- Lakehurst Cinemas
Lakehurst Cinemas (originally known as "General Cinema Lakehurst 12" until 2000) was a
movie theatrelocated in Waukegan, Illinoisin the United States that operated from 1974 until 2007.
"General Cinema Lakehurst" opened in 1974 as a part of
Lakehurst Mall, a 1.1 million square-foot shopping mallliterally across the street from the theater. The theater was built in keeping with General Cinema's tradition of adding screens near major shopping destinations. General Cinema Lakehurst was originally built with three screens, and its opening film was The Exorcist. In 1984 the theater expanded to five screens. Over time the theater continued to expand and before the 2000s it featured 12 screens, and became officially known as "General Cinema Lakehurst 12".
Over time the Lakehurst property declined, mostly due to competition from
Gurnee Millsand Westfield Hawthorn. The dying mall was drastically affecting the surrounding businesses; many restaurants, shops, and attractions closed. In 2000, General Cinema Lakehurst 12 closed as a result of General Cinema Corporation's bankruptcy. One year later, the mall was shuttered (except for the Carson Pirie Scottstore, which remained open until 2004).
In 2002 General Cinema Lakehurst 12 re-opened under the name Lakehurst Cinemas, and was now operated by a small chain of theaters in the Chicago area called
Village Theaters. Curiously, except for a small banner covering a sign at the theater entrance, the theater still bore General Cinema signage.
In 2003 the Lakehurst property was purchased by the
Shaw Company. It was then announced that Lakehurst Mall would be demolished to build Fountain Square of Waukegan. It was also announced that Lakehurst Cinema would close in the future, but a date was not given.
the building for numerous problems including leaking roofs and heating and cooling problems.
Among the last films to be shown at the theater were "
Happy Feet", "Rocky Balboa", " Night at the Museum", " Stomp the Yard", " Eragon" and " We Are Marshall".
Demolition of the multiplex began in mid-July 2007, and the theater was gone by mid-August. The former site will be used as parking for a nearby
Holiday Inn Expressunder construction nearby. [http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/news/209256,5_1_WA13_LAKEHURST_S1.article]
While the theater is long-gone, the sign still remains standing near Illinois Rt. 43 (Waukegan Rd.). A Lakehurst history website is currently attempting to save this sign. [http://www.freewebs.com/lakehurst/savethesignii.htm]
* [http://generalcinematheatres.com General Cinema]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=fDi-91gc_ug Trailer] for General Cinema shown inside Lakehurst Cinema
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