Alba Theatre

4816 N. Kedzie Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60625

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Circa 1966 flyer or print ad from the Alba Go Go.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater originally opened as the Albany Park Theatre in 1915 before it was later renamed the Capitol Theatre and finally the Alba Theatre.

A parking lot is on the site of the Alba Theatre today.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Broan on January 24, 2007 at 5:37 am

The original name from 1915 was Albany Park, then Capitol; it closed around 1927, and was converted into a bowling alley. When B&K took it over opening Christmas 1934, they spent $25,000 under plans from Rissman & Hirschfeld remodeling it back into a theater; B&K said that the exterior would be “the most elaborate of anything so far seen in Chicago, surpassing even the newest loop cinemas in the use of neon tube lights and mazdas.” It closed sometime in the early 50s, briefly served as a meeting hall, in 1952 turned back into bowling lanes, in 1966-68 served as temporary home to Frankel Furniture, and in 1968 it reopened as the short-lived rock club Strawberry Fields.

Broan on January 24, 2007 at 5:40 am

The Capitol name was 1924-1926.

kencmcintyre on January 24, 2009 at 11:05 am

From the Chicago Tribune, 12/9/56:

A conversion which changed the Alba Theater to the Alba Bowling Lanes, 4814 N. Kedzie Ave., included tearing out a balcony, constructing a false ceiling and soundproofing it, installing new lighting and correcting the pitch of the floor. That latter operation, providing for 12 alleys, was designed so that the pits are at the front, or stage area, of the former theater layout.

A game room and lounge is now in the lobby area, but owner Edwin Meyer still utilizes as his office the office used by the theater cashier. The projection room of the theater has become a storage room.

pritikin1 on December 6, 2009 at 7:17 am

I lived a block away during the 40s and early 50s, There were 2 other movie theaters near by, the Terminal on Lawrence just a block away from the beginning of the Ravenswood el, and across the street the Metro.Their screen was behind you when you walked into the theater.
After movies played downtown, they then went to the Uptown at Lawrence and Broadway, then to the Terminal and finally the Alba. I remember when it was converted to a bowling alley. I even set a few pins there! I learned something from your site… that ALBA was short for Albany Park…

Broan on February 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

in 1954 the alba became one of the first bowling alleys in chicago to go automatic.

Broan on March 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm

The Economist lists Foltz & Brand as architects.

RiisPark on March 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm

In 1966 the Alba became the ‘Alba a Go Go’ and featured live teen bands.

DavidZornig on April 18, 2014 at 9:34 pm

I added a flyer from the Alba Go-Go.

The Alba is also mentioned in this article.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm

This house reopened as the Capitol Theatre on March 7, 1923. It had been remodeled and redecorated after having been closed for many years. The architect for the project, Albert A. Schwartz, and the decorator, O. J. Bodelson, wrote an article about the project for the April 7 issue of Exhibitors Herald. There are four photos, and the article mentions a Kimball Organ Co. Unit Orchestra being installed in the renovated house.

Broan on January 17, 2016 at 9:53 am

Here is a THSA picture.

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