Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois, 1883–1960


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SKU: 9780786449200 Categories: ,

About the Book

This history and catalog of the movie theaters of Illinois follows their evolution from the early opera houses, to the storefront nickelodeons, to the awe-inspiring movie palaces, to the post—World War II theaters and the advent of the multiplex. Each theater has its own story, and together these stories make up a fascinating history of cinema viewing in Illinois.
This richly illustrated book—the first dealing exclusively with Illinois theatres— contains nearly 3,000 descriptions of historic movie houses, from the early 1880s to 1960. The alphabetically arranged entries, which include such information as the theater’s name, location, number of seats, and the dates it opened and closed, cover cities and towns from Abingdon to Zion, including Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. The book opens with a history of the movie house, beginning with silent movies shown on walls and ending with the multiplex era. It also includes a chapter on television’s impact and information on renovated historic theatres in the state. Appendices include lists of Illinois-operated movie theatre circuits, theatre websites and include a bibliography.

About the Author(s)

The late Konrad Schiecke was a retired director of Large Signal Engineering, Magnetic Components and Projection Optics Engineering from Zenith Electronics Corporation. A long-time member and former director of the Theatre Historical Society of America, he collected and restored 35mm theatre equipment. He lived in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Konrad Schiecke
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 414
Bibliographic Info: 285 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4920-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1070-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      1
A Personal Note      3
Introduction      5

1. The Early Years      11
2. The Advent of Sound      14
3. Television’s Impact      19
4. Saving the Older Theatres      21

Appendix: Illinois-Operated Movie Theatre Circuits      375
Bibliography      383
Index      389

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Author clearly has a passion for his subject. The bulk of the book is a directory of 3,000 Illinois movie houses that were in business from the early 1880s to 1960”—ARBA