’t blame them. The entire operation is a complete joke. I would love to go into detail, but I’m sure you guys would read about a body found floating in the harbor next week.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on April 11, 2006 at 8:42 am

A Projectionist:

So you were an insider with Village Entertainment. I was wondering why (in your previous posts) you said that Village was not well run. I’ve often thought that Village should have run only the Village and possibly the Village North. Did you notice that all of Village’s problems have occurred since they’ve tried to become a chain.

Believe me, AP, I very much want to support the local chain (i.e. I buy Jays Potato Chips instead of Lays). However, Village’s history speaks for itself. You can compare and contrast Village to another local chain, Classic Cinemas. Although CC did close a few money-losing cinemas, the company seems to have a solid business plan. CC’s cinemas are clean, well-maintained, and the company acts like it is interested in film and good presentation. I’m sure Village has had the best of intentions. But the best of intentions doth not a good theatre chain make! Instead of taking over theatre after theatre and closing theatre after theatre, Village really needs to get some good business acumen.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 11, 2006 at 8:45 am

I don’t understand the way Village does business: lame web site, no newspaper ads, poor maintenance policies, no customer service. It’s almost like they operate the business to generate a tax loss for a second business!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on April 11, 2006 at 8:47 am

Also, AP, I noticed that ads for the Lincoln Village and the North Riverside appeared in the Sun-Times last week. Then apparently they’ve disappeared again!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on April 11, 2006 at 10:22 am

Theatres closed by the Village Entertainment chain and the years Village operated them:

Biograph: 2002-2004
Burnham Plaza: 2002-2005
Fox Valley: 2002-2003
Golf Glen: 2002-2006
Hinsdale: 2002-2003
Water Tower: 2002-2003

Notice that all came from Village’s expansion in 2002. Undercapitalized and over-expanded in such a short time

CinemarkFan on April 11, 2006 at 10:59 am

A Projectionist:

Back in February, you posted that Village is reopening River Oaks. Do you know what happened with that?

Broan on April 11, 2006 at 2:29 pm

Don’t forget Stratford Square, Belvidere in Waukegan (not listed here for whatever reason), and Singing River in Gautier, MS. Village seems to be a ‘kiss of death’, if you will.

CinemarkFan on April 11, 2006 at 2:49 pm

I’m glad Century is turning Stratford Square into a 16 screener. It just seems that Village takes more care of Village North and V Art than the others.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 11, 2006 at 5:58 pm

What can you expect? If you make a habit of buying ancient sites that others no longer find profitable (THE BELVIDERE IN WAUKEGAN??!?!? I can’t believe that place lasted into the new millenium), you are going to have problems. To make it in the exhibition business today you either need sparkling new cinemas with stadium seating and great sound (Century in Evanston) or an intelligent and creative business plan (Music Box on Southport). There are a few exceptions (Webster Place on Clybourn). But that is the basic overview.

Village has neither one of those things. They really are a phenomonon.

alex35mm on April 11, 2006 at 11:47 pm

cinemarkfan: I’m not sure, last I heard it was still in the works. But with village et. things can change drastically at a moments notice. If nothing happens in the next 3 months, don’t count on it.

CinemarkFan on April 12, 2006 at 8:16 am

Maybe that’s hope for me. I want to own movie theatres and River Oaks is on my wish list.

filmjunkie333 on May 11, 2006 at 9:17 am

Village Theatres has re-uped its lease for another year. It appears that there might be renovations to the theatre after that depending on how talks between the Village and the theatre owner goes.

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