Grove Theatre

310 Northwest Highway,
Fox River Grove, IL 60021

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Additional Info

Architects: Jeremiah J. Cerny

Previous Names: Fox River Grove Theatre

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1938 photo credit McHenry County Historical Society.

Replacing an earlier short live Grove Theatre (1921-1924) on Northwest Highway which has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

The Grove Theatre opened on June 6, 1925 with Ricardo Cortez in “The Spaniard”. It is located on Northwest Highway near Lincoln Avenue. For many years it was operated by George Kosatka. It was closed in 1955, but reopened under now owners on March 8, 1957 and continued into the 1960’s. In recent years the former theatre has been home to a bar and grill which also featured live entertainment. This was closed around 2010/2011.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 20, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Some interior and exterior photos from 2004 on this site:

Broan on April 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Now closed but the false front has been removed.

DavidZornig on April 13, 2016 at 7:02 pm

1938 photo and below copy added, both credit McHenry County Historical Society.

The Grove Theatre, 310 Route 14, Fox River Grove.

The availability of motion pictures in the early 1900s opened a whole new world of entertainment possibilities. Jim Dvorak opened the first regular movie theater in Fox River Grove in the Prokop garage building in 1921. In 1923, Joseph Kosatka bought the Dvorak business and built the Grove Theatre building.

The Grove Theatre became a mainstay of the Fox River Grove entertainment world for 32 years. The theatre was so popular it was necessary to add balcony in 1927. They even had a cry room so mothers with young infants could enjoy a movie without disturbing others. There was also a smoking room for men.

The 35 cent admission entitled patrons to additional premiums. Ticket holders benefited from many promotional ventures as the theatre offered free china, linens, and towels. Drawings were held for the lucky numbers on ticket stubs. Children were charged 15 cents admission. A bus brought people in from the German Turner Camp in Algonquin one day a week, and there was also a special free show for the Tribune Camp children (Camp Algonquin). Popcorn sold for 10 cents a bag and 25 cents a box. One thing it did not have was soft seats and patrons remember taking pillows to view long movies such as Gone with the Wind.

During the silent film era, a $7,000 Wurlitzer pipe organ was purchased and an accomplished organist, Warren L. Kolby of Crystal Lake, would accompany the pictures. When “talkies” came in, he played the organ before the film started.

The theatre went out of business in 1957 when the building was sold to the Fox River Grove Lions’ Club. In the late 1970s the property was sold and converted into a restaurant. It has seen several changes of ownership as a restaurant, among them Giordano’s, Pasta Garden, and Gerardo’s Pizza and Pastas.

50sSNIPES on July 15, 2020 at 10:27 pm

This is the second building of the Grove Theatre, as the original building though was relocated in 1924 after 3 years in its history while the newer one continued to build as early as 1923, and the second Grove Theatre which is this one made a grand reopening on June 6, 1925 with “The Spaniard”. The Grove Theatre screened silent-films until its September preview in 1930 when the Grove Theatre first screened talkies. This theatre continued on for many decades throughout the city of Fox River Grove, and was mainly owned and operated by George Kosatka who operated the Grove Theatre for 32 years. George passed away in January 1971.

Broan on March 1, 2021 at 8:50 am

Architect was Jeremiah J. Cerny

Broan on March 1, 2021 at 9:08 am

Notably the architect went by “Jerry J. Cerny” which also helps distinguish him from the later architect Jerome Robert Cerny

DavidZornig on December 29, 2022 at 4:37 pm

September 2022 street view shows all the storefronts on the block to be vacant.

Broan on January 6, 2024 at 2:08 pm

Looks like it will be demolished soon.

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