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Opened Saturday March 31, 1923. Ad in Chicago Tribune is small and doesn’t list the movie shown. First ad to name a movie was April 2, 1923 and I added it to photo section.
I just saw the TV show mentioned “Strange Inheritance” and at the end was a “In Memoriam” card for Renee, the grand-daughter who kept the theatre alive. She passed away December 29, 2018 at age 27. https://www.pahomepage.com/news/remembering-renee-fulfilling-her-grandfathers-dying-wish-to-save-the-berwick-theater/
The time capsule was waterlogged when they opened it in 2006. From the former Hammond Times-“River Oaks Theater 9-10 Managing Director Jim Leparski retrieved the time capsule on the theater’s last day of operation in 2006, 13 years before it was supposed to be pulled out, but it also proved to be a bust. The capsule contained mostly paper items, such as letters written by Thornton Fractional South honor students, that were turned into a soggy mess because the capsule was waterlogged, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana archives.” I believe there are comments here with more info if you go through all the comments.
According to CATOE (Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts) this organ is “currently located in Providence RI Performing Arts Center.”
According to a bike tour map by the Morton Grove Historical Museum the theatre was on Capulina between Ferris and Callie, a former garage/warehouse. The building Broan mentions above.
From trade publications 1914 to 1930 are the following: Moving Picture World magazine of September 26, 1914 “S. J. Deinlein has opened a moving picture show in Morton Grove.”
July 29, 1916 issue of Motography lists “Fred Koecher, Morton Gem Theater, Morton Grove, Ill.” as attending a Chicago exhibitors convention.
By 1924 the Grove was operated by Julius and Elmer Hirschberg. Universal Weekly carried a note from Julius in a ad in the August 23, 1924 issue. See photo in section. Film Daily lists a change in ownership, no names given, in the February 18, 1927 issue. Film Daily of March 24, 1927 “Joe Brandt has reopened the Morton Grove Theater in Morton Grove, which has been dark for some time past.” Film Daily, February 5, 1928 “The Morton Grove sold to V.A. Nolan & Earl Niermer by Joe Brandt.”
Exhibitors Herald-World, January 19, 1929 “The Morton Grove Theater has been renamed the Cozy and reopened by Mrs. Alma Guthrie.” Find no mention of an address.
The Skokie Theatre has been doing very well according to a local news story. Their combination of cabaret, Madkap theatre productions and music events seems to be working. Local artist/muralist Sick Fisher is currently painting a mural on the north side of the building.
The building was Skooglund’s Cafeteria, specializing in Swedish food, for many years starting in 1919. By the late 50’s it was Skooglund’s Hotel for Gentlemen.
Here’s a clip from late 1962 at the Paramount
From Variety Wednesday August 20, 1930 – “Hammond, Ind. – Paramount-Publix has opened it’s first theater here, Paramount. Seats 2,000.” Earlier Variety items listed the opening as July 3, then August 2 1930. In the same 8/20 issue it’s mentioned that the Parthenon is being sold to Warner Bros. by William Kleihege.
I got all these old news items via http://mediahistoryproject.org/
From Variety Wednesday March 26, 1930 “Hammond, Ind. – Publix Great States' first house here, de luxer, will open around June 1. Probably will be named Paramount.”
From Film Daily September 23, 1929 “Publix Starts New Hammond House – Building operations at the new theater to be erected at Homan & Clinton Sts., by Publix, have been stated by Fred Rowley Co., which must complete the structure within eight months.” Paramount-Publix was the name used for the theaters owned by Paramount Pictures.
The Harvey circa 1976 (when they showed movies like “Bingo Long,” “Sparkle,” “Five on the Black Hand Side,” “Black Belt Jones,” etc.) was run by a guy named Robert Taylor. He had worked for Oscar Brotman who owned a number of Chicagoland movie houses in the 60s/70s. The walls of the auditorium of the Harvey were flocked around this time. Taylor told me it was some sort of shredded material that was wetted and then sprayed all over everything. It looked pretty strange, almost like a layer of mold was covering the walls. You could still make out details of ornament on the walls under the dried foam. Taylor later ran the Village Art Theatre in Chicago from the late 70s to the 90s.
The Chicago premiere for the Krupa story was on Friday January 15th 1960. Trib ad mentions Mineo & Krupa would be on hand to sign “fan fotos.” Mineo also appeared at the theatre on Saturday.
If you to this website
and enter Touhy & McCormick, Skokie in the box it’ll bring up aerial views-drive in visible from 1952 to 1974.
Saw “Super 8” this past Saturday, theatre looks great. I hope it gets the business it requires to be a success.
Trivia – The film “Meet Me in Las Vegas” with Dan Dailey and Cyd Charisse had it’s premiere at the El Portal on February 21, 1956. The stars appeared that same night on Milton Berle’s color tv show direct from the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel. This was the first color telecast from Las Vegas.
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.
Earlier in this thread Frank Schiller, who worked at RO, was surprised that “Magic,” with Anthony Hopkins & Ann-Margret, played for 4 weeks. I checked the listings from the Tribune and confirmed it. The other movies playing were:
11/17/78-RO 1,4,2,3-Magic/The Boys From Brazil/Paradise Alley/Animal House. Paramount had Halloween & The House By The Lake-this double feature ran the whole four weeks. Parthenon had “1st Run Comedy Hits” Goin' Coconuts (Donnie & Marie Osmond) & They Went That A-Way.
11/24/78-RO 1,4,2,3-Magic/Heaven Can Wait/Paradise Alley/Animal House. Parthenon had The Boys From Brazil & Suspiria.
12/01/78-RO 1,4,2,3-Magic/Saturday Night Fever/Paradise Alley/Animal House. No ad for the Parthenon this week or the next.
12/08/78-RO 1,4,2,3-Magic/Halloween/Foul Play/Animal House
12/15/78-RO 1,4,2,3-Superman (Dolby Stereo)/Halloween/Oliver’s Story/Animal House, Paramount still had the Halloween double feature.
Avon bought the land (20 acres) circa May 1955 for approximately $360,000 per the Tribune of June 5, 1955. Groundbreaking started July 14, 1955 for the (350,000 square foot) $3,000,000 building.
This M&R theatre opened July 22, 1951 with “Follow the Sun” (bio of golfer Ben Hogan with Glenn Ford & Anne Baxter) as the featured attraction. Other bits from the grand opening ad in the Tribune include:
The world’s largest screen! 48% Larger than any other drive-in theatre screen!
Wider roadways and more space between cars to make parking much easier.
Completely new RCA ramp lighting and numbering that gives the exact location of your car. No more getting lost.
Latest IMPROVED RCA sound and high-fidelity tone speakers.
Last mention I find in the Trib is September 1978 when “Smokey and the Bandit” was playing there. By 1980 Gene Siskel included the Sunset in a list of “long gone” drive-ins in a story he did on outdoor theatres.
CORRECTION ON THE LOCATION-Did some further checking and the theater was indeed located at the southeast corner of Golf & Waukegan. Found a real estate subdivision ad from 1945 that had a map and the drive-in is shown taking up that entire corner. Maybe the location plans changed from 1940 to 1941 or the Trib just got it wrong. Sorry for the confusion.
Tribune-6/8/41:Huge Drive-In Theater Will Open Thursday
The largest drive-in theater in the world, located at Waukegan and Golf roads just west of Evanston, will open Thursday (June 12, 1941)
The $165,000 theater covers 20 acres which allows parking space for 1,160 cars. The screen is seven and a half stories high, mounted on a nine story elevation.
When a car arrives, girl ushers on bicycles will guide the driver to a stall. Vacant stalls are indicated on a large electric sign. Each car is in back of and elevated above the car in front. The incline also allows those in the back seat to see over those in the front seat. Cars are arranged so that a person can enter or leave during the performance without disturbing others.
There are individual loud speakers for each car and in the winter the speaker will be attached to the heater in your car. Upon request ushers will serve refreshments, and service station attendants will check tires, gas and oil during the performance.