York Theatre

150 N. York Street,
Elmhurst, IL 60126

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Classic Cinemas (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Classic Cinemas

Architects: Elmer F. Behrns, Roy B. Blass

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Spanish Colonial

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 630.834.0675

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News About This Theater

York Theatre

Built in 1924 and designed by architect Elmer F. Behrns, the York’s interior and exterior were updated in 1938 by architect Roy B. Blass in Art Moderne style and the seating capacity in the single screen was for 1,100. It was equipped with a 3 manual, 10 rank Barton theatre organ.

When Classic Cinemas bought the old York Theatre in 1982, they carved three theatres out of the original auditorium. Unlike much of the twinning and triplexing across the country, Classic Cinemas managed to save many of the historic elements of the original one screen theatre.

During the later renovation, the interior of the auditorium was returned to its original aesthetic. In 1993, the York added two more screens when Classic Cinemas bought the adjacent building and incorporated two new screens into the York. In 2004, the number of screens was increased by two more, and two years later, another two screens were added, bringing the total number of screens at the York to nine. A tenth screen was added on November 16, 2011.

Today, seven of the ten screens are stadium seated, and three auditoriums have digital projection and 3D. The York Theatre once again has a pipe organ, which is located on a lift in the original orchestra pit. It is a Barton, 2 Manual 7 Rank, which came from the Rialto Theatre, Champaign, IL. There are a number of artefacts which have been rescued from other historic theatres. THSA (Theatre Historical Society of America) was headquartered at the York Theatre for many years and had their office and museum located on the second floor. They moved to Pittsburgh in 2016.

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

telliott on May 22, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Were the new additions added on to the north side of the original theatre? Towards W 2nd St.? Just trying to figure out from satellite shot which parts of the buildings make up the 9 screens.

MustangMike on August 5, 2009 at 12:38 pm

There were multiple additions to the York. The original theatre was split into 3 auditoriums (now numbered 3,4,5). An addition was put on the north side of the original theatre adding two screens where the candy store and parking lot were. Then a 2 screen addition was put on the south side of the original space (where Leonard’s had been). These were larger stadium seating houses. Then the addition on the north side was remodelled. Tearing down one auditorium and encompassing the rest of the parking lot behind the stores. This gave 3 more stadium seating houses. Later improvement to the 3 auditoiums in the original space included light lock entrances for the 2 closest to the main lobby. It also included converting #4 (the front half of the original auditorium) to stadium seating.

telliott on August 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Wow, thanks MM….that’s a lot of additions. Still, it’s nice that the theatre is still operating in this day and age.

TLSLOEWS on November 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Nice pictures, love all that neon, glad to see thats its still up and running.

TLSLOEWS on April 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm

NIce marquee shot.

zas650 on July 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I like the theatre; saw “The Hunger Games” there.

DavidZornig on July 8, 2016 at 8:16 pm

Apparently the York Theatre is losing a longtime upstairs tenant.


Sam_I_Am on March 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

I grew up going to this theater. From the late 1950’s to the last time I was there in 2001. Speaking of 2001, the York is where I saw the premier of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968.

ScrappyCoco on July 27, 2020 at 8:39 am

As of late 2019 all auditoriums have heated recliners with dual motors, one to recline, and one for the power headrest. Also, they converted two screens to XQ their premium large format “Xtreme Quality” with 50+ foot microperf matte white screens, Christie CP4440 RGB laser projectors, ultra high-contrast lense, DTS:X 24 channel immersive sound. They have also added alcohol sales to their offering.

jimmyu on June 19, 2022 at 9:16 pm

This was a second run theater for years, but switched to first run movies sometime in the 90’s.

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