Lake Theatre

1022 Lake Street,
Oak Park, IL 60301

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Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments

DavidZornig on September 13, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Oak Park commission OKs Lake Theatre digital marquee:

rivest266 on June 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I uploaded the grand opening ad from April 9th, 1936 in the photo section of this theatre.

TLSLOEWS on December 26, 2010 at 3:02 am

Great looking marquee and Vertical.

CinemarkFan on May 19, 2009 at 10:16 pm

I haven’t posted this yet, but

I got around to visiting this theater a few weeks ago to see “State of Play”. Wonderful theater. The decor & leather seats are really something. I plan to go back there and see “Angels & Demons” thursday. I emailed them earlier, and got the seat count.

The Lake has 1,676 seats. Aud #1-191 seats, #2(main auditorium) 529, #3-125, #4-150, #5-195, #6-196, and #7-290 seats.

To those that are tired of the mega-chains’s overpriced tickets and parking, visit The Lake. You won’t regret it.

CinemarkFan on April 13, 2009 at 10:11 am

I still haven’t gotten the chance to get down here yet. Does anyone know what the new seats from the remodel are like?

ncmark on March 17, 2009 at 12:49 pm

This is a great theater that does good business. I like the sympathetic subdivision of the original theater and the use of old theater artifacts in the new construction. The original bathrooms were recently remodeled and I was surprised that they took out the old fixtures. The finished product looks like any new bathroom anywhere. I loved the old urinals that went to the floor. I wish they had left them alone. Old fixtures are fine as long as they are kept clean.

MustangMike on February 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm

It is original, except the piping. There used to be an identical one in the main lobby near were the butter dispenser is now.

Broan on January 26, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I believe it is original

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on January 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm

The Lake has fixtures from closed and demolished theatres. Per Classic Cinemas' website:

“Today the Lake is home to many decorative elements brought in from theatres that are no longer standing. The ceiling fixtures in the new lobby rotunda are from the Will Rogers Theatre, which stood at 5635 West Belmont until 1991.

Two plaster musician busts are from the demolished Southtown Theatre at 636 West 63rd Street. Fixtures in the transition lobby are from a 1930’s renovation of one of the Schock houses in Austin and were removed when that house was remodeled. In Theatre #1 the art deco wall fixtures were rescued from the Colonial Theatre in Marengo, Illinois, prior to its demolition. They were repainted and over half of the glass panels were replaced. In the main auditorium two large statues have been placed over the exitways. These 10-foot neo classic ladies were originally in the organ grills at the MARBRO Theatre, 4110 West Madison, Chicago. They were done in 1927 by Flavin."

I was in here on January 25, 2009. In the main theatre restroom foyer (in the basement), there is a water fountain which appears to be an antique. Is this water fountain original to the Lake or was it “imported” from another theater?

CinemarkFan on January 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Can anyone tell me what is the largest audiorium here? And how wide is the screen?

spectrum on September 28, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Good news! according to the article, there will be new seats and carpeting and wider rows, and new auditorium wall coverings. They’ll also renovate the restrooms and put a new single-pattern carpet in the main lounge. The last renovation had been done in 1996.

kencmcintyre on September 18, 2008 at 1:59 am

Here is a recent article about renovation:

BigTomEH on December 13, 2007 at 6:02 am

That’s not why. It’s so there’s room if one screen is running two shows. If the theater did expand to eight screens, they’d either A) expand the marquee to 10 slots, like Elk Grove Cinema; or B) convert it to a digital marquee, like the York.

In most cases, a theater has the capability of running two shows on every screen in the house; it’s just not very profitable to do so. But, technically speaking, it can be done. A two-screener can show four movies just as a twenty-screener can show forty movies.

CinemarkFan on November 16, 2007 at 9:36 pm

It’s a seven screener. But they just have an eighth slot should they decide to add another screen.

Mikeoaklandpark on September 25, 2007 at 1:01 pm

I just got back form Chiagoa nd had a chacne to stroll by this theatre yesterday. How wonderful to see an old movie palace still in use. I think they may be adding and 8th scree, The marquee has a slot now for 8 screens.

studiobrian on August 26, 2007 at 7:43 am

Here is a rather artistic interpretation of the Lake Theater.

KenC on June 29, 2007 at 6:02 am

In the book “OAK PARK IN VINTAGE POSTCARDS” by Douglas Deuchler, there is a nice photo of the marquee and vertical sign of the Lake theatre(from 1936) on page 93. On the marquee: Chester Morris in “MOONLIGHT MURDER” plus OUR GANG COMEDY. Under the marquee, there is a banner stating COOLED BY REFRIGERATION. According to the text, the Lake was one of the few places in Oak Park to have air conditioning in the mid 1930s. Also, on page 97, there is a small picture of the Lamar theatre from 1947.

kingchaos341 on June 12, 2007 at 10:05 pm

I love living so close to this theater, it is really a sight for sore eyes sometimes.

CinemarkFan on June 9, 2007 at 7:52 pm

I still need to visit this place. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. Out of curiosity, does anyone have a photo of a Classic Cinema movie stub?

Broan on March 13, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Here are photos of this theatre.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on May 30, 2006 at 11:44 pm

The FILM LITERATURE LIBRARY lists the following articles in VARIETY about the Essaness Chain:

1) Ingram, B. Essaness will run 89-screen Carisch Minneapolis circuit. Variety 330 Mar 30 (1988): 7 + [2p].

2) Chicago Essaness chain to buy Theater Operators Inc. of Montana. Variety 331 May 4 (1988): 8.

3) Odeon/Plitt buys 41 Essaness screens in Metro Chicago. Variety 323 May 14 (1986): 3+ [2p].

4) Essaness Theaters acquires 15-screen chain in Wisconsin. Variety 320 Oct 2 (1985): 5 + [2p].

Apparantly, Essaness was active up to and after the C-O/Plitt takeover.

Broan on February 11, 2006 at 5:31 pm

The theater was originally announced as the “Oak Park” theater with a September 29, 1935 article in the Tribune. It was noted as the first suburban cinema since 1929. Interestingly it noted that the theater was to be leased by Essaness and constructed by a “Loews, Inc.” Not sure if this is the same Loews of film fame.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on November 4, 2005 at 4:21 pm

I went to see “Wallace and Grommitt” at the Lake on 11/03/2005. What an absolutely wonderful movie-going experience! Ticket prices, even for the regular rates, are lower than what AMC or Loews charge. Concession prices are cheaper too and if you are a registered user of Classic Cinemas' website, you can get a free small popcorn.

This was the first time that I saw a film in one of the newer auditoriums, which were built into the former retail spaces next door. These auditoriums are very well-done and they look like they’ve been there all along (and not some half-assed job, like the Pickwick in Park Ridge). I’ve never had a bad experience at any Classic Cinemas Theatre and I can safely say that Classic Cinemas is a class act!