Congress Theater

2135 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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Showing 51 - 61 of 61 comments

Broan
Broan on August 26, 2005 at 12:31 am

At some point in the last week, signs have gone up heralding a re-christening of the theatre as the Nokia (like the cell phone company). I personally have mixed feelings about this- on one hand, I am sad to see it lose the name it has held for most of its years (aside from the Teatro Azteca/Cine Mexico days), but on the other this will likely bring more money into keeping the place up, to bolster the Nokia name. While it is amazingly intact inside, it needs a lot of maintenance. Perhaps it will even recieve a proper marquee again.

Broan
Broan on May 27, 2005 at 4:07 pm

Yeah, they’re the same boards that say “Congress Theatre”, actually, it’s embossed through.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 27, 2005 at 4:03 pm

Well…I have to admit that the “n” might not have been there. But, I think it was. I took several pictures of the theater at this time. Perhaps “Vincenete Fernandez” is an accomplished local businessman or something? Whatever the outcome of that discussion is, this was certainly the theater’s name (rather than an attraction). It was mounted above the backlit attraction boards on either side of the marquee.

Englewood
Englewood on May 26, 2005 at 6:31 pm

Who is Vicente Fernandez? (No ‘n’ in his first name.) He is one of Mexico’s most popular singers, called the ‘King of the Rancheros.’ Born Feb. 17, 1940 in Huentitlan del Alto in Jalisco, Mexico.
He has recorded a total of 56 albums. At one point, he performed (for free) at the La Plaza de Mexico in front of an audience of 54,000, still a record for the Plaza. He still performs. Just recently, Fernandez announced that he planned to open a mariachi theme casino in Las Vegas called Guadalajara, Guadalajara.
He probably appeared at the Congress Theater in 1988.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 26, 2005 at 6:06 pm

The real question is: who is Vincente Fernandez?!?! I would say the theater had this name out front around 1988.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 24, 2005 at 5:47 pm

Vincente Fernandez was the name on the marquee, actually.

Broan
Broan on May 24, 2005 at 3:03 pm

It was also once known as the teatro juan fernandez

TRAINPHOTOS
TRAINPHOTOS on May 24, 2005 at 7:26 am

I believe that the Congress Theatre, during the 1970s and 1980s, was known as the Mexico Theatre. They took the letters down from the vertical marquee and stored them right on the regular marquee! You could easily see this from the nearby L (which is now called the Blue Line).

Broan
Broan on August 19, 2004 at 8:46 pm

According to their site, it was built by the Lubliner & Trinz chain, also was on the Orpheum vaudevill circuit, and went to Balaban & Katz in 1929 with the rest of the Lubliner/Trinz chain. The vertical framework is still in place, although to be honest, it kind of disfigures the ornate facade. Another prior name for the congress in its spanish-language period was the cine mexico, and these name changes presumably are why the vertical is missing and why the marquee sports a rather bizarre modern backlit/retro font look on a 60s style frame.