Alex Theater

3828 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Alex Theater - Madison & Hamlin (Chicago's West Side)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater was originally known as the Hamlin Theater and was located close to Garfield Park on Madison Street at Hamlin Boulevard in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. It opened in 1910 as a vaudeville house with 1,200 seats. It later turned to movies as the primary entertainment. It was closed in 1934.

In 1938, the theater was remodeled in an Art Moderne style and also received a new name, the Alex Theater. It continued to operate until closure in 1976.

A parking lot is on the site of the former Alex Theater.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 56 comments)

BobbyS on October 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I don’t remember that at all..However the Alex did show alot of “Hercules” movies which would attest to that fact.

amoswald on October 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hit the wrong link I didn’t mean to unsubscribe

Broan on October 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Dunno about the Alex, but the Patio was the subject of a couple raids on homosexuals.

Trolleyguy on October 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Why is this an important topic?

Broan on October 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Theatre history is social history.

Trolleyguy on October 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

If this site were about the sexual mores of urban cultures, then OK. I think there is something more prurient afoot here.

Broan on October 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Well, I dunno why that guy brought it up, he doesn’t have much of a comment history. Is it more important to read comments about what monster movies someone watched 50 years ago than about the roles particular theaters played in the lives of a persecuted minority?

BobbyS on October 8, 2013 at 12:51 am

On the other hand, these theaters all had organs….Sorry I couldn’t resist.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on October 8, 2013 at 5:25 am

I think there might be a little confusion here. I really don’t believe gays ventured up to the West Side to spend the night at this legendary schlock house. I once heard from an old veteran theatre owner that the Parkway Theatre, at Clark and Diversey, was a gathering spot for gays. The Parkway was a schlock house for many years up unil 1979 when Landmark Theatres took it over and began a revival program there. I believe that would be more credible since there’s a higher gay prescence around the Parkway Theatre area. I think JAYJay got these two schlock houses mixed up, but I could be wrong.

GFeret on October 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

one can’d discuss chicago theatres that acquired substantial gay patronage without mentioning the old Newberry theatre on Clark St by the library (later metamorphosizing into the Chestnut Station). i’d also say it’s very unlikely the ALEX theatre ever acquired that audience slant

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