Meadows Theatre

3265 Kirchoff Road,
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Kohlberg Theaters

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Meadows Theatre

The Meadows Theatre was opened November 19, 1965. A June 1966 article from the Chicago Tribune about a tornado that tore the roof off of the theatre. A blurb from an article from the Daily Herald that mentions the Meadows Theatre playing the X-rated “Cinderella” in 1977 (to a lot of controversy), causing police to confiscate the film and arresting the theatre’s manager for violating a then-newly enacted obscenity law in Rolling Meadows. In early-1980 film listing from the Chicago Tribune showing it playing second-run films.

A drive-thru bank is located at the address today.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 22, 2007 at 4:50 pm

Here is an article from the Chicago Daily Herald dated 3/18/80:

Curtain drops at the Meadows movie theater

Its last show was “Going in Style,” but the controversial Meadows Theatre closed its doors without any fanfare during the weekend and quietly ended its often stormy 14-year relationship with the community it served. The closing paves the way for a two story bank and office center proposed by Kimball Hill Inc., which has leased the property to the theater’s operators since 1965.

The closing surprised some moviegoers, who called the theater during the weekend only to learn its telephones had been disconnected. Theater owners Stanford and Jeffrey Kohlberg had the marquee cleared after Thursday’s final screening and said there are no plans for future shows. “It’s closed for good,“ Jeffrey Kohlberg said."We’re out of it now. The theater didn’t make any money and it was hard for us, particularly with so many other theaters in the area,” he said. “I think it’s best that we’re out of there.”

The Kohlbergs' enticement to vacate the property is a tentative agreement with the Hill family, which has offered to buy the remaining 11 years of a 25-year lease. David Hill said Monday he will ask the Rolling Meadows City Council March 25 for permission to raze the theater and begin construction. Hill plans to construct a two-story drivethrough bank facility for Arlington Federal Savings and Loan on one of the 3 6 acres at 3265 Kirchoff Rd. The other part of the development includes a one- and two-story office complex to be known as the Rolling Meadows Commerce Center. The project is a joint venture between the Hill family and the William L. Kunkel and Co. realty firm.

“We have a basic agreement (with Kohlberg) that is contingent on the approval of the development,” Hill said. Hill’s plans for the development came to the forefront last October when he called the theater a “constant source of embarrassment” for his family and the community. That embarrassment began when the theater began showing X- and R rated films in addition to family entertainment. When it opened on Nov. 19, 1965, featuring “Harum Scarum,” then the latest Elvis Presley movie, the Kohlbergs pledged to offer family entertainment and special children’s shows on weekends. By 1967 â€" before the movie industry began rating films â€"parents were complaining about the type of movies shown there.

Later that year, Rolling Meadows police confiscated a racy Swedish film, “I, a Woman,” which was being shown. But “adult entertainment” films were more profitable for the theater and it continued to show them. Citizens and clergy went on a campaign to “clean up” Rolling Meadows, and their efforts led to a local ordinance passed in July 1977, defining 25 sexual acts ranging from rape to sodomy as obscene. The theater’s owners challenged that ordinance in September 1977 by showing an adults' version of “Cinderella.” Police confiscated the film, and the theater’s owners and the city engaged in a lawsuit concerning the city’s censorship. A judge later ruled the city obtained the film illegally and would not allow it to be shown as evidence. The city currently is appealing that decision, but City Atty. Donald Rose as not available Monday to comment on whether the city would continue its suit.

In light of the suit, the theater had returned to its practice of showing family films at bargain prices â€" even double features for $1.75. “It’s too bad they hadn’t switched years ago,” said Ald. Lorraine Godawa, 3rd, who led the drive for the obscenity ordinance. “By the time they turned things around, people were going elsewhere.” Kohlberg said he doubted the city would continue its appeal. “I don’t see any reason why they would. I don’t see any benefit to it now,” he said. Hill said he had hoped to begin work at the site by May or June, but the “unstable” economic situation could delay those plans. “As soon as we’re able to get the financing, we can begin,” he said.

kencmcintyre on March 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm

An October 1979 article in the Daily Herald calls this the Rolling Meadows Theater.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

rivest266 on November 11, 2016 at 11:06 am

This opened on November 19th, 1965. Its grand opening ad can be found in the photo section for this cinema.

DavidZornig on February 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

April 4, 1977 Herald photo added courtesy of Pat O'Malley.

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