Recalling Chicago’s Southtown Theatre
CHICAGO, IL — Even after over fifty years since it showed its last film, the Southtown evokes fond memories of its opulence from those who recall this former Englewood neighborhood landmark. The building housed a department store for for twenty-seven years after its closing as a theater with many theatrical details intact. This Rapp & Rapp gem was demolished in 1991. Here’s a reminiscence, with a picture, that recently appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
For 27 years, residents in the Englewood neighborhood experienced that luxury and watched features like “Gone With the Wind.” Today, more than a half century after the Southtown closed, they can only conjure up memories since a discount grocery store stands at 610 W. 63rd St.
The stucco-covered, Spanish-style movie house designed by the theatrical architecture firm Rapp & Rapp opened on Christmas Day 1931. It was run by Balaban & Katz, which owned several other theaters in the city, but the Southtown was one of its largest, with a capacity of 3,200, and arguably its most special.