Old Standbys Only Getting Better
I really enjoy going through our reader surveys and compiling our Best of the West results each year. It’s always interesting to get our readers’ perspectives on their favorite things about living in the western suburbs. I have been doing it for so many years now that I have a pretty good idea of what the results will be in many of the categories before we even start tallying the vote totals. And that’s not a bad thing. It just means that here in the western suburbs we have some really great places to go and things to do that have stood the test of time — and in some cases, have become even better over the years.
A case in point is the beautiful Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove. While it doesn’t look like much from the outside, the meticulously renovated interior harkens back to the Tivoli’s historic roots. When the theater debuted on Christmas Day in 1928, it was the second in the country built to accommodate sound movies, or “talkies” and attracted an estimated 4,000 people to its opening. Now one of the last surviving theaters from the “movie palace” era, the Tivoli still boasts a single screen and a seating capacity of more than 1,000. In many respects, watching a movie there is pretty much the same as it was decades ago — except better. That’s because the Johnson family, owners of the Classic Cinemas chain, have retrofitted the Tivoli with state-of-the-art digital picture and sound. So the Tivoli offers an enticing blend of the best of both worlds — the elegant ambiance of days gone by and today’s technological cinematic wizardry that makes movie-going a truly multi-sensory experience. So it’s no wonder that our readers continue to choose the Tivoli as their favorite movie theater.
Another example of a consistent repeat Best of the West winner is the Morton Arboretum, which our readers once again voted their favorite park. A natural oasis amidst the ever more hectic hustle and bustle of suburbia, the 1,700-acre “living museum” has had a loyal following for decades. But in recent years, the Arboretum has become even better by more actively reaching out to the surrounding community through newer attractions like its Children’s Garden and a plethora of special events, including its especially popular Illumination holiday lights show.
And then there is Cantigny, another west suburban gem that was chosen yet again as the Best Area Museum. It was also a top vote-getter in the Best Historic Landmark/Attraction category. But as popular as Cantigny has always been, it too continues to get better. It is in the final stage of its five-year Project New Leaf renovation effort to enhance virtually every area of the 500-acre park.
As residents of the western suburbs, we are truly blessed to have these stalwart attractions right in our own backyard. And of course, the western suburbs boasts a plethora of additional superlatives both new and old for which to be grateful (for complete Best of the West results in more than 80 categories, turn to page 33).
We hope you find this information both interesting and useful and, as always, thanks for being a reader!Edit Module