Elm Theater

309 W. Lewis Avenue,
Wauconda, IL 60084

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ELM Theatre, Wauconda, Illinois.

The Elm Theater was opened in 1950. In 1967 it was purchased by the Roman Catholic Church, who continued to operated it into the 1970’s. As a kid, it was a great place to go on a Saturday! It was torn down in 1984 and there is a Catholic church on the site.

Contributed by Tom

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

mookie on August 5, 2004 at 3:40 pm

I am 90% sure that an Elm Theater existed in the ‘60s in either Elmwood Park or Franklin Park, Illinois. Wish I had more info…

Trolleyguy on September 26, 2004 at 7:15 pm

Yes, there was an Elm theater in Elmwood Park. It was located on the north side of Grand Avenue near the Milwaukee Road RR tracks. It was converted to an Armenettis Liquor store in the late 50’s I believe.

Broan on March 12, 2005 at 12:35 pm

Here is a news clipping of the destruction of the Elm.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 12, 2005 at 1:51 pm

When did it come down? Judging by that large American car in the clipping, I am guessing 70’s?

kencmcintyre on November 3, 2006 at 3:37 pm

Here was the lineup on 9/15/60:

Mill Street and Route 176

Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman
SEPT. 16-17-18-19-20
Shirley MacLaineâ€"Jack Lemmonâ€"Fred MacMurray
Weekday Features 7:00 & 9:18 Sunday 5,7:18 ft 9:35
For One Big Week â€" Direct From The Loop
Jean Simmonsâ€"Burt Lancaster

LouRugani on May 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm

The ELM Theater was located at Liberty (Route 176) and Mill Streets in Wauconda. There was parking for 125 cars. The ELM was featured in a large-letter Curt Teich postcard featuring Wauconda landmarks within the letter “U”. Through the 1960s, the ELM’s program listings appeared in the Daily Herald.

And then in 1967, the historic Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church purchased the ELM, reportedly because they feared “purchase by others would hinder the expansion program of the church.” The church members at first volunteered as staff ushers and cashiers before leasing the ELM to a Leonard Deasey, whose children and friends staffed the theatre. The church’s control mandated that only National Legion of Decency-approved films were screened at the ELM.

The ELM Theatre was demolished in 1984. Church spokesmen offered the explanation that it “could no longer subsidize it,” and soon built a new church was built on the site where the ELM Theatre had been.

Recently, an original sign from the Elm Theater was donated by Glen Halverson to the Lake County Discovery Museum nearby.

LouRugani on May 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Leonard J. Deasey

Leonard J. Deasey of Wauconda was born Feb. 25, 1927, in Chicago. Burial was in Transfiguration Cemetery, Wauconda. He died Thursday, Dec. 2, 1993 at Winchester House Nursing Home, Libertyville. Mr. Deasey retired from the Wauconda Post Office after 36 years of service. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. He was a member of American Legion Post #911, Wauconda. He was Past Grand Knight and member of Knights of Columbus Queen of Angels Council, past president and member of the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, the Wauconda Lions Club, and member of Transfiguration Church, Wauconda. He managed the Elm Theater for 15 years. He was the husband of Estelle (nee Lauletta); father of Victoria (Vern) Paddock of Gurnee, IL, Kathi of Libertyville, Toni (Jack) Kappel of Palatine, Elizabeth (Dominic) Blasco of Wauconda, and Stephen (Julie) of Island Lake, IL.; brother of Patrick “Jim” (the late Trudy) of Davis, IL. and Marge Selin of Palatine, and grandfather of nine. Visitation was from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, 1993 at the funeral home. For information (708) 526-2115.

LouRugani on May 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm

New Wauconda theater owner killed by car

(March 3, 1950) Frank N. Consago, 61, of 1257 N. Mason avenue, Chicago, owner of the new Elm theatre now being erected and scheduled to open in Wauconda early in March was killed in an auto-truck collision on U. S. highway 66 near the north city limits of Pontiac, in Livingston county. Also killed in the crash was Mrs. Isabelle Rizza, 36, of Chicago, who was riding with Mr. Consago.

Hugh on September 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I was never in the theater but lived in the area in the 1960s and would call their message line each week for a laugh. In a super-enthusiastic voice, we would hear something like “Here’s a comedy which will have you rolling in the aisle.” What WAS funny is that the film had been panned by every critic.

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