Alex Theater

3828 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 1 - 25 of 68 comments

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on November 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

The Hamlin re-opened as the modernized Alex on the night of May 22nd, 1938. An ad has been uploaded to the photos section.

JAYJay
JAYJay on November 25, 2016 at 2:20 pm

It wasn’t only TV that killed movie theaters…. It was the clientele ! The Gangs and Thugs that moved into what were once decent neighborhoods was a huge factor.

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 25, 2016 at 2:57 am

Went there many times. Hard to understand the beautiful Marbro being closed and the Alex and Crawford stayed open for awhile.There were hold-ups outside the Marbro as well as inside and we were told to keep our eyes open around us. I can only imagine what went on inside the Alex & Crawford!

JAYJay
JAYJay on November 24, 2016 at 6:59 pm

Anyone rem. the Crawford theater at about 100 s. Pulaski… orig. called Crawford av. back then. It later changed names to the National theater and showed Spanish movies. It was located just s. of Goldblatts

JAYJay
JAYJay on November 24, 2016 at 6:50 pm

I can remember a gym on one of the upper floors where Pro Boxers trained ? When a young kid a friend and I went up to see it.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on November 23, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Their clients may have been. These ladies were engaged in what is referred to as: “The world’s oldest profession.”

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 23, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I assume they were lawyers or doctors right?

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on November 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm

The building still stands. Now known as the Midwest Apartments, offering subsidized low to moderate income rental units. When I worked in the neighborhood in the ‘50s, the Midwest was an SRO hotel with long-term guests. These included a number of professional ladies who would meet their clients upstairs for services.

JAYJay
JAYJay on November 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm

The Alex was just a short distance from the Mid West Hotel on the n-w corner of Madison and Hamlin av. The Hotel was said to be the tallest Bldg. west of the loop for many years.

JAYJay
JAYJay on November 23, 2016 at 1:51 am

Bug House square was just across from the Newberry Library. A big time gay hangout back in the mid to late 50s Also some hung at the Alex back then also, for sure!

frankyv
frankyv on March 11, 2016 at 4:56 am

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.

davidplomin
davidplomin on May 30, 2015 at 4:51 am

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.

GFeret
GFeret on October 30, 2013 at 9:08 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

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on October 8, 2013 at 10:25 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.

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 8, 2013 at 5:51 am

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

Broan
Broan on October 8, 2013 at 1:26 am

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?

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on October 8, 2013 at 1:17 am

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

Broan
Broan on October 8, 2013 at 1:13 am

Theatre history is social history.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on October 8, 2013 at 1:08 am

Why is this an important topic?

Broan
Broan on October 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

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

amoswald
amoswald on October 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Hit the wrong link I didn’t mean to unsubscribe

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 7, 2013 at 7:42 pm

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

JAYJay
JAYJay on October 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm

The Alex
Became a hangout for gays in the late 50s

GFeret
GFeret on May 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

i had no guilty conscience even slight about seeing monster movies, who would? i saved my guilt for more important, or at least expensive things.

GFeret
GFeret on May 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

i don’t mind repeating myself that the old monster movies i looked up @ legion of decency were rated CONDEMNED. a slight disappoinment at my age then but also irrevelant i confess, and looking back it now it made its own kind of sense, those things could be condemned for any number of reasons by any right thinking person, which viewpoint is comfortably irrelvant.