Posted by Paul Callighan on Jun 15, 2022
A lot is happening at the Sycamore State Theater and there is more to come according to new owner Makie Maratos who was this week’s Rotary guest speaker. Maratos, his wife, Kari, and his parents became the new owners of the theater about a year ago when the previous owners retired. He said his family was originally looking for a restaurant site but made the leap into the theater business after seeing the property and imagining its potential. Both Maratos and his wife studied theater in college and are excited about adding more live stage options to the three-screen

The Maratos family has a restaurant background having operated several establishments in the Rockford area including several “Tom and Jerry’s” branches. Although his father just recently passed away, Maratos says he helped establish the authentic Greek menu in their restaurant which occupies a store front in the theater complex. Maratos sees a steady expansion of the restaurant business occurring as they develop more signature dishes and obtain a license to sell alcohol with meals.

The movie theatre will be celebrating its 100 th anniversary in 2025. It was originally a single 900-seat theatre which included vaudeville performances as well as movies. By adding a stage for live performances and arranging for more specialty films in addition to first-run releases, Maratos says his family hopes to bring an entertainment resurgence to the site. He sees the possibility for an expanded arts scene and community theater centered around the property as a way to help make an impact beyond selling movie tickets and popcorn.