Nortown Theater under demolition

posted by Broan on July 2, 2007 at 9:00 am

CHICAGO, IL — The Nortown Theater, designed in 1930 by J.E.O. Pridmore in what the late founder of the Theatre Historical Society, Ben Hall, described as “King Neptune-Gothic-Atmospheric” style, is currently being demolished.

After suffering years of neglect under a series of owners, starting with triplexing, use as a church, and later a Pakistani community center, the Nortown was left a ghost of its former self, damaged and stripped multiple times.

The current demolition work is limited mostly to the interior, while parts of the shell will likely remain up for a while. The small fraction of decor that remained to this point is being carefully salvaged by Urban Remains, a Chicago salvage firm.

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Comments (9)

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on August 5, 2007 at 1:08 pm

IT is sad to see the NORTOWN go but it is good that the salvage co. is taking time to remove the parts.

Cubby
Cubby on August 30, 2007 at 8:42 am

Does anyone have any pictures of the Nortown Theatre taken in the 1960’s and 1970’s? I would love to see them posted.

Scott
Scott on November 18, 2007 at 9:05 pm

I know that it is hard to find use for these big, old theaters, but it just broke my heart to see the Nortown get torn down this summer. Another Chicago landmark gone forever.

Jayne1955
Jayne1955 on November 19, 2007 at 10:12 pm

During the 70’s I worked at the Uptown, Nortown, Chicago, Gateway and several other ABC Great States/Plitt theatres, but the Nortown was my favorite. I love astmospheric houses. This one was in great shape back then. It’s a shame how it went downhill. It really was gorgeous. I have a lot of pictures I took somewhere. I will try to find them. I remember when the Theatre Historical Society had their conclave in Chicago in the 70’s, and the Nortown was one of the theatres included. Everyone had already left when a guy pulled up in a cab and asked if he was too late to see it. I took him around the place, and he was a really funny, interesting man. It turned out he was Kenneth Anger, of “Hollywood Babylon” fame. I’ll never forget that night.
Jayne1955

tube2005
tube2005 on November 25, 2007 at 10:17 pm

do you have any old theater sound equipment like speaker amplifier .i pay big money and remove pay cash.773-339-9035

ldjchgo
ldjchgo on January 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Any pictures of the old Nortown would be greatly appreciated!

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on January 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Did you check the NORTOWN page on Cinema Treasures i have seen some pictures on the page if that will help you. :)

ldjchgo
ldjchgo on January 20, 2008 at 9:22 am

Thanks. Checked it out but there are no pics there. But the Urban Remains website has a lot of items from columns, terracotta, plaster. And these items give a good feel on what the interior might have looked like. Anyway, there is still a call out for any pics of the interior of the space in it’s hayday.

Broan
Broan on January 20, 2008 at 10:59 am

Well, there are lots posted in the comments, but I’ll be nice and repost the links.

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