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Slated for demolition: https://is.gd/q60QxA
Belvidere is a General Cinema house that held its gala premiere on January 21, 1966 – a few months after the opening of Belvidere Mall itself, Lake County’s first enclosed shopping center. At the time, Belvidere was a state of the art single screen theater with a wall-to-wall screen showing first-run features, modern sound and pushback seating for 1,000. It was hailed as the city of Waukegan’s first new motion picture theater built in 37 years.
In the mid-1970s it faced stiff sibling rivalry from the new regional Lakehurst Mall, three miles west, and its own General Cinema triplex. By the end of the ‘70s, Belvidere was converted from a single to a second-run twin. In 1988 Lakehurst lured away Belvidere Mall’s only department store, Montgomery Ward, and as the Belvidere Mall fell into decline General Cinema closed Belvidere in the summer of 1989 - having just expanded Lakehurst a second time into a 12-screen. At the turn of the 90s Belvidere was renovated to create a four-screen miniplex seating around 200 in each theatre, and reopened as an independent. The common areas were given a carpet and paint job, otherwise it retained (and still retains) much of the mid-century General Cinema aesthetic.
Rebranded as the Belvidere Theatres, it continued to show second-run and foreign language features at bargain prices ($2 and less), in-line with the Belvidere Mall’s realignment as a discounter. The Village Theaters chain acquired it in 2002, toting plans for $100,000 in renovations and upgrades to the theatres and common areas which unfortunately never saw completion. After dropping to weekend-only operations toward the end, Village closed the Belvidere for the last time in December 2003, with Lakehurst 12 yet again becoming the operators' focus after Village acquired it from the now-defunct General Cinema chain.
Belvidere was more/less mothballed for 18 years. In 2019-20 I was granted occasional use of the space for creative purposes, and in 2021 allowed to expand into a monthly open house as part of the city’s ArtWauk. Currently operating as a DIY art installation known as the Belvidere Cinema Gallery: the preserved lobby/concession area houses a photography exhibit, local art vendors and historic artifacts salvaged from the Genesee Theatre’s restoration. Additionally: two of the Cinemas, while a little aged, have been made usable for potential film screenings and live entertainment.
The Cinema is open to the public on the third Saturday of every month. The installation serves to promote the space for leasing, and its potential for revival as the only silver screens remaining in Waukegan.
Demolished sometime since 2019.
Demolished April 2021.
Latest plans are to tear down and build luxury apartments.
Sign has since been taken down.
The cover photo marquee stood near IL-120 and Chapel Hill Road, between the Shell and abandoned copy shop. The wind eventually took the rest of the McHenry Outdoor signage off to reveal the rusted original Skyline marquee. Unfortunately it’s since been removed.
Article with final photos of the place before it was demolished. https://jonrev.com/2018/06/10/highland-park-theater/
The main photo of this theater should be changed, and really a separate entry created for it. That is the General Cinema twin that was on the east side of the mall (later-run by Wehrenberg and replaced by the food court). Jamestown 14 was built new on the west side of the mall.
As of this past week, there seems to be asbestos abatement going on inside.
Building pictured is JCPenney, from this vantage point, the theater entrance would actually be to the right of the photographer.
Deerbrook Mall article, with photos of the theater in demo:
Slated for demo, to be replaced by apartments.
Now on the market and in danger of being redeveloped: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210488057131839&set=a.1085508452071.2015419.1057193065&type=3
This theater – along with the mall interior – is now in demo.
Demolished sometime in the first half of 2016.
Renovations are complete and the theatre re-opened today. A small ceremony was held last night to light the new marquee for the first time: http://ow.ly/JK3fE
Demolished in October of 2014.
One of the Dunes' last films shown may have been the 1974 sci-fi flick: “Dark Star”. Until this year, a tangled mess of film containing the final few seconds or so (“THE END OF DARK STAR”) could be found scatted about the projection room.
After the Dunes closed, the baseball card shop operating in one of the attached storefronts remained open for another year or so before relocating. This summer the entire building was condemned and boarded up by the city of Zion… I’m afraid its future is looking rather grim.