The Cascade Drive-In’s Farewell Lesson
I’m going to really miss the Cascade Drive-In. And that admittedly might seem a bit strange, considering I had never actually been to a movie at the longtime outdoor movie theater off North Avenue in West Chicago. I had, however, truly and earnestly intended to go each and every summer for many years. That’s because the Cascade had become the last theater of its kind in the western suburbs and, having been in business for 57 years, it had taken on a somewhat iconic status.
For someone like me, who as editor of this magazine chronicles life in the western suburbs for a living, taking in a good flick under the stars at the Cascade had always been on my “must do” list. Now, sadly, that will never happen.
As highlighted in our By the Numbersfeature on page 10, the owners of the Cascade announced its closing last month when they were unable to renew the lease for the land upon which the theater stood. I’m not sure what the land is going to be used for going forward, but it’s hard to imagine it will serve a more memorable purpose than it did for generations of west suburban families and kids who went there to see movies at the Cascade. I, unfortunately, was not one of them, and I truly regret that. So I will miss the Cascade, not because of fond memories, but for failing to personally experience the distinctive slice of Americana — and west suburbia — that it represented, while I had the chance.
I am, however, going to try to take it as a lesson learned the hard way by renewing my commitment to getting out and experiencing all the western suburbs have to offer. And with the warm weather now finally here, there is certainly no shortage of worthwhile things to do and places to go.
How about Morton Arboretum? Or the Naperville Riverwalk? Or the Prairie Path? All three were cited as favorite places to go in the western suburbs by noted author Luis Alberto Urrea, who we profile in our Q&A on page 12. The Naperville resident has become one of the significant voices for reason and humanity regarding the current immigration conflict. He provides some interesting insights on that timely topic while also sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and rewards of being a writer — and teaching writing — for a living.
Another distinctive place in the western suburbs that might merit a visit this summer is Fermilab. In addition to offering tours of the scientific facility, it is the surprisinghome of a small herd of bison. If you go, you might see Batavia resident Cleofis Garcia out herding the 1400-lb-plus animals to their pasture. To find out more about what it takes to be a professional herdsman, check out Garcia’s story in Joni Hirsch Blackman’s Western Sky column on page 14.
We hope you enjoy these and the many other great articles in this issue and, as always, thanks for being a reader!Edit Module