Last week the Thunderbird, the Woodfield Mall Cinemas and the Tradewinds Cinemas were discussed in chronological order.  If we continue the same order, we begin now by visiting the Barrington Square Theaters.

Opening on December 14, 1979 at the Barrington Square shopping center on Higgins Road, this theater was originally part of the AMC Theaters chain and was managed by Paul Kalas.  It was the second six-screen theater to open in the Chicagoland area after the Ogden 6 Theaters in Naperville.   The smallest theater sat 259 people and the largest 375.  It was capable of showing the same movie in two adjoining theaters using the same copy of the film.  The projector system was set up to run the same film with only a 30-second time lag between the two screens.  Admission was $3 for adults and $1.50 for students and children.

On opening day the feature films shown in the six theaters were:  Skatetown U.S.A, Arabian Adventure, Alien, Breaking Away, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh and Fiddler On The Roof.

The Barrington Square 6 stayed in business 20 plus years, operating under the Classic Cinemas chain in the later years.  When a new 30 screen theater opened in neighboring South Barrington in 2000, it spelled the end for the Barrington Square.  The theater closed in October and was torn down a few months later as part of a redesign of the entire shopping center.

In late 1991 a new theater operated by Cineplex Odeon opened at the brand new One Schaumburg Place Mall at the intersection of Higgins Road and Route 53.  With only a few major tenants and a number of smaller stores, the theater was a big attraction for the mall.  Even when Montgomery Ward, Phar-Mor and Filene’s Basement closed, the theater still managed to stay in business until 1997.

By 2000, One Schaumburg Place was completely reconstructed and a new shopping center called Streets of Woodfield took its place.  With 20 screens in the AMC Loews theater and enough popular stores and restaurants as part of the complex, this is the one theater in Schaumburg Township still standing and operational.

The style and design of each of the Schaumburg Township theaters may have been vastly different but they all provided pounds of popcorn, gallons of soda, boxes of candy and hours and hours of entertainment!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


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