Plaza Theatre

3343 W. Devon Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60659

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Chris on July 4, 2020 at 9:53 pm

Kmart of course is long gone. It’s now Home Depot on the site.

Chris on July 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm

I saw the Gus Van Zant Psycho here, which according to Imbd was 1998. (Awful movie). I don’t recall much other than it was a plain theater and rather large. Odd that there are no pictures.

DavidZornig on June 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

FYI. Park on the site of the Plaza Theatre to be renamed after late Alderman Bernard Stone.

moviefanaticfan on September 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

This theater was located in the West Ridge neighborhood of Chicago. For some reason it doesn’t show up on the map of the neighborhood search. The Theater was a nice place to see a movie.

One of the things I remember was, if you paid to see “beverly hills cop” you could stay and see it again. There were only 1 person selling movie tickets at the window and 1 more selling popcorn. There were no movie users.

The Theater was clean and had good popcorn.

EricV on February 19, 2010 at 8:39 am

Just for the record, the purple brick building opened as Shoppers World on August 15, 1962. The chain was sold in late 1967 and all stores became Community Discount World on February 29, 1968. Later Zayre/Ames/Kmart, etc.

DavidZornig on December 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I don’t know why I just remembered this. But I think when we saw “Robocop” here, they ran trailers for “Alien Nation” with James Cann.
And one of the scenes showed a mall parking lot that looked almost like the one we’d just come in from.

I think it was a scene with ET’s Leeza Gibbons as a newscaster, saying something about President Reagan to establish a time reference.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 2, 2009 at 8:49 am

Paul is correct with regard to Zayre and Venture.

I remember when all three sites around this intersection were operating. It seemed like they valued this market and were trying to create a “megaplex” by combining them. Judging by the large crowds I remember at the original Lincoln Village in the 80’s it was probably a good judgment call at the time.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on January 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Oh, and C-O opened the newer section of Lincoln Village around 1988. The Plaza lasted until late 1998, so they did operate concurrently.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on January 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Actually, the sequence would briely be Essaness, Plitt (briefly),
then C-O. Not positive whether or not it made it into Loews.

CinemarkFan on January 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm

The Plaza 1,2,3 opened December 12th, 1980. First films to play here were “Stir Crazy” on two screens. “Any Which Way You Can” took over one of those screens on 12/17, and the the third opened on Christmas Day. Roy Leonard of WGN attended the grand opening ceremony.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on January 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm

David Z

Zayre and Venture were two different stores. I don’t believe they were ever related. Venture lasted until the late 1990s, I believe. Most Zayres were purchased by Ames in the mid- to late-1980s, however I believe this Zayre lasted a little longer. If you’d like more information, try this website or this site

This theatre should be updated. Originally it did open as an Essaness (one of the last), then passed to Cineplex-Odeon. It was briefly known as a Plitt.

DavidZornig on December 30, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Not to beat the Zayre thing to death, but didn’t Zayre start out as a store called Venture? They had several Chicago locations, but two were North and close to each other.
The one mentioned above and one on Peterson Ave. East of Western, where the Target is now.

I saw the first run of “Robocop” at the Plaza. Thanks BWChicago for steering me towards the Plaza’s name.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 7, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Paul: Every time I went to the Plaza it was totally non-descript. No Cineplex zig-zag remodeling to be found. I think the last time I was there wasn’t too many years before it closed. So it seems unlikely that any investment took place.

CatherineDiMartino on December 4, 2007 at 6:02 am

Has this theatre actually been demolished to build Home Depot? If so, then this place should be listed as “Closed/Demolished.”

I think that me and my brother went here a couple of times when we were much younger. I do recall it being opposite where the present Lincoln Village Cinema went in. I vaguely recall it being small and non-descript, but not much else.

Counting the number of theatres that were in the immediate area (Plaza, LV 1-6, LV 7-9)circa 1997, the Devon-Lincoln-McCormick “triangle” will have gone from 12 screens to soon zero!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 12, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Was this place ever remodeled into the Cineplex-Odeon design (ie. with the zig-zags)?

CatherineDiMartino on September 6, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Per Rivest’s website, this theatre was opened by Essaness in 1981, then operated by Cineplex-Odeon, then finally by Loews-Cineplex. His site says that it was closed in 1998, which would coincide with Paul F.’s comment above.

Oddly enough, Essaness also operated another Plaza Theatre in Chicago which closed in 1951—thirty years prior to this place opening.

brokertothestars on March 4, 2007 at 4:31 pm

Community was originally Shopper’s World. My brother was an original usher at the Lincoln Village Theater. I believe the first movie was “Green Berets” w/John Wayne

hortix on June 3, 2006 at 6:14 am

Ok guys i need a little help. Yesturday a friend of mine and i decided to see The Breakup at The Webster theatre but they were all sold out. It was around 10:10 and we dicided to call moviefone. You know 444-film. The only showing for The Breakup that was later than 10:30 was at cineplex odeon plaza at 3343 w devon. Now mind you I live about 25 minutes from there and the next showing was at 11:20 plenty of time to make it there. Well need I say more that i could not find the theatre. Nothing but Home depot an Chase bank now. I was relly upset because i wasted gas and my time going over there, and i did not get to see the breakup. So now im sitting at my desk at work and i can not find any where to complaing to the moviefone people, so they can get that listing off. I thought that it was really strange to have a listing for a theatre that is non existant. Maybe its a ploy so that people can go to the village. Well i would like to complain to the masses. Does anyone know how i can contact someone live on movifone. There website wasn’t very helpful either.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on April 14, 2006 at 6:23 am

I went to the Chicago Public Library today to do some research on local theatres (see, fellow cinema lovers, as good as Cinema Treasures is, sometimes we still have to use books and libraries!). In researching movie ads, I discovered that the Plaza made it into the Loews/Cineplex chain and was open until at least late 1998. Ads for 12/24/1999 do not show the Plaza.

When I lived in Rogers Park from 1996-1998, I went to the K-mart mentioned above and I don’t recall seeing the theatre there. Obviously, it lasted a lot longer than I thought it did!

When the Loews/Cineplex merger intially went through, it gave the new chain some 44 theatres in the Chicagoland Area! The three Inter-City Entertainment cinemas—Lawndale, Chatham, & 62nd & Western—were included. Obviously many, many theatres were divested and/or shuttered and as I recall, the merger was a mess.

Bcace on February 18, 2006 at 4:28 am

As I recall, the Community discount store was originally on this property. It was an odd purple brick building. When this store closed, the property was redeveloped and opened as the Zayre/Plaza Theater. Zayre was on the south side of the property and the Plaza was to the north. The Zayre eventually became an Ames (I believe around 1992). The Ames store only existed for another couple of years. The Plaza remained open into the mid 1990’s. A friend who worked there snuck us in to see Beavis and Butthead Do America! I also recall seeing Pee Wee’s Big Advanture, Superman II, and Superman III there in the 80’s. I’m not sure which was worse, Superman III or the Plaza Theater (It indeed was a dump!). The theater eventually closed in the mid 90’s and at this point extensive work was done on both the Zayre/Ames building and the Plaza to convert them into a Super Kmart. I believe the Super Kmart opened around 1997-98. During construction some of the original purple brick from the Communtity was exposed (pretty cool!). The Super Kmart then closed when the company went into bankruptcy. As noted above a Home Depot now stands on the property along with a Chase bank on the outlot.

There’s lots of retail/local history in this area considering all the stores that occupied Lincoln Village (Wiebolt’s, Kiddieland, Golden Bear, Diversions, Sizzler, Eric’s North, Shadows, Flip Side, etc………). It would be great to see vintage pictures of this area as all I’ve got are memories!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on December 14, 2005 at 6:14 am

The Zayre was in operation into 1987, which would have been concurrent with the theatre’s operation. It may have been in the same structure as the theatre. I’m not sure if this Zayre was one of those taken over by Ames during that company’s first failed attempt to enter the Chicagoland market.

And per LTS’s comment above, I think that the whole location was eventually taken over by K-Mart (I’m really stretching the old memory here).

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 14, 2005 at 3:44 am

The K-Mart went into the space that was once the Plaza Theatre. The Zayre was further to the south. Not sure what has been demolished at this point.

dyban on December 13, 2005 at 11:16 pm

In the early 1980s the K-mart mentioned above was a Zayre Department Store. The whole lot on which all this sat has been completely razed, and it is how a 1 ½ year old Home Depot and parking lot.

View link

I hope to scan and post links to photos of the theatre itself soon.

TRAINPHOTOS on May 27, 2005 at 10:56 am

Per Life’s Too Short comment, the Plaza was okay when it was new, though certainly of no aesthetic merit, but it did get rundown very quickly. It really wasn’t needed, due to the Lincoln Village being right across the street. When I went to see “The Lost Boys” there, I was on a date and we were the only two people in that particular auditorium (and the movie had started already by the time we arrived!).

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 18, 2005 at 9:30 pm

I am almost certain that the Plaza operated into the 90’s. What a dump…it very well might be the worst theater ever built in Chicago. I know that Cineplex Odeon was the last to run the Plaza, and it was Cineplex (not Plitt) that built the new Lincoln Village Cinemas across the street. The K-Mart went out when K-Mart went through bankruptcy recently. The newer Lincon Village Cinemas are now the only theater left at that corner.

Did I mention that the Plaza was a dump?