Highland Park Theatre

445 Central Avenue,
Highland Park, IL 60035

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Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on May 30, 2006 at 3:00 am

So then there were 2 theatres named Highland Park? The one on Central Ave. and the one on Deerpath Road? Obviously they were not related.

How is this cinema doing considering the new multi-plexes that have opened up here?

Broan on May 25, 2006 at 4:26 am

I’m really quite confident that this is a William B. Betts design. The tudor style is so rare, and it reappears 4 times in the Chicago area. The Deerpath was similarly attributed to local architect Stanley D. Anderson – a well-connected Lake Forest architect – despite the fact that its interior is a dead ringer for the Catlow. On top of that, William D. Mann’s office was directly next door to Betts & Holcomb. I’m pretty sure it was just attributed to Mann to gain local support.

Broan on April 5, 2006 at 6:12 am

And he actually lived at 218 N Sheridan in Highland Park, so perhaps this was a Betts & Holcomb design attributed to Mann because a Highland Park architect would be more attractive to local investment.

Broan on April 5, 2006 at 6:11 am

Mann also designed an addition to the old Moraine Hotel in Highland Park and stores at the SW corner of Sheridan and Park

Broan on April 5, 2006 at 6:03 am

The Alcyon was announced in the Jan 11, 1925 Chicago Tribune, including a drawing.

“Architect William D. Mann believes suburban business buildings should harmonize architecturally with their surroundings. Therefore when he was commissioned to design a film theater for Highland Park, instead of the usual boxlike structure, overloaded with gingerbread designs, he planned the above attractive piece of architecture along old English lines – a thing of beauty and an asset to the neighborhood.

It is being erected on the north side of Central avenue, east of and near to Sheridan road. The owner now operates the Pearl theater in Highland Park. It’ll not be called “The Capitol” or “The Panorama” or “The Orpheum”! A good old English name will probably be selected—a name in keeping with the architectural charm of the building.

According to Mr. Mann, it will have 1,100 seats, with a regulation stage. The interior decorations will be carried out along old English lines. Instead of a balcony there will be a circle of boxes all around the auditorium. The building will have two stores, with studios on the second floor. The exterior will be plastered, with hand carved timbers and with slate roof. Completion date is set for July 1."

Interestingly, Mann’s studio was adjacent to Betts & Holcomb, who built the similarly Tudor Catlow, Glen, and Deerpath theaters. Surely there was some influence between them.

Broan on May 29, 2005 at 5:57 pm

Updated photo link: View link

wordspecs on January 17, 2005 at 9:21 am

Brian, I am new to your site. We publish a magazine for Highland Parkers and we would like to know if there is a photos of the old Alcyon that we could have rights to use. We would, of course, give proper photo credit, or if there is a fee, please communication. You can reacy me by email at