Golf Mill Theatres 1-2-3

9210 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Niles, IL 60714

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Showing 76 - 99 of 99 comments

CinemarkFan on November 4, 2006 at 11:18 pm

To Dakotaben: Do you know what auditoriums are the big screens? My Dad wants to see “Casino Royale” on one of the huge screens.

Oh, we drove by there today. For people who don’t know, the exterior is a large white/light brown building with red letters spelling out “Showplace”. It even has a mall entrance attached to it(which I saw people working on). All in all, I can’t wait for 11/17.

dakotaben on October 28, 2006 at 6:12 am

Actually it was supposed to be 11/10, but with the opening of the new one @ 23rd and Cicero in Chicago and all I think it was a timing issue. Plus, the product that comes out on 11/10 is pretty crappy, whereas 11/17 has a new Bond flick and Happy Feet, which I hope does well in general. I will see you there.

CinemarkFan on October 28, 2006 at 2:42 am

Ha, I called it! Something told me it would be 11/17. I’ll be there to see the new Bond flick then.

dakotaben on October 24, 2006 at 3:28 am

I can’t say on the exact date yet, because it is still under construction (finishing and all) but I hope for that or sooner. Opening a mall theatre with holiday product is always a challenge but I think it will do well with the shoppers noticing a theatre there and all. Parking is a concern of mine as well and we will have to see what develops when the place opens.

CinemarkFan on October 13, 2006 at 4:36 am

To Dakotaben: Let me guess, is the opening date 11/17? That would be right on time for the new Bond movie and the thanksgiving holliday a few days later.

Broan on October 11, 2006 at 11:35 am

My main concern with the Showplace is that there seems to be very little parking directly around the theaters. Is there any plan to address that?

dakotaben on October 11, 2006 at 6:33 am

There are good things planned for the Showplace 12 @ Golf Mill. The theatre will open in the middle of November and we are expecting to take some business from my former employer (Crown Village 18 in Skokie). Yes there will be about 3300 seats. The 4 large theatres will be the largest in the area (until Muvico opens up in Rosemont in Fall 07). I know managers/friends who worked for Golf Glen in it’s CO heyday and it was a decent theatre for a time. The bathrooms always backed up from the restaurants though (I have been told) and they had to shut them down most of the time. Village Theatres could not compete with a full statium theatre 3 blocks away and they have had a reputation of taking older theatres that eventually close. All of their acquisitions from the last 5 years have pretty much closed down. They have the capital to run the business but they choose not the do the right thing and spend the money to fix the theatres. They would rather run them until they close down. Go figure.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 8, 2006 at 10:11 pm

By the way, I hear good things about the gym they built inside the theatre’s shell. So at least it is serving a productive purpose.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 8, 2006 at 10:07 pm

It was a bit of a dive at the end. Usual deferred maintenance scenario. The last film I saw here was Evita. What a bummer. I thought I was going to see a dramatic documentary and it ended being a musical.

Anyway: I was seated toward the back of the auditorium and up high. Did this place have stadium seating, or am I remembering a balcony?

I wish Kerasotes the best, and I would like to see Golf Mill come up again. But I am not sure investing in this area is the greatest idea. By all accounts the recently closed Golf Glen was empty most of the time.

CinemarkFan on May 24, 2006 at 5:23 am

I’ve heard that the new 12 screener will have over 3300 seats in total. Can’t wait for it to open. I wish I went here though.

jimpiscitelli on May 10, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Just drove by the Golf Mill, the 12-screen theater is currently under construction for a Fall, 2006 opening. I think the Golf Glen closed early in February, because Village Theaters did not want to compete and even though if that theater remained open, it would of shut down within a few months following the opening of the 12-screen theater.

Broan on April 25, 2006 at 2:36 am

The second screen addition (not a split) had 1,000 seats originally, opening Christmas, 1969. It was said to be the first ‘stadium’ twin in the area – were the balconies unusually steeply raked? I never went, so I don’t know. The second screen also had the unique configuration of entering at the center cross aisle to minimize interference. The Golf Mill 3 opened for the fourth of July, 1974 with 700 seats, to the left of theater 1.

Morton Fink and his family had gained experience by running the Harlem and North Avenue drive-ins. The Golf Mill was their first indoor. And it was December 29 1961, not 1962. It was apparently the first in the world to offer six-track stereo and first indoor theater within a shopping center within a shopping center. Another service offered in the early days was a laundry service: women could drop off their laundry at 1pm, catch a matinee, and pick up their washed and bundled laundry when they left.

None of the three were split. It closed with three screens.

kattman on December 15, 2005 at 7:23 pm

I first saw Planet of the Apes at this theater. It was a spectacular piece of mid-century Americana, together with the Mill Run Theater and the round multi-floor office plaza on the Golf Mill lot. As a child the balconies and fireplaces seemed spectacular. Regretfully, I did not visit this theater after adolescence, or see a movie there after it expanded.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on December 1, 2005 at 12:31 pm

Thanks BK and BW for your information. Essaness did get folded into the Plitt chain. I just wish that C-O had kept the original Golf Mill open. The last time I was there was in 2000 to see the director’s cut of the original Excorcist and the theatre was full (the Lincoln Village was sold out so I trekked to Niles).

The Golf Mill was one of my favorite theatres for first run films. Although the Norridge was much closer to my neighborhood, my buddies and I would take the #270 bus to get there from Jefferson Park. Back in the day, we thought that this theatre was an amazing place—we never liked the Norridge. Even as teen-agers in the 1970s, we thought it was a bland place.

Broan on November 30, 2005 at 10:10 pm

My source on the Essaness was either a newspaper article or ad, so it’s pretty definite. Looking up the original opening articles, I note a few inaccuracies in the above description; it was originally built by Morton Fink Enterprises and held closer to 1,600 with parking for 2,000 cars and was claimed as the first shopping center theater in the area. Shortly thereafter Fink enterprises followed with the Randhurst. Features included six-track stereo and a 60-foot screen, as well as an ‘electronically-heated canopy to keep sidewalks dry’. The lobby included an art gallery and TV Coffee Lounge, and was decorated in Teak and Marble. It cost closer to $1,200,000 and opened December 22, 1962. Anyway, with features like these it’s relatively easy to see how it would be impractical to put back into use, and it’s somewhat understandable why CO closed it. It was amid one of their major pre-bancruptcy theater closing sprees and they cited asbestos as the reason, although i’m sure the real reason was that it was probably rather inefficient to operate, given all the splits and smallish lobby. I just wish i’d have been able to go there before it closed, I only went perhaps once when I was about 5 to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It wouldn’t make sense to reopen, either, because even if it hadn’t been gutted it was designed for a single-screen. But it was gutted, and continues to operate successfully as a gym. Too bad. I don’t think the market ever dissapeared, it was just a poorly-run theater. It should be interesting to see what Keresotes comes up with; this will be their first entry into the market. As a sidenote, Paul, I take it you’re local since this ran in the Journal today, if you’d ever like a tour of the Des Plaines, just send me an email.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on November 30, 2005 at 7:25 pm

I thought that into the 1970s, it was a Plitt. I know that the nearby Golf Glen was an Essaness, one of the last theatres built by that chain.

Now according to the local paper, Keresotas will build a new theatre at Golf Mill. What a waste! Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to renovate the old Golf Mill Theatre? And if Cineplex-Odeon couldn’t make it there, why does Keresotas think it will be successful?

Broan on October 20, 2005 at 10:11 pm

This was an essaness theater as of the 80s

jimpiscitelli on September 19, 2004 at 1:13 pm

I have head great things and not so great things about the Golf Mill Theaters. I have never been there but was about to see “Boogie Nights” at the Golf Mill. I do remember as a kid attending the Mill Run to see plays as “The Hobbit”, “Scrooge”, and “Winnie The Pooh”. Millionare’s Club was across from the Mill Run. I have been to Millionarie’s Club restaurant (but not at the Golf Mill, but in Melrose Park in Winston Plaza (across from where the Cinemark stands today) and in Lombard). The food was great but expensive also, you were treated like royality. As for the Golf Mill mall, I remember as a kid in the 70’s that it was an outdoor mall. When I came back in ‘97, boy it was changed!

billymac72 on September 3, 2004 at 4:33 pm

It was a great theater from the atomic age. The design inside remained positively early 60s throughout its reign. I never realized how uncomfortable Golf Mill Theaters were until the movie houses with the big, comfy seats started sprouting up. I began to see that it was dated by the 90s, and starting to become rundown. The audiences were shrinking too. The last flick I saw there was “Men In Black.” I was lucky enough to snap a few pics of the place before they gutted it a year or two ago. My memories of the theater being packed in the 70s and 80s are definitely not fantasy, however. Everyone within a 10 or 15 mile radius went to Golf Mill to see films then. The angular metal fire places in the lounge areas were always a treat on to sit near on cold nights, especially if you had to stand in line outside (as I did for “Empire Strikes Back” in ‘80. Although this opened in May, from what I remember, the night was very cold. Its run at Golf Mill was so successful, that the theater ran ads proclaiming, “16th straight smash week!!” and so forth).

The theaters themselves were all very spacious with balconies (except, as mentioned, theater III which was added later and hardly spectacular). Behind the building, there was a 50s-era bowling alley (now gone) and outdoor Golf Mill mall, which dated from the same period. Further down, towards Golf Rd, was the Mill Run Theater, which had live concerts on a rotating stage. I remember such acts as Sha Na Na, Rodney Dangerfield, America, etc. being regulars and plays such as You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Next to that was the Millionaire’s Club, a restaurant/bar that was rumored to be a mafia hangout. And, of course, who could forget the little “Golf” Mill itself; an idyllic little pond with a working mill that one could throw coins into.

The mall was enclosed/remodeled in around ’86 or so. I’ve never liked it much since then. It lost all of its character at that point, as far as I’m concerned. The enclosed portion still seems to get pretty good traffic, however, from the now-highly-diverse population in the Niles area (recent years, as elsewhere in the country, has seen a boom in Russian, Korean & Latino immigrants to this area.). The mall, however, looks very 80s dated, and is starting to consolidate its enclosed area. A chunk of the mall near Target & Kohl’s (former sites of Mill Run & Millionaire’s Club) has had the remaining stores there moved to the more active southern portion. The plan â€" which has yet to be finalized â€" is to do away with this portion & build a Value City. The owners are still awaiting approval from the anchor stores, according to the Chicago Tribune. I also have a feeling that the once-great Sears store is no longer holding its own as a mall anchor. This Sears, which dates from the malls’ inception, had its fascade redone about 10 years ago, which is a shame because its original appearance was a classic example of ‘50s chic

chicagojack on April 27, 2004 at 9:33 pm

I worked as an usher here from 1984-1986. Theaters I & II both had 70MM set-ups and were a couple of the best places in Chicagoland to watch a movie, with huge balconies and advanced surround-sound systems. Theater III was much smaller than the other two and usually ran older films (after being shown in I or II for a few weeks. One bit of trivia, a large plaster dinosaur could be seen above the inside lobby ceiling near the ticket box for theater I (center theater). It was a leftover from a miniature golf course that the owners had closed down.

TSMChicago on December 21, 2003 at 2:21 am

Big screen, great sound and one of the first theatres in the area to install full surround sound. The initial run of “Apocalypse Now” was quite impressive at the Golf Mill.

StevenEndres on April 13, 2003 at 3:09 am

This theater has been converted into a 24-hour health club. The building was completely gutted and the shell was renovated during the converstion. It bears little resemblance to the old theater.