History of the Wheaton Grand Theater

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 27, 2011 | Go to article overview

History of the Wheaton Grand Theater


May 25, 1925 -- Wheaton Grand Theater opens its doors

1930s - 1940s -- Theater presents live vaudeville acts

1940s -- Films also screened at the theater

Early 1990s -- Building is divided into four separate second-run film theaters to increase revenue

1998 -- Theater is shuttered

Oct. 19, 2001 -- Wheaton Grand Theater Corp. takes ownership of the theater and starts a renovation drive

May 11, 2002 -- Silent film "Antony and Cleopatra" screened at the theater in its reopening

2002 - 2006 -- The theater hosts musical acts that range from a jazz festival to a hip-hop concert, and includes a performance by Plain White T's, long before they become a national act

Fall 2004 -- A rift develops between the theater board, who want to renovate the theater as a one-auditorium facility, and Grand Venues Inc., a promotions company that wanted it to remain a multi-theater site. The dispute reaches court in a lawsuit in October that accuses the board of unsafe work conditions and unpaid commissions. The lawsuit eventually is dismissed.

2005-2006 -- The dispute gets nasty as a former theater manager criticizes the board and says the facility will become a 800-seat "mausoleum" before it becomes a revived theater

August 2005 -- Theater listed in the National Registry of Historic Places

April 1, 2006 -- Theater closes for renovations

June 2009 -- Theater leaders seek $18 million for renovations. …

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