Clark Theatre

11 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60602

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Showing 26 - 50 of 65 comments

KenC on March 10, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Here is the Clark ’s movie calendar for June 1965 (from the Chicago Sun Times movie directory dated June 1, 1965: June 1- UNDERWORLD, USA plus MURDER, INC. June 2- NO TIME FOR SGTS. plus MR. ROBERTS June 3- SAT. NITE AND SUN. MORNING plus THE HUSTLER June 4- SINGIN' IN THE RAIN plus BAND WAGON June 5- M plus FORBIDDEN GAMES June 6-CHILDREN OF PARADISE plus NITE AND FOG June 7- GINA plus YOUNG AND THE DAMNED June 8- AMERICA, AMERICA plus THE OUTSIDER June 9- EASY LIFE plus DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES June 10- OLD MAN AND THE SEA plus YOUNG LIONS June 11- ALEXANDER NEVSKY plus POTEMKIN June 12- WOMAN IN THE DUNES plus RIKISHA MAN June 13- WAR OF THE BUTTONS plus SAND CASTLE June 14- ORDERS TO KILL plus BRIDGE ON RIVER KWAI June 15- STAKEOUT ON DOPE ST. plus BIG DEAL ON MADONNA ST. June 16- THE BAD SLEEP WELL plus EXECUTIVE SUITE June 17- VICTIM plus THE MARK June 18- THE LAW plus L SHAPED ROOM June 19 – MAJOR BARBARA plus RULES OF THE GAME June 20 – DIMKA plus MY NAME IS IVAN June 21- EAST OF EDEN plus REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE June 22- A DAY AT THE RACES plus A NIGHT AT THE OPERA June 23- 7 BRIDES FOR 7 BROTHERS plus AMERICAN IN PARIS June 24- CAPE FEAR plus EXPERIMENT IN TERROR June 25- PICNIC plus BUS STOP June 26- RATTLE OF A SIMPLE MAN plus LUCK OF GINGER COFFEY June 27- GIRL WITH GREEN EYES plus LA NOTTE June 28- 7 DAYS IN MAY plus MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE June 29- A NITE TO REMEMBER plus PURSUIT OF GRAF SPEE June 30- EVA plus GYPSY AND THE GENTLEMAN. A pretty typical month at the Clark- dramas, comedies, musicals, and foreign films…something for everyone. To Bob Jensen- I saw a few double features in the middle of the night.If there were homeless people in the audience, they did not make their presence known. If some patrons were sleeping, they did not snore… I can’t think of any time I was disturbed or annoyed by my fellow movie goers at the Clark. The projection booth was -I’m guessing- on the third floor (one floor above the mezzanine and the “little gallery for gals only”). That would be really high up- near the mens washroom. Yep, that would be a great workout for the ushers carrying the films up and down. And the projectionist was undoubtedly never bored- different movies every day with union wages. What a deal!

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 31, 2008 at 1:21 am

Speaking of film cans does anyone know how many floors up the projection booth was at the Clark? One good thing about working in the booth is you never got real bored with the same movie (say “The Sound of Music” for over a year), but hauling 2 movies every day up and down could get hard on the back. How high up did did they have to go?
Anyone know if they didn’t get the films sometimes or got mixed up reels?
I never saw films in the middle of the night, did many homeless folks spend the night at the Clark in cold weather?

“I don’t sell tickets to movies. I sell tickets to theatres.” Marcus Loew

KenC on January 31, 2008 at 12:16 am

A clock inside a theatre auditorium was, indeed, a rare sight. Another movie theatre with a clock in the auditorium was less than two blocks from the Clark. The Monroe had a clock; it, too, was just to the left of the screen. If memory serves, the clock was round with a white or light yellow background. Can’t think of any more…

dsadowski on January 30, 2008 at 11:25 pm

If part of the film was missing, perhaps they didn’t get all the reels they were supposed to.

I recall once seeing some film cannisters ready for shipment at the Clark. They were of an old Laurel and Hardy picture from the 1940s (maybe “Dancing Masters”) and looked as old as dirt.

Wonder where those film cans are today?

I could name several films that I saw at the Clark and have still never seen anywhere else… Harold Lloyd’s Professor Beware, for instance, Laurel and Hardy’s late short The Fixer Uppers, and one of the last films made by Will Rogers (“Judge Priest”).

dsadowski on January 30, 2008 at 11:19 pm

The Tivoli in suburban Downers Grove still has a neon clock above the exit.

Those clocks were made by the Neon Clock Sales Co. of Chicago, who typically rented them to shopkeepers for window use. The same firm is still in business today in the SW ‘burbs.

They repair the old clocks and can still make new ones on a special order basis… but will not ship them, so it’s pickup only.

Otherise, old ones occasionally turn up on eBay and often sell for as much as $500.

paulench on January 30, 2008 at 8:17 am

THE GREEN CLOCK! – I had forgotten about that. What a nice touch! To this day I have never seen a clock inside a cinema auditorium. Thanks for your memories.

I do recall an occasional trailer at the Clark, but very rare.

Some movies at the Clark were trimmed, but not very often. I recall one showing of Yankee Doodle Dandy where the whole opening was cut, Right after the titles we cut to George M. Cohan narrating about when he has born on the 4th of July in the flashback scene of his birth. The rest of the film was intact.

BUT then came a surprise – a spliced-in scene following the end titles. Somehow they added a scene of Cagney dancing as Cohan taken from “The Seven Little Foys” with Bob Hope. I guess they felt that the 5-minute sequence deserved special recognition. Another nice touch.

There’s a fantastic little cult film called “The Smallest Show on Earth”, about a couple who inherit a run-down cinema in England. I always think of the Clark when watching that hilarious film.

KenC on January 30, 2008 at 1:19 am

Bob- maybe the Clark played DELICADO after you went into the Navy; it’s the ONLY song I remember playing at intermission. It could have been as early as 1963-64…maybe late as ‘65-'66. It was so catchy I went to Rose records on Wabash to buy the album. Oh well, maybe someone else will read this and remember the song you heard. As I recall, the Clark did NOT show previews between features…but there were exceptions. Never saw “TOPKAPI”, but I remember the trailer: Melina Mercouri, looking at the audience, saying “I’m a thief- honest”. I’m 99% sure I saw it at the Clark. But, generally speaking, no previews, no cartoons… a feature, then a 5 to 7 minute intermission, then the second feature. Other memories of the Clark: a mini cardio workout going to the mens room…from the auditorium to a flight of stairs at the north end of the theatre near aisle 4; to the second floor ,walking south(past the “LITTLE GALLERY FOR GALS ONLY”) to another flight of stairs… long and steep…to the next level, finally arriving at the washroom at the far southwest corner of the buiding. The color green- lots of green in the theatre. The carpet, lights on the wall, the neon clock to the left of the screen (aisle 4), and parts of the marquee. At the concession stand, there was an older woman…white hair, glasses (she looked like a grandmother;she was perhaps 60- 65 years old).Never smiled…looked kinda mean…but was very friendly once she got to know you. She worked evening hours; sold me more than a few boxes of popcorn over the years(mid 1960s). One last comment: the Clark got all kinds of patrons: men in suits, teenagers in blue jeans (like me),downtown shoppers, young and elderly, black and white, rich and some people who had seen better days. Skid row on west Madison St. was not that far away. That said, it seemed like everyone in the audience was there to enjoy the films. No talking, no rude behavior, and laughter when appropriate. Going to the Clark was a great experience!

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 25, 2008 at 1:36 am

KenC-thanks for your help, I remember that song, but that’s not the tune I remember from the CLARK. It seems to me they only played one song in the intermission, I don’t remember it being that one. Perhaps they started Delicado after I went into the Navy. I can’t remember did they show previews and did they show them between each film or after the double feature? Did a cartoon get shown? Sorta hard to remember after 45+ years. Anyway thanks for trying to come up with the song.

KenC on January 24, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Bob -this will be easier than searching for an album: Go to you tube, type in DELICADO. You will find Percy Faith and his version of the tune. It is catchy!!

KenC on January 24, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Bob- I think I have your answer. The dozens (hundreds?) of times I went to the Clark throughout the 1960s, my one memory of music played at intermission is DELICADO. Liked it so much, I bought the LP. It is on London records; the album title: “The Cash Box Instrumental Hits Stanley Black his piano and orchestra”.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Please pass this on to Bruce Trinz. In the late 50’s and early 60’s my first job in high school was as a soda jerk at the Walgreens Redwood Inn Cafeteria at State and Madison. That had been the old Boston Store and is now a Sears. I had never seen many movies as I grew up so every chance I got I went over to the CLARK to see all those movies I had missed. I made up for lost time, what a film education I got! Thank you so much. In the early 60’s at intermision one instrumental song was played, I think it was on blank film, do you or anyone else recall what that tune was? It’s my one memory of the CLARK I can hum every place I go. Again, I can’t thank you enough.

Broan on January 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Here is an early handbill for the Columbia. Here is another, with a picture.

scorseseisgod on January 6, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Here is a link to a 1967 ad for the Clark. Remember the “little gal-lery for gals only?"
View link

dplomin1954 on July 23, 2007 at 11:57 pm

If anyone is interested, I took some sad/beautiful pictures when the theater was being demolished. I have 3 nice B&W pics, one of the auditorium on a Sunday morning with noone around, affording a shot looking at the balcony from the stage area, the facade with scaffolding, and a side alley view with the original ADELPHI THEATER and the management painted on the brick wall, please let me know. I will scan and e-mail them to you.

GrandMogul on February 1, 2007 at 11:01 am

News Item:

Chicago Tribune, Sunday, January 12, 1958, s. 9, p. 13, c. 4:


This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of Chicago’s unusual movie theaters. In 1933, just seven years after the first full length talkie was introduced, the Clark theater opened its doors. Since then the Clark has shown more pictures than any other theater in Chicago. Since 1951 the theater has had a daily change of double features.

Under the management of Howard Lubliner and Bruce Trinz, the Clark has introduced many unique policies. One is the Film Festival, a special program of outstanding films from Hollywood and Europe. The 1957 festival was made up of academy award films comprising a total of 47 Oscar winners. In November, 1950, the Clark started its Sunday Film Guild to re-show two all-time film favorites each week.

KenC on November 28, 2006 at 7:33 pm

The Oriental theatre marquee is #14. The beloved Clark theatre is picture #19. Riverview park is #16… At first I thought this was the Tunnel of Love boat ride, but I suspect it is SHOOT the CHUTES. (Anyone born and raised in Chicago prior to about 1960 will know what I’m talking about). All this…and the Chicago Cubs! Thanks, Brian.

Broan on November 28, 2006 at 1:31 pm

Here is a 1960s shot of the strip. Look at all that neon!

Broan on November 20, 2006 at 12:43 pm

A 1954 clip of the Clark marquee can be seen by searching for 26461

Broan on November 1, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Here is an exterior view.

dsadowski on October 7, 2006 at 1:41 pm

I am interested in writing a book about the Clark Theater. If anyone has information they can share, please feel free to contact me at:

If anyone can help me get in touch with Bruce Trinz, I would greatly appreciate it.

This book could contain all the photos I can find, (hopefully there are some of the interior), reminiscences, reproductions of the Hark Hark flyers, and a list of every film shown there during the entire two-a-day era.


paulench on October 2, 2006 at 5:13 am

Here is the picture KenC referred to.

KenC on October 1, 2006 at 8:10 pm

To all Chicago area residents: Try to get a copy of New City, dated 9-28-06. On page 19, there is a pic of Clark and Madison in the 1950s. There is a small but nice shot of the Clark marquee. Right next door is a Turkish Bath house; a few doors south is the Blue Note (The Bud Freeman Roy Eldridge Quartet) ,and indeed, a Wimpy’s burger joint- above it a sign: Borden’s IT’S GOT TO BE GOOD! ICE CREAM. This shot is an ad for Lee Balterman’s Lifelong (Photographic) Romance with Chicago, at Stephen Daiter Gallery. It’s at 311 W. Superior, suite 404/408. Admission is free; it runs through Oct. 28. I haven’t been there yet, but I bet there are a few more (hopefully many more) photos of Chicago area theatres. In any case, it should be interesting to all of us who grew up in Chicago.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on September 30, 2006 at 9:12 pm

I’d love to see that color slide. Would you be willing to link that to us?

dsadowski on September 25, 2006 at 10:15 pm

It is a shame there are so few photos of this very important theater. Someone should ask Bruce Trinz if he has any, especially pictures of the lobby or the interior. I have never seen any photos of the interior.

I have a color slide from 1956 showing a PCC streetcar on Clark Street going by the Clark. Erroll Garner was performing at the Blue Note, and you cna also see the Wimpy’s burger joint on the corner.

All icons of the old downtown, and all sadly long gone.

dsadowski on September 25, 2006 at 10:11 pm

In the late 1960s, I spent many afternoons at The Clark, and watched many classic films there. I recall seeing numerous W. C. Fields, Marx Brothers, and Laurel and Hardy films there, many obscure. I recall the neon clock to the left of the screen. Just recently, I noticed they have a similar clock in the Tivoli (Downers Grove, IL).

Once I recall seeing some ancient looking film cans lined up at the theatre, ready for shipment back to whatever studio or distributor they came from. I wondered when the last time was they had been used, and if they would ever run in a theater again.