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. In 1926 the Echo was equipped with a 2 manual Kimball organ. It was remodeled in the mid-1930’s, but closed by the mid-1940’s. 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 Theatre.
After closing as a movie house, the auditorium was later razed and replaced with offices, while the lobby and stage-house portions of the former theatre still remain. The former lobby was used as a meeting space for an investment company. A new downtown Des Plaines branch of the post office opened in one of the former storefronts flanking the old theatre lobby. The former stage-house was demolished in fall of 2019, for apartments to be built on the site. Only the façade remains now.
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