680 Lee Street,
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Architects: Elmer F. Behrns
Functions: Office Space
The Echo Theatre, Des Plaines' first movie house, opened around 1910, and was located on Lee Street. It sat just over 650. The Echo was remodeled in the mid-30s, but closed by the mid-40s. Its main competition, the Des Plaines Theatre, which opened in 1926, was located nearby, on Miner Street, and was larger and more ornate than the old-fashioned Echo.
After closing as a movie house, the auditorium was later razed and replaced with offices, while the lobby and stagehouse portions of the former theater still remain. The former lobby is today used as a meeting space for an investment company. A new downtown Des Plaines branch of the post office has recently opened in one of the former storefronts flanking the old theater lobby. The former stagehouse was demolished in fall of 2019, for apartments to be built on the site. Only the facade remains now.
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