Old Orchard Theatre

9400 Skokie Boulevard,
Skokie, IL 60077

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Showing 1 - 25 of 39 comments

DavidZornig on February 10, 2021 at 7:42 am

Old Orchard 1-2-3 should be added to previous names. They had 3 screen by 1977. Spring 1978 photo and print ad added.

dallasmovietheaters on May 10, 2019 at 8:41 am

The Raymond Marks and Martin Rosenfield (M&R Theatres Circuit) launched September 2, 1960 with the film, “Bells Are Ringing” a block from the Old Orchard Shopping Center. It closed January 1, 2001. An auction prior to demolition took place on February 28, 2001.

DavidZornig on December 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Thanks for posting that. I re-posted it over on the McClurg Court Cinemas page courtesy of you, since a lot of the exterior is shown throughout.

alex35mm on December 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Some VHS quality footage of the main auditorium and brief exterior footage of the Old Orchard can been seen on this news report for the Phantom Menace release in May of 1999. https://youtu.be/VcSHFMiAZng

Larry Wilson
Larry Wilson on October 19, 2015 at 8:55 pm

That was a beautiful theatre. It’s a shame Loews Cineplex let it go.

DavidZornig on October 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm

RSH1967, the B.F. Goodrich building bnehind the Shell in your photo is still standing too. But it is a Goodyear dealer today.

Broan on October 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Original screen measured 60x25

RSH1967 on August 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

In the pic posted here a few years ago by Catherine, I believe the Shell station is the only building still standing. View link

rivest266 on June 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm

This opened on September 2nd, 1960. I uploaded an photo and grand opening ad here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 2, 2011 at 4:19 am

Here is a fresh link to the Boxoffice article about the Old Orchard Theatre. The text begins on the following page, and a third page of text and photos follows two subsequent pages of advertising. An additional photo appears on the cover of that same issue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Boxoffice devoted three pages to an article about the Old Orchard Theatre in the issue of January 9, 1967. The original single-screen theater seated 1,700. It was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Sidney H. Morris & Associates.

Morris’s firm would later design at least two other projects for M&R Amusements: the Evergreen Theatre in Evergreen Park, and the M&R Twin Drive-In (later called the Wheeling Twin Drive-In) at Wheeling, Illinois.

DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Reactivate Notification Status.

DavidZornig on November 30, 2008 at 6:19 pm

I saw “North Dallas Forty” at Old Orchard. We had also gone there to see “Animal House” when it opened, but all the later shows were sold out.
I think we drove to Golf Mill after that and got in.
Also saw “More American Graffiti” here in 1979.

The bowling alley was called Fair Lanes in 1978. I was on our league that Winter for Holiday Texaco in Evanston.
That 78-79 Winter was brutal at both.

Vogue Tyre had a showroom & garage on the S/W corner of Golf & Skokie Blvd.

KingBiscuits on April 16, 2008 at 3:55 am

This theatre is mentioned in “Tiny Toons Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation” as being the film’s only theatrical screening. Was it really screened or was it a well-researched gag?

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on December 6, 2007 at 4:56 am

Oops, CDiM, I think you mean the upper left corner of the photo.

When M&R sold out (and yes I mean “sold out”) to Loews, I believe that Loews was operating under the name “Sony Theaters”. Alternately, I heard that they also operated under “Sony/Loews”.

I also heard elsewhere on this site (I believe) that M&R still exists as a corporation.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 4, 2007 at 2:31 pm

You’ve got it Catherine. That was the Old Orchard Theatre. Interesting thing is that the foreground of this image hasn’t changed all that much.

CatherineDiMartino on December 4, 2007 at 2:25 pm

A photo of Gross Point Road & Skokie Boulevard can be seen here View link

This was the nearest major intersection to the theatre. The entrance to the theatre itself is most likely the structure in the upper left corner of the building.

kencmcintyre on September 11, 2007 at 5:19 pm

M&R Amusement Companies was headquartered in Chicago in the late sixties. Co-owners were Raymond J. Marks and Martin G. Rosenfield. M&R also ran the Sunset Drive-In in Skokie as well as theaters in several other Illinois towns.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 7, 2007 at 8:02 pm

Yep. Still there. Now Turtle.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 17, 2007 at 4:41 pm

I believe that there was a car wash next to this theatre, which was also run by M&R.

GFeret on April 24, 2007 at 11:16 am

In the mid-70s they had a re-release of SOUND OF MUSIC with the strongest (clear and resonant) magnetic (penthouse) soundtrack I’ve ever enjoyed and on a 1st class musical, with uniformly sharp 70mm picture throughout! From then on this installation couldn’t be beat for cinema quality (with one unfortunate sour note, later), proven to me again bringing my young sons on the opening of TITANIC there in more recent times.

On a Friday night late in August of 1981, having just seen CONDORMAN, while walking back to my car in the theatre parking lot off Skokie Blvd there I had my closest encounter ever with lightning.
A blinding ball struck in the middle of the parking lane between me and the theatre, during a thunderstorm of course. I was alone so every once and awhile I have to tell others about it, simply to remind myself.

The sour note was in their final years when I saw MISSION TO MARS (2000?) there, and the magnificent stereo sound system was now little more than an articulate buzz.

DimitriusStrong on December 17, 2006 at 10:41 am

Yes, I too also grew up going to this theater seeing films like “E.T.”, “Lost in Space”, “Star Trek Generations and First COntact”, the sneak previews of “Batman Forever” and “Independance Day”; I believe the last two films I saw there were “Chicken Run” and “X-Men” before it closed for good. Nothing beat their main auditorium on opening night with a packed audiance for sheer movie-going excitement and ambiance. Thats just something you don’t much of these days in cramped multiplex auditoriums. Also, thanks again BW for posting pics, great memories of this place.

Broan on November 5, 2006 at 3:44 pm

Russell Phillips Photo: