Campus Cinema building demolished after years of vacancy


Mikey Escobar

Campus Cinema location being torn down on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — After being abandoned for years, the Campus Cinema building in the Annie Glidden North neighborhood is being demolished following a settlement agreement for city ownership.

In the past several years, the building, at 1015 Blackhawk Road, has seen “dangerous and unsafe” conditions such as partial roof collapse, water infiltration, mold and inoperable mechanical systems, according to an Aug. 13 city council agenda.  

“The property has been a blight in the City’s Annie Glidden North area for many years because of its vacant, dilapidated, and unsafe condition, which has been an attractive nuisance for criminal activity,” the agenda reads. 

City Manager Bill Nicklas said there are no current plans for future development at the location. 

“The idea is that the city will come into ownership and combine with the other vacant property adjacent to it and then be able to market it to someone who can do something that is really beneficial to the neighborhood,” Nicklas said. 

The city will pay for the $375,000 demolition costs of the building, and once the building is completely demolished, the lot is expected to be valued at $500,000, according to the agenda. 

Former owner Pete Occhipinti will be paid half of the $375,000 when the building is being torn down, and the other half will be paid when the site is clear and demolition is completed, according to the agenda. 

Nicklas said demolition began on Tuesday and, depending on weather, hopes it’ll be a seven to 10-day project to get the site cleaned up. 

Campus Cinema opened in 1977 with three movie theatres, and a fourth theatre was added in the early 1980s. It closed once in the early 2000s and for good in 2012, according to previous Northern Star articles. 

In previous years, developers and Occhipinti have tried to add on a second floor to the former movie theatre and build 22 apartments but were denied a permit multiple times, according to a Jan. 15 Northern Star article