Colony Theater

3208 W. 59th Street,
Chicago, IL 60629

Unfavorite 17 people favorited this theater

Showing 51 - 62 of 62 comments

LWysocki on July 20, 2006 at 2:03 pm

How bittersweet & nostalgic…What a BEAUTIFUL theater it was! Growing up in the 50’s & early 60’s on 59th & Pulaski, I have many great memories of the double bill movies especially on school night evenings and sneaking into the balcony which was almost always closed and evading the downstairs usher(yes, there were ushers on patrol then)and sitting in the very last row(vertigo!)with the World & Screen at my feet!..from Annette & Frankie Beach movies to “The Time Machine”,“The Birds”,“Gypsy”-Rosalind Russell/Natalie Wood,“Fall Of The House Of Usher”-Vincent Price etc..etc..and of course Gertie’s Ice Cream Shoppe on the corner with the great booths…:0(….those were the days my friends…(The Marquette Theater was great too, but not nearly as special as this movie “palace” known as the “COLONY”)

Broan on June 17, 2006 at 10:23 am

Here is a profile from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s HAARGIS system. It includes a small picture.

granathecableguy on January 22, 2006 at 3:39 pm

i’m writing a film about marquette park for my family. i’d love pics and /or videos of the colony, marquette, or anything from the 70’s. the old a&p on 63rd, anything. if anybody has stuff like that, please respond. i grew up there.

rso1000 on January 9, 2006 at 12:25 pm

I was there when it was a flea market. All main floor seats were removed. The auditorium is still slanted… and vendor tables were braced up on one side to level off the tops.
The stage still had a curtain and if I’m not mistaken.. there was also an Orchestra pit.

Broan on December 28, 2005 at 7:08 pm

View link Here is the new link to the 1983 Russell Phillips photo of the auditorium.

yoshi729 on December 28, 2005 at 6:57 pm

Does anyone knows what’s the status of this place? I would love to be part of this place and convert it as a concert venue or small theatre place like the other old places here in Chicago. I grew up walking by this place so often and heck I still do since I still live in the area. In the early 90’s it becames a flea market kinda thing, but that only lasted for few months. I remember as a kid I was frighten with the smell and the old structure. Can anyone let me know about this place?

larrymagee on September 8, 2005 at 4:11 pm

THe marquee light could always be seen from my house on 59th as a kid. The theater always hinted of its past grandure. the balcony was seldom open it seemes as a kid except for the annual christmass party where it was a full house. the exit door right next to the mens room also made sneaking a few buddies in very finally closed and was reopened as a concert hall but complaints soon shut that down. i remeber it had a brief opening as a flea market at one point as well . sadly it appears to be an empty shell as well with gerties abandoning its long standing original location as well.

BillA518 on June 30, 2005 at 7:42 am

The Colony operated briefly in the late 70s/early 80s as a road house for rock concerts. The neighbors complained about the noise and the city went into harassment mode and shut them down. It remained vacant until about ‘88 when a Christian ministry tried to revive it with weekly vaudeville-type shows that had a low-pressure religious message. The neighbors didn’t complain, but they didn’t support it either. It failed in less than 6 months. By 1998, it had been gutted and was being used as a warehouse by a property managment company. No idea as to current status.

jwcx on December 8, 2004 at 6:03 pm

Wow, does the Colony bring back memories. When an earler generation spoke of how going to the movies was something special and the theatres were designed to reflect that, I too can relate from my experiences as a kid at the Colony, since I’m just old enough to remember some of its hey-day. Being a kid, it was the fanciest place I had ever seen with the rennaissance architecture, and its broad balcony. It seemed huge as a kid, but most thing did at that age, but I actually grew up with the colony during the 50’s through the dollar movies in the late 60s and 70’s, thus I grew to understand its size and the uniqueness of its style. During this period I saw the decline from a fairly well maintained family theatre in the 50’s to its dingy condition in its later years. I hope somone can do something with the theater…. it would be a shame to see a sample of the past like this go.

NickCoston on November 14, 2003 at 1:20 pm

Back in 1983, this really nice guy, I forgot his name, owned a consruction company. And as a gift for his wife, he bought, then remodeled the theatre into a great concert hall. He gave my Dad and I a great tour, but didn’t run much in it. I think it closed after that, but the job he did was outstanding.