|Lincoln Village Theater Grand Opening - Friday, August 2, 1968.|
Lincoln Village Theater was just like some old-school, fabulous downtown Chicago theaters at a time when downtown was beginning to lose theaters. The lobby was expansive and luxurious, lit by dramatic wall sconces and a working fireplace. There was a sunken seating area and fancy restrooms. A place to see and be seen.
Inside the theatre, extra-wide aisles led to extra-cushy seats. A wood-paneled balcony structure rose off the main floor. Thanks to stadium-style seating, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.
It took nearly five minutes to move the gold fabric, both horizontally and vertically, floor-to-ceiling curtains, accentuating the glamour of the old-time live stage shows. You knew something big was about to happen.
No expense was spared on technical specs, either. The theater was equipped with Cine-Focus 35mm and 70mm projection, a ‘Scope screen, and a full six-channel stereophonic sound.
|The FLAT format is slightly smaller than 2 times wide and 1 times tall.|
SCOPE format is slightly wider than 2 times wide and 1 times tall.
Lincoln Village Theatre was booked for a variety of acts as well as movies. In December 1968, Chicago’s Royal European Marionette Theatre settled in for a weeklong run of its 'Wizard of Oz' play. The Brothers Zim Revue played for two nights. The Barry Sisters, four nights only. Mickey Katz, “America’s favorite Yiddish comedian,” played the Lincoln Village, as did Larry Best and Eileen Brennan. The live, closed-circuit telecast of the 1970 Cassius Clay-Jerry Quarry fight, one-half of the 'Double Dynamite' package, sold out in 45 minutes at $7.50 a seat ($58.00 today).
The 20-Minute Rule as it relates to film viewership, not just film criticism. Is 20 minutes enough time to consider a movie fully? When this topic came up, Roger Ebert often cited “Brotman’s Law,” named after Chicago movie exhibitor Oscar Brotman, which declared that “If nothing has happened by the end of the first reel, nothing is going to happen.” A reel of film is 1,000 feet, and about ten minutes when projected, but most movies are projected two reels at a time, which means “the first reel” is about 20 minutes — hence, another variation on The 20-Minute Rule.
Temple Beth-El, the former West Rogers Park Jewish congregation that outgrew its Touhy and Kedzie Avenue building, rented the theater for the Jewish High Holidays at the movie theater. In 1981, Temple Beth Israel (purchased land in Skokie at Howard and Crawford in May 1961) held its High Holiday services at the Lincoln Village movie theatre. Portable lighting was brought in to brighten the theater for services.
In 1981, Plitt Theaters purchased the Brotman & Sherman Theaters.
Under new ownership, the Lincoln Village Theater was partitioned into three oddly shaped boxes, then the building was razed around 2000. Now the site is new construction and is a Ross Dress For Less Store.
Chicagoland Movie Theaters Operated by Brotman & Sherman Theaters:
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
- Avalon Regal Theater, Chicago
- Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre, Chicago
- Carnegie Theatre Carnegie Theatre, Chicago
- Cinema Theater Cinema Theater, Chicago
- Highland Park Theatre, Highland Park
- Highland Theater Highland Theater, Chicago
- Hillside Mall Cinemas, Hillside
- Lincoln Village Theaters, Chicago
- Loop Theater, Chicago
- Metropolitan Theatre, Chicago
- Oakland Square Theater, Chicago
- Oasis Drive-In, Des Plaines
- Parthenon Theatre, Hammond, Indiana
- Rhodes Theatre, Chicago