Arthur Theatre

200 S. Main Street,
Lemont, IL 60439

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Ideal Theatre, Lemont Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Chicago Tribune Listing for Ideal Theater - March 5 1922

The Ideal Theatre was opened on January 1, 1915. It was closed on January 15, 1930. It reopened August 16, 1930 as the Lemont Theatre, screening “Caught Short” starring Marie Dressler. It originally had 350 seats. It was closed in 1937.

On January 1, 1938 it reopened as the Arthur Theatre screening “Four Daughters” starring Claude Rains. It was closed on December 12, 1952. It was taken over by the Chamber of Commerce and reopened on January 8, 1954 with Tony Curtis in “Houdini”. It finally closed on June 6, 1954 with Dean Marti & Jerry Lewis in “Money From Home”. The building was taken over by the local newspaper. It was demolished in the early-1980’s

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

MichaelKilgore on June 21, 2019 at 8:16 am

From the Nov. 12, 1949 issue of BoxOffice:

LEMONT, ILL. – Installation of a new marquee and neon sign has completed major improvements at the Arthur Theatre operated by William Lindenau here. During the last 18 months the theatre has been redecorated, and a new air conditioning system has been installed. In addition to new seating, other improvements include new projection and sound equipment.

MichaelKilgore on June 21, 2019 at 8:21 am

According to the book Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois, 1883-1960 by Konrad Schiecke, the Arthur was at 200 South Main St. The book said it opened before 1920 as the Ideal Theatre, showing silent movies. It was renamed the Lemont in 1932. After Arthur Lindanao acquired the place in 1943, he changed the name to Arthur. It was demolished in the early 1980s.

MichaelKilgore on June 23, 2019 at 7:34 pm

“LEMONT, ILL. – After being closed since December 1953 (sic), the Arthur Theatre has been reopened under the auspices of the Lemont Chamber of Commerce which hopes to promote community growth with a theatre of its own. The Arthur will seat 310 persons.” —BoxOffice, Nov. 21, 1953

dallasmovietheaters on January 19, 2021 at 12:09 pm

The Ideal Theatre was listing as of January 1, 1915 - very likely its opening date - as the first dedicated movie theatre in town. However, Tedens Opera House was where movies first played in the city and continued doing so into the 1920s. The Ideal was equipped with a poorly functioning sound system in 1929 to show talkies. It appears to close on January 15, 1930 likely at the end of a 15-year leasing period.

Leon R. Jarusz of Chicago took on the Ideal equipping it with DeForest Phonofilm to play the talkie, “Caught Short” at the theatre’s rebirth as the Lemont Theatre on August 16, 1930. The theatre closed during 1937. Operators Arthur and Helen Lindenau took on the venue and relaunched it as the Arthur Theatre on January 1, 1938 on a 15-year lease with “Four Daughters” supported by a Disney cartoon and newsreel. They made improvements in 1948/9 to keep the theatre competitive. But three years later, Helen Lindenau closed the venue on December 12, 1952 as television was hurting business and at end of lease.

The Lemont Chamber of Commerce took on the venue because it felt that reopening the theatre would have a halo effect on the downtown business. The Chamber relaunched the Arthur with new hope beginning January 8, 1954 with Tony Curtis in “Houdini.” But the Chamber found what Lindenau had already discovered - residents weren’t going to the movies like they used to. The Arthur Theatre closed on June 6, 1954 with the Martin & Lewis comedy, “Money From Home.” The Chamber of Commerce said the Arthur would return in the Fall but - when it didn’t - it was taken over by the local newspaper, The Lemonter.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 12, 2022 at 11:19 pm

Someone named Lindenau was connected with the Ideal Theatre as early as 1919, as attested by this item from Motion Picture News of October 4 that year:

“OTTO C. LINDENAU of the Ideal Theatre, Lemont, Illinois, has been in Chicago recently, looking over the feature market and reports that business in Lemont is in splendid shape, his house doing capacity business at all performances.”

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