AMC’s reopening brings convenience, excitement to downtown Evanston


Katie Chen/The Daily Northwestern

AMC reopened in downtown Evanston last November, much to the excitement of residents.

Emily Kim, Reporter

After a two-year hiatus from a run of more than two decades, AMC Evanston 12 — previously known as the Century 12 owned by Cinemark — finally reopened its doors last November, much to the excitement of Chicago-area residents and students. 

“I was very glad to go back to the theater and enjoy the experience of walking up those steps, buying my ticket and sitting down,” said Helen Marshall (Communication ’78), who lives in Wilmette.

For Marshall, entering into a dark auditorium and watching the trailers for upcoming movies is a nice getaway. She said she had a tradition of going to the movies at least once a week after work in the afternoons before the theater closed down in early 2020. 

Marshall said she was nostalgic about how Evanston used to have four movie theaters and was glad when she heard the theater was reopening.

“Having surround sound and a huge screen or IMAX screen is the best kind of thing,” Marshall said. “That’s a theater experience (movies are) not the kind of thing that’s best watched on a small screen.”

According to an Evanston RoundTable article, GW Properties co-Owner Mitch Goltz cited COVID-19 as one reason for the closure of the theater. He said he now wants to make it a place Evanston residents can be proud of.

Edwin de Kay, an AMC crew member who has worked there since before it closed down, said not much feels different since the reopening.

Although some renovations were made, de Kay said these transitions are not related to the pandemic. For example, while the theater itself is half the size it used to be with a scaled-down concessions stand, this can be attributed to AMC only buying half of the building — the other half is set to be converted into an indoor trampoline park called SkyZone. 

“My favorite change is in theater one. The AMC seats are leather recliners, which are really nice,” de Kay said. “The lobby is undergoing renovations, so our concession stand is a lot smaller… (And) we’re getting a bar sometime mid-February.”

Weinberg junior Ashlyn Tu said she is glad that there’s a theater near campus with a good selection of movies.

She also enjoys having access to the theater nearby instead of needing to Uber or take a bus, as well as the fact that there are discounts on Tuesdays.

23-year-old Evanston resident Lotus Lambert is also excited that the theater is within walking distance from home. 

“I think it’s great to have a theater here. I genuinely think that it’s really good — especially on this strip (of downtown Evanston),” Lambert said.

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