For over a century, suburbanites have been rushing to the local movie theaters to see the latest picture show.
The Berlin Wintergarten Theatre opened in 1895 becoming known as the first cinema, presenting a short silent film by the Skladanowsky brothers.
In Paris in 1900, two brothers, Louis and August Lumiere, presented the first commercial exhibition of projected motion pictures to a paying audience of multiple people.
By the 1920s, luxuriously ornate movie houses were popping up all over the suburbs.
The earliest was the Des Plaines Theater that opened on August 9, 1925 as a combination vaudeville and movie house with opening night featuring the film "Are Parents People" with Adolphe Menjou plus five vaudevillian acts on the stage.
The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles was built in 1926 by millionaire Lester J. Norris. It was written that the Arcada's grand opening was so popular that hundreds of people were turned away. The nights' feature film was "The Last Frontier" and included the vaudeville acts of Fibber McGee and Molly Lora.
The Catlow Theater opened on May 28, 1927 by Wright Catlow with "Slide, Kelly, Slide" as its first feature film. The interior was design by renowned sculptor & designer, Alfonso Iannelli.
On December 25, 1927, the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan opened to the public with the film "The Valley of the Giants."
The Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove was designed in the French Renaissance-style and opened in 1928 with the 1928 Howard Hawks romance movie, "Fazil."
By the 50s and 60s, people began watching movies outdoors at drive-in theaters.
The 53 Outdoor Theatre in Palatine originally opened in 1960 with a single screen and a capacity of 765 cars. The theater located near Route 12 and Route 53 was later called 53 Drive-in and played all genre's of films from main stream Hollywood movies to art movies, horror flicks and adult films.
Originally named the M&R Twin Drive-In in Wheeling, the outdoor venue opened August 19, 1966 near Milwaukee Avenue with a double feature of "Georgy Girl" and "Three on a Couch". The outdoor theater later was renamed Wheeling Twin Drive-In in 1978.
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