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More, just in from the Chicago Tribune of Feb. 28, 1922:
“ … Englewood’s National Theater at 6217-23 South Halsted street, home of Chicago’s oldest stock company, which has been giving a weekly change of bill for the last thirteen years, was sold yesterday for $160,000. Harry O. Rabe and James F. Sutter of Rabe, Sutter & Co., printers, bought it from the Englewood Stock company, of which Louis Rathje is president. The playhouse was designed by J.E.O. Pridmore and seats 1,200 … ”
From the Chicago Tribune: June 19, 1955:
BEAUTY QUEEN TO BE
SELECTED BY POST
OF JEWISH WAR VETS
Uptown Edgewater post,
Jewish War Veterans, will
sponsor a motion picture party
and the selection of a beauty
queen, to be crowned Miss Up-
town Edgwater, June 28 in
the Lakeside theater, 4730
Entrants in the queen con-
test must be between 18 and
25 years of age. Ben Goldblatt
is in charge of registration.
Judges will include radio
performer Marty Faye, Patri-
cia Vance, Ald. Freeman [48th],
and Theodore Pickard, past de-
partment commander, J.W.W.
From the Chicago Tribune, June 2, 1945:
“THEATER’S PAY PHONE STOLEN
John Camplan, owner of the Cosmo theatre,
7938 S. Halsted st., told police yesterday that
burglars entered the theater thru an open
stage door Wednesday and took a pay tele-
phone from a booth.”
From the “Vaudeville” column of the Chicago Tribune of November 8, 1942:
Stratford theater. [Today only].
Dick [Two Ton] Baker, singer, heads the
week end bill of five vaudeville acts.
You may want to change the opening date of this theater.
This from the Feb. 7, 1909 Chicago Tribune, under a headline: “Theatrical Center of the Country”, a feature story about the theaters in Chicago.
“ … The newest theater is the National, at Halsted and Sixty-third street, which was opened Dec. 31, 1908.”
From the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 25, 1924:
Davy Miller Recovering
from His Bullet Wound
According to reports from the University hospital, Davy Miller, boxing referee who was shot on Sunday night by Dean O'Bannion, has passed the crisis and his wound is healing. It is expected he will leave the hospital in a few days. The shooting took place in front of the La Salle theater.
An even EARLIER piece (than that above) from the Chicago Tribune of January 14, 1887, might suggest that the Alcazar Theater is older than originally thought. This is from the Letters to the Editor:
The Alcazar Theatre and Garden.
Chicago, Jan. 13.—–[Editor of The Tribune]—-The constant talk by the Chicago papers of a certain disreputable saloon on State street called the “Alcazar” (oftentimes without mentioning the location) is having a very depressing effect upon my business at my Alcazar Theatre, in which I play legitimate companies only and have always catered to the best people. I dare say that one-half of the people on the West Side know no other “Alcazar” than mine, as every week they get into arguments with my billers regarding the horrible newspaper reports of the “Alcazar.” It is too bad that I should have to suffer severely on account of some low dive bearing the same name. Such pieces as “Uncle Dan'l” and “Mrs. Partington,” by Joseph H. Kean, are not liable to harm any one, and those are the class of dramas I have been playing. If you will kindly place me right upon this point I shall esteem it a great favor.
THOMAS L. GRENIER
From the Chicago Tribune, Sept 17, 1915
“… Two hundred persons in the Alcazar theater at 69 West Madison street were holding their breath for the climax of ‘The Red Virgin’ reel at 10:30 o'clock last night. The silence was intense.
From the operator’s iron box in the rear of the audience came the cry of ‘Fire!’ ‘The Red Virgin’ exploded at the climax. The theater was filled with smoke. The smell of celluloid was suffocating.”
It goes on to say how the entire crowd left the theater in an orderly manner with the conclusion that no one was injured, and, that “Miss Mattie Lamb of 1328 South Spaulding avenue played the piano, although almost overcome by smoke, until the theater was empty.”
Fascinating little story
From the Chicago Tribune, January 20, 1904, in a composite story about theaters in Chicago coming up to code, there is mention of an Avenue Theater. Anyone ever heard of this theater in Englewood? Here is the story:
AVENUE THEATER OR HALL
If It Must Come Under Class 5 Management May Decide Not to Reopen
The Avenue theater at 6237 Halsted street may not reopen if the contention of its management that the building is not in “class5” is overruled. The seating capacity of the house is 557. It lacks a steel curtain, sprinklers, a brick proscenium wall, fluid pipes, fire alarms, sandpipes, and fireproofed staging. Three months would be required to make these and other needed improvements.
Sounds real close to the Empress, the massive address changing of 1908 notwithstanding.
Re: The posting I had above … it can be taken back even further, to March 25, 1895:
Thirty-first Ward, Linden Theater, Sixty-third and Halsted streets—-Speakers: G.B. Swift, C.G. Neely, Adam Wolf, Roy O. West, James R.B. Van Cleave, and others.
(These were speakers from a Republican convention.)
It appears that the Linden Theater probably was built before 1910. I have a Chicago Tribune article about a Republican convention (probably a state convention) in April 1900, that lists as its meetings:
CARTER MEETINGS FOR TONIGHT
6922 Wentworth avenue. Speakers Judge Carter, W. Clyde Jones, Western Starr.
Hesperian hall, Sixty-ninth street and Ashland avenue. Speakers, Judge Carter, Dewitt C. Jones, John A. Henry
Linden Theater, Sixty-third and Halsted streets. Speakers Judge Carter, General George Hunt, McKenzie Cleland.
May 17, 1944
BOY STABS GIRL
FOR BEING ‘TOO
NOISY’ IN MOVIE
Thomas Nuding, 13, of 338 W. Garfield blvd., last night stabbed May Lawson, 12, of 5211 S. Wells st. in the back while in the Alma theater, 5352 Wentworth av. The wound was minor and the girl was taken home after receiving first aid at Evangelical hospital.
The Lawson girl was sitting in front of young Nuding in the theater. She told police he kept pressing his feet against her seat and that she objected. He then jabbed her with a pocket knife and hit her on the head, she said, at the same time saying, “I’ll kill you.”
Nuding admitted the attack. “She was making too much noise and I stabbed her to keep her quiet,” he told police. Nuding’s mother is dead and the whereabouts of his father is not known. He is a ward of the Catholic Home bureau and lives in the home of Mrs. Margaret Lyons of the Garfield blvd. address.
From the Chicago Tribune
November 17, 1924
Widow Drops Dead While
While Watching Moving Picture
Mrs. Mary Willard, 60, 6315 Ada street, died of heart disease yesterday evening in the Lynn theater, a movie house at 1044 W. 63d street.
October 4, 1950
On 2d Attempt
Lester Miller, owner of the Lynn theater, 1044 W. 63d street, last night captured a stickup man, but then almost lost his prisoner by giving him a light for a cigaret. In custody was Henry Alger, 35, of 1537 W. 63d st.
Alger had shoved a revolver into the theater cage and ordered Miller to hand over contents of the cash box. The theater owner grabbed for the gun, but Alger fled with it. Miller caught him a half block away. The stickup man said he had thrown the gun away
As he was being led to the theater, Alger asked for a light. Miller struck a match, and Alger pulled the gun from his pocket. But this time Miller took the weapon as he subdued Alger.
Alger was identified as one of two men who had taken $55 in a robbery of Irving Altman, manager of the Show Club lounge, 653 W. 63d. Later, police arrested Eugene Lippner, 33, at 1537 W. 63d. He was identified as having been with Alger in the lounge.
In 1931, in addition to the Owl Theater, Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. acquired the following theaters:
July 30, 1948
Body Found in Pit
In Calumet Park
The body of Harry Martin, 27, of 7132 Ellis av., manager of the Atom theater, 4338 So. Wentworth av., missing since July 24, was found yesterday in two feet of water in an abandoned clay hole at 122d st. and Winchester av., Calumet Park. Police said they believed drowning was the cause of death.
Martin was last seen about 2:30 a.m. on the day of his disappearance by William Pagels, 23, of 235 Root st., assistant manager of the theater, when they parted at 63d st. and Yale av., after visiting several taverns and a dance hall. Martin told Pagels that he planned to go to another tavern.
The theater manager had about $120 when he was with Pagels. Police said they found only 12 cents in his pocket.
Charles Bugg was the owner of the Bugg Theater in 1929.
From the Chicago Tribune
August 17, 1944
… Spontaneous combustion in paint supplies was blamed for a fire which destroyed the screen and several rows of seats in the Gaelic theater, 2425 W. 47th st., with damage estimated at $1,000.
A thought just occurred to me:
The Southtown opened Christmas Day in 1931 and closed as a theater sometime in 1958.
It became a department store in 1958 and was closed down in 1985.
They were each opened for 27 years.
Glad to see another ex-Englewood on the board. I ALSO went to St. Bernard’s (1954-1958); in fact, I graduated from there in 1958. Do me a favor: give me your e-mail address and we’ll talk more about this St. Bernard connection. We lived at 65th St. & Stewart Ave.
My e-mail is
From the Chicago Tribune, October 14 1956, from Will Leonard’s column:
The Kim Theater at 62nd and Halsted streets, we learn is having a grand opening this week —– and we recall the Kim as the old National Theater. It originally opened as a spoke in the Stair and Havlin traveling legitimate circuit on December 31, 1908, with no less a vehicle than “Texas Jack, Hero of the Plains.”
From the Chicago Tribune, March 13, 1915:
“ … The Alfred Hamburger Theatrical Enterprises has secured another North Side theater, having sub-leased through Mark Levy & Bro. from Charles Marsh Steward the Argmore Theatre, at the northwest corner of Argyle Street and Kenmore Avenue, for a term at an annual rent of $7,200. It has a seating capacity of 662.”
The Chicago Tribune has the old Follies burning down early Wednesday morning, January 4, 1978. Cause unknown but not believed to be arson. The address shown in the newspaper is 450 So. State St.
I have a Chicago Tribune display ad from Jan. 2, 1916 that lists a Halsted Theater at 6202 So. Halsted St.
Found nothing else about this theater. Any comments?
CORRECTION—Second Line in hed should read:
to Be Entirely Remodeled
From the Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1936
West Englewood Theater
to Be Complete Remodeled
Another step in a modernization program for the nineteen theaters in the Warner Brothers Chicago circuit will be taken, according to James E. Coston, zone manager, when the West Englewood Theater, on 63rd Street near Ashland Avenue, will be completely remodeled at a cost of $75,000. It will also be renamed The Ogden. The playhouse will be closed after the last picture August 9, to permit B.B. Buchanan, theater consultant for Pereira & Pereira, architects, to assume charge of the work which will require three weeks. The entire front, lobby, and foyer will be done in the modern manner.