Colony Theater

3208 W. 59th Street,
Chicago, IL 60629

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Showing 26 - 50 of 62 comments

VintageBob on April 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Jimmy, it would be a spectacularly unwise investment. The neighborhood has gone to hell. Gang-bangers and low-lifes everywhere. It’s a very depressed neighborhood now, a ghetto. You’d never make money with a theater there. Even if you could, the people who would go there would destroy the place within the first few months. Sad but unfortunately the reality of things.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on March 25, 2010 at 1:06 am

The Colony Theatre now has a Facebook page. Please become a fan.

jimmyvalentine on March 13, 2010 at 10:06 am

oops! that’s HOODILIDOO is a three day hippie music festival.

jimmyvalentine on March 13, 2010 at 10:00 am

My name is Jimmy Valentine Jr. My father Jimmy Sr. used to own the Colony with Bill Luther in the 80’s. I had a lot of great memories in that place. I got to meet some very cool famous people that helped to forge who I am and shape my music. Currently I am investigating options in regards to assuming command and control of the Colony and make it the spectacular venue it deserves to be. Anyone interested in being part of this call me at 847-304-8077. Check out my current project the HOODILIDOO music festival at www.hoodilidoo.comn and you can hear my music at

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on October 31, 2009 at 12:44 am

I used to go to the Colony a lot during the 1970s. I saw a lot of great films: JAWS; STAR WARS; ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN; TAXI DRIVER; THE SHOOTIST; ROCKY; THE DEER HUNTER; oh, I could write these titles forever. What a beautiful theatre. The last movie I saw there was TARZAN THE APE MAN starring Bo Derek. Why, oh why, can’t someone re-open this place as a multi-purpose venue. It’s even got a parking lot right next to it for crying out loud. I once looked into the possibility of having the Silent Film Society of Chicago do a silent film screening there once. I called the real estate firm that owns the Colony and the gentleman that I spoke to told me that the auditorium space was used for storage purposes. He told me it would take several days to clear everything out. What a shame. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope light will shine through the Colony Theatre marquee and that wonderful vertical neon sign that could be seen from miles away down 59th Street.—Tim O'Neill

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 26, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Not sure why these Russell Phillips links seem to shift all the time:

View link

GFeret on April 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

If the above link someone by the same name as me don’t work so hot, let that be a lesson to you: don’t let a little thing like a comma sneak into a website address.

Try instead

GFeret on April 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm

On the website, under “save these theaters” you’ll find the COLONY w/ a few photos, plus the RAMOVA, and the PATIO theaters too. I ride my bike past these places from time to time, and they all have the same sad look many of their shuttered predecessers had when the property owners undoubtedly were for years still trying to do something with them, but in the end sadly couldn’t (perhaps the prospects for the PATIO aren’t quite as grim, but no signs of life for the longest time).

paddyheff on February 7, 2008 at 5:38 pm

the Aragon Ballroom made it for years on the northside did pretty well in the 70 seventies as a concert hall. The Wiltern in LA still does. As does the Pantages. Bring the bands…the shows and they will come.

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on February 7, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I grew up in the area and also worked for the theater chain in the 60’s. The concession stand had the popcorn machine exhaust vented out to the front side walk. When they were popping popcorn it smelled really good out in front. The projection booth is as big as the lobby, the booth may still have the equipment for 4-channel magnetic sound in it. It would be fun to have it open again but think about the cost of air-conditioning and heating that big place. You would have to do some live stage shows between movies to get enough support to pay the bills.

drunewp on February 7, 2008 at 11:49 am

In the mid 90’s there was a barber shop – Hair America – in between Gertie’s and The Colony. I forget what it was before that, but it could have been a carry out Chinese place!

drunewp on February 7, 2008 at 11:49 am

In the mid 90’s there was a barber shop – Hair America – in between Gertie’s and The Colony. I forget what it was before that, but it could have been a carry out Chinese place!

paco0300 on February 7, 2008 at 9:01 am

It was probably at the corner where Gertie’s was in the ‘60s,
or on the Kedzie side. The store between Gertie’s and the theater
I don’t remember, but I don’t think it was big enough for a

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on February 7, 2008 at 7:35 am

I wonder where the large Chinese restaurant was. As I recall those are all small store fronts.

Englewood on February 6, 2008 at 10:09 pm

From the Chicago Tribune, March 22, 1925:

“The design for the building, which is expected to cost $840,000, has been drawn by Loewenberg and Loewenberg, architects.
The ground, purchased for $151,000, fronts 175 feet on Kedzie ave. and 125 feet on 59th street. The Spanish type of building will contain, beside the theater, a large Chinese restaurant, twelve stores, six offices, and twelve apartments … ”

vintagechicagohc on February 3, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I believe there is a dance studio on one of the top floors; by where the balcony is or was located. I have not entered inside yet. I really wish who ever owns the theater hasnt destroyed its original layout. By the way rewarding the restoration of the old theater equiptment: I work @ a electronic shop on 63th and kedzie that has been in the community for over 30 years; and the techs might be able to help (if the equiptment is still in the theater). Now, I really wish some could PLEASE HELP TO RESTORE AND OPEN UP THE THEATER ONCE AGAIN. thank you for your time=) vchc

paddyheff on November 23, 2007 at 9:27 pm

I saw everything from Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang to Cheech and Chong’s “Up In Smoke” at that grand old movie palace. It seemed 100 years old in the late sixties. My early visits were followed by a visit to Gerti’s and my later with a trip to Nicky’s Hot Dogs.

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on October 9, 2007 at 4:10 pm

If you look at the facade on the front of the building I believe I remember it is full of light bulb sockets in patterns around everything. That building would have looked spectacular at night. If those are sockets, at this point if time I’m sure they are unusable. The projection booth had RCA projectors and the main old mono power amplifier I believe used 807 power tubes and still was in operation in 1960 when I worked for the chain. Someone might be able to get a grant to restore it if it is restoreable.

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on October 8, 2007 at 1:15 pm

I also worked for the Stern’s who owned the Colony, Marquette and Hiway. In 1960 the pay rate was .65 hour. In the 70’s I believe, they had the organ chamber plaster work knocked off both sides of the stage and plastered flat. Then a huge shower curtain installed. I think the old red velvet stage curtain looked better with the pipe chambers intact. For me they ruined the theater. Back stage there was a black board by the stage entrance, you could still barely read the last stage acts that played there.

drunewp on September 1, 2007 at 10:21 pm

I grew up on 58th and Christiana, and would frequent the Colony when it was a flea market to buy hand buzzers or other practical joke items. I remember being impressed with the grandure of the place even as a child, as though I somehow knew the history of the place without really knowing. Now, all grown up and a self-proclaimed film buff, I’d LOVE to take part in any way in the restoration of the place. I’m a cameraman and doc film junkie, so if anyone wants to try to get the ball rolling, contact me at !!!!

paco0300 on March 29, 2007 at 9:30 am

I used to work the candy counter back in 1961 or 1962. There were 4 of us that worked the weekends and some nights. Think I made $.25 and hour, or something like that. Remember I worked 80 hours one week when either El Cid or West Side Story was showing there.
Gertie’s was run by a bunch of real nice Greek guys, and they were a lot of fun to talk to. Think there was a cigar store across the street. Rember that behind the screen were the old dressing rooms, and there were still a lot of the old clothes/costumes still stored back there. Don’t think the place was ever cleaned up. Nice old place when I think back on it. Don’t think they do much construction like that now. Had a friend that worked downtown at the Chicago theater. Now that was a fancy old theater!!!!

CHICTH74 on March 27, 2007 at 4:55 pm

I went by the Colony today i saw some lights on by the windows behind the vertical sign i wonder if that means that the space is being used for something like an office . Also the Gerties Icecream is now an caminet store . Their still is an Gerties but it is not the same it it located on the Pulaski side of the Ford City Mall,
and the Lindi`s chillie is by Marquette Park and their is a combo up Archer ave near Archer and Nashville. Just thought that some one would like to know. That you for your time. :)

yoshi729 on March 22, 2007 at 7:23 am

Gerties' and Lindi’s chilli & ice cream was the best.

CHICTH74 on March 21, 2007 at 8:39 pm

An update to this theatre it is still standing but it is borded up and the ice cream parlor on the corner is now i think a pager and cell phone shop. But the theatre is borded up and the vertical sign is still in tacted bringing back all the memories of the past. thank you for you time.