Village Theatre Signs New Lease

posted by Paul Fortini on June 21, 2006 at 8:32 am

CHICAGO, IL — The June 8, 2006 edition of THE SKYLINE (a free local Chicago newspaper) reports that the Village Art Theatret has extended its lease for another year.

Although a theatre preservationist had said that Alderman Burton Natarus (42nd Ward) told him that a pharmacy could possibly replace the theatre and the adjoining restaurant, the theatre will remain in business.

Jonathon Fine, president of Preservation Chicago had said that Natarus had informed him of the possible changes on the property. Fine had said that the group is firmly opposed to any changes to or demolition of the 1916 theatre’s facade.

Ron Rooding, CEO of Village Entertainment, said he recently signed a one year lease on the building with an option for a five-year renewal. Since signing the new lease, Rooding says that he hopes to make improvements to the theatre. The Village Theatre — apparently the “Art” designation has been dropped — has lost money over the past year or so because it hasn’t been able to steadily book good movies according to Rooding. He hopes to change all that, saying that when a good movie plays at the Village, it does very well.

Rooding, whose Village Entertainment has theatres in four states, says that he will talk to the owners about sinking big money into the theatre, adding stadium seating, and improving the sound system, washrooms, and facades. He adds that his company takes older theatres and renovates them and takes losers and makes winners.

(For the complete article, go to

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Comments (14)

alex35mm on June 21, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Yeah right, Village Etertainment isnt going to put a dime into this theater. Its always all talk.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 21, 2006 at 2:31 pm

They take older theatres…and close them.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 21, 2006 at 3:36 pm

Hey, that’s just what the article says. I know Village’s track record. Anybody know how they’re doing with the North Riverside and Lincoln Village?

Well at least this place and the Village North will probably be around a little longer.

CinemarkFan on June 21, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Man, Village ain’t going to do jack except clean up the floors and bathrooms. I went to Lincoln Village a few days ago to see Tokyo Drift, and they haven’t did nothing except what I said above. It looks the same as it did when I was there 5 years ago. You can best bet that I’ll never be like Village when I make it in the theater business.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 21, 2006 at 9:02 pm

Well at least they clean the floors and washrooms….

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 22, 2006 at 6:05 am

CINEMARK FAN—As an update to my above comments, Village did keep places like the Golf Glen and the Burnham clean. And if I owned the Golf Glen, I’d have closed it too after finding out that a new 18(?) screener would be going in at Golf Mill. Perhaps if Village quit boasting about renovations that they couldn’t do and won’t do, and just concentrated on getting good films, keeping thier places in good repair, and advertising, they might be better off. And making incremental repairs to their theatres too!

BTW, how is your theatre chain project for school going? Are you gonna do one on Meridian Theatres?

CinemarkFan on June 22, 2006 at 11:02 am

Paul, I went to Burnham a few weeks before it closed to see Red Eye. Good sound too. It looked like it could’ve stayed around a little longer. I think if I had Golf Glen, I would remodel it a little and screen 2nd run films at low prices. Oh, the new Golf Mill will have 12 screens and 3300 seats in total.

BTW, I was just thinking of doing one on Merdian and how they ran Water Tower into the ground. If they had payed their taxes, WT could’ve stuck around until River East opened. But anyway, my thing on Essaness is done. I’ve wrote about how they never quite got off like Plitt did. Here’s a quote: “At the end of their run, they had 2 downtown theaters, the Woods and the Chestnut Station. Both along with the rest of Essaness Theaters were bought out by Cineplex/Plitt in 1986 making Essaness history. As of this year, the Foxfield and the Golf Glen are the only Essaness theatres still standing but are closed. The only Essaness still open is Chicago Ridge 6, but the question is, for how long? The rest of Essaness is either retail or torn down.”

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 22, 2006 at 9:00 pm

I believe that the Lake in Oak Park was an Essaness at one time too!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 26, 2006 at 1:47 pm

I just realized something. If Rooding says he’s going to have stadium seating installed in this place, how the heck is he gonna wedge it in? The Village is way too tiny.

jimpiscitelli on June 26, 2006 at 4:44 pm

The Village is supposed to add stadium seating for the North Riverside Theater. The last two visits (when I saw “An American Haunting” and “See No Evil” I have not seen any theater with stadium seating yet.

CinemarkFan on June 26, 2006 at 10:05 pm

In fact, can anyone here tell me if the Village’s screens look like Water Tower 1-4? If that’s the case, it’s near next to impossible to add stadium seating.

Oh yeah, forgot the Lake was an Essaness.

beachlover on July 16, 2006 at 9:46 am

Are there any updates on village art theatre? I live in
California and we were going to attend the Indiefest Film Festival
of Chiago in the week of August 3 – 11th, 2006…..any info…
would appreciate your comments.

ceasar on December 11, 2007 at 8:58 pm

u got that right. They abused thier properties and don’t care about the customers.

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