Lans Theatre

3524 Ridge Road,
Lansing, IL 60438

Unfavorite 7 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Architects: Erwin G. Fredrick

Functions: Restaurant

Nearby Theaters

Summer 1949 photo courtesy of Terry Rice.

The Lans Theatre was located just off the Indiana border in Illinois. A small one screen house, it was opened January 29, 1947. The theatre’s principal policy was to play family oriented films. Every Disney film played at the Lans Theatre but also PG rated films as well. I remember seeing “Oh God” there. I cannot remember an R rated film ever once playing there. The Lans Theatre closed its doors in the early-1980’s and remained vacant for a time.

Around 1984 Pipes and Pizza, a family oriented pizza place opened. The marquee and box office booth up front still remain though the box office is not used. The inside was completely gutted and the screen and projectionist booth removed.

Contributed by John

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

DavidZornig on October 27, 2016 at 7:43 am

1965 photo added courtesy of Brian Pearson‎.

DavidZornig on October 27, 2016 at 8:05 am

The Lans had a a pre-opening event on January 28, 1947. An image of the invite has been added to the Photos Section, courtesy of the Lansing Historical Society. So the Overview should be changed to Opened January 28,1947.

DavidZornig on October 27, 2016 at 9:21 am

Also the 1969 photo I added had this description.

January 1969 photo & copy credit The Lansing Journal. New owner William Mallers took over. They remodeled some of the interior and they starrted showing “First Runs” of older movies

Boom on July 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Replacement parts for the marquee were becoming hard to find. It has been replaced by a modern facade. They attempted to keep the classic style.

Boom on July 5, 2017 at 11:39 pm

A video of the current Organ arrangement on the inside.

Fred Schiller
Fred Schiller on July 13, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Thanks for the note, Mike. Hey, DaveZorning, you’ve been talking about photos of the Lans for a while, but were you aware there was a glass etching of photo INSIDE the ticket taker’s booth. I think at one time they would tape the current show schedule to it, but in ‘76 when I started there is was just this black window in the red battered ticket box. Is this old news to you? I wonder what happened to that ticket box.

Fred Schiller
Fred Schiller on July 14, 2017 at 12:21 am

Speaking of mementos, my new avatar is my one and only memento from the Lans. It’s a letter from the marquee. One day the manager (Her name will not be mentioned in an effort to protect her family) walks up to me and my friend Rob, and she asks if we want to earn some extra hours by painting the marquee letters. In all honesty they looked mostly fine to us. They were black and had an array of chips, dings, and rust speckles. Rob and I were both confused when our manager showed us the many cans of red paint she had purchased. The color change would only be noticeable to people driving past the sign during the day. Once it got dark enough for the lights to come on, they were essentially silhouettes. Painting the metal letters was going to be a tough job but we were being paid by the hour. In reality, we had no idea of what we were doing, but we tried. Rob dipped the face of the letters in the red paint while I quickly painted the sides. There wasn’t much elbow room down the the basement so could only do 20 letters or so at a time. While the paint dried we went across the street and stuffed our faces with pie. When we got back the letters looked pretty good with only a few touch ups to do. It was when we were picking up the painted letters that we noticed that enough red paint had profusely dripped off the letters.

So, being the clever fellows we were, we went around to gather up as much old newspaper we could. After spreading out a bed of newspaper, we tried painting another batch of letters, unfortunately to mixed results. The red paint had slowly dripped onto the newspaper, but then it soaked through the newspaper down to the basement floor. So, we were stuck with a bunch of red marquee letters with a halo of newspaper scraps on them. As time went on we found we could paint the letters with only a modicum of waste and mess. It’s been almost forty minutes to notice since the letter painting took place, but I’m betting if I could somehow get down to the basement of the pizza place, the outline of those two sets of letters would still be there.

I actually took four of the marquee letters: FRED, but over time enough people had pestered me for the letter to their name. There went R and D. The E is probably in a box buried under a pile of Black Widow spiders. I really only wanted the F, so if it’s gone forever, I hope the new owners are enjoying theirs. During the years that passed I kept the F on my office wall. It was getting a bit dull and full of dings, so I decided to paint it myself. I wasn’t happy with black or gold, so I used a sparkly gold paint. It looks so good I’m tempted to try and track down the RED to make a set.

Anywho, I just thought I’d share.


DavidZornig on July 14, 2017 at 5:54 am

Thanks for sharing your memories Fred. I have never been to the Lans. I only shared the photos and descriptions as I found them from the various sources I credited.

rivest266 on July 24, 2017 at 7:22 am

This opened on January 29th, 1947. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

DavidZornig on February 27, 2024 at 6:04 pm

September 11, 2022 article below with the complete Lans Theatre building history from The Lansing Journal. Pipes & Pizza was opened in 1983 by WGN Meteorologist Roger Triemstra and his cousins. Today it is Beggars Pizza.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.