On Saturday evening October 29, Classic Cinemas, the family owned chain of movie theatres with 99 screens across Northern Illinois, was honored with a Richard H. Dreihaus Foundation Preservation Award for Stewardship from Landmarks Illinois. www.landmarks.org The event was held at Chicago’s Hotel Intercontinental, originally the Medinah Athletic Club, which was designed by Walter W. Ahlschlager, architect of many theatres including the Roxy, NYC. The function room could well have been a movie palace lounge.
Owners Willis, Shirley and Chris Johnson were on hand to receive the award along with family, friends, and project associates. Also attending were THS members Andy Pierce, Beth Eckerty, Richard Sklenar (all of whom were involved in the award nomination process), and THS Board Member Dave Syfczak. Willis and Shirley have been THS members for decades and frequently attend our Conclave / theatre tours. THS headquarters lives in their York Theatre building in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Congratulations to them and Classic Cinemas! How fitting that historic theatres are being properly recognized by the state-wide preservation community. (RS)
Here is a link to some photos of their historic properties. Be sure to click on the two links at the bottom of this page. http://www.landmarks.org/awards_2011_classic_cinema.htm