Alex Theater

3828 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

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 58 comments)

Broan on October 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

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

Trolleyguy on October 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Why is this an important topic?

Broan on October 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Theatre history is social history.

Trolleyguy on October 7, 2013 at 5:17 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 5:26 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 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm

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 2:25 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 2:08 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

davidplomin on May 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

The Newberry and the Chestnut were two separate theaters within a block of each other on the west side of Clark St. The Newberry was torn down, the block replaced by a high rise apt. The Chestnut Station was a former post office converted to a pretty nice multiplex.

frankyv on March 10, 2016 at 8:56 pm

I loved this place. I saw the movie Black Sabbath when it first premiered. It was a huge hit for mu favorite horror character Boris Karloff. Those where my days. Meet my first girlfriend there too.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater