The balcony is closed, for now, at the North Riverside Park Mall movie theater, but when it reopens later this month, its new management company promises a completely renovated space and first-run movies-along with free refills on popcorn and soft drinks.


On Tuesday, Downers Grove-based Classic Cinemas took control of the mall’s movie theater operation, which includes six screens. The previous management company, Village Theaters, was ousted after the mall successfully sued to evict them. The last screening under Village Theater’s management was Sunday, Sept. 28.

“We hope to reopen, at least partially, on Oct. 24 with High School Musical 3,” said Willis Johnson, who has owned and operated Classic Cinemas since 1978. Classic Cinemas operates movie theaters throughout the Chicago suburbs, including the Lake Theatre in Oak Park.


Johnson said that while the mall theater area is closed, Classic Cinemas will renovate it, including new decorating, carpeting, concession counters, remodeled bathrooms, upgraded seating and updated projection booths.


In addition, Johnson wants better signage-both inside and outside the mall-for the theaters, which still bear signage for the Cineplex Odeon theaters, a chain that hasn’t existed since 1998.


“Classic Cinemas is a great operation,” said Bea Young, general manager for North Riverside Park Mall. “I think they’ll bring good movies and quite a lot of professionalism.”

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