7074 N. Clark Street,
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Previously operated by: Ascher Brothers Inc.
Architects: Mark D. Kalischer, John Edmund Oldaker Pridmore
Previous Names: North Shore Cinema
News About This Theater
- Jan 24, 2006 — Demolition of the Historic Adelphi Theater
- Oct 18, 2004 — Plans To Reopen Adelphi Theater Put In Hibernation
- Sep 16, 2004 — Adelphi Opening Its Doors Again!
The Adelphi Theatre was opened November 10, 1917 with Emily Stevens in “Outwitted”. It was operated by the Ascher Brothers circuit. It was designed by local architect John E.O. Pridmore. The theatre stood on N. Clark Street at W. Estes Avenue in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.
In the 1930’s, the Adelphi Theatre received an Art Deco remodeling. The theatre was modernized during the 1940’s and again in the 1950’s. It began to show second-run features starting in the late-1960’s, and closed briefly in the early-1980’s.
In 1986, the Adelphi Theatre reopened as the North Shore Cinema, but from 1991 was again known as the Adelphi Theatre, screen 2nd run Hollywood movies. In 1995 it began to show East Indian films and became the premiere venue for Bollywood features in the Chicagoland area, despite its down-on-the-heels appearance both inside and out.
The Adelphi Theatre closed in January 2002. Sadly, the still-viable theatre was demolished in January 2006.
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Recent comments (view all 94 comments)
Thank you Joe Vogel. This afternoon I re-visited Cinema Treasures and discovered this “currently open” default to the search bar, but still did not notice the various tabs at the bottom of the map that would let me filter search results. Thank you for pointing this out. In my initial search last night I didn’t know the Chicago/Rogers Park Adelphi had been closed and in fact, demolished.
Circa 1984 photo added courtesy of Kenneth Swedroe.
And still to this day, there’s nothing but a crater. They still haven’t built anything on the site. They haven’t even filled it in. It’s just a gaping maw. Very unattractive.
This opened on November 10th, 1917. Its grand opening ad can be found in the photo section
January 2006 demolition photo added via Chris Carson.
Flickr page with Adelphi album.
Adelphi Theater video posted to YouTube in 2007.
The theatre was known as the Adelphi from 1917 until 1986. Between 1986 and 1991, the theatre was known as the North Shore Cinema. In 1991 it became known as the Adelphi again; however, the owner did not take down the North Shore marquee. He covered up the front sign portion that read “SHORE”; but “NORTH” and “CINEMA” remained exposed. On the north and south panels of the marquee, the owner put up a painted sign on each side that read “Adelphi Theatre”. The theatre remained known as the Adelphi until it closed in 2002.
The Adelphi never showed Spanish-language movies. It was a 2nd-run theatre; showing Hollywood movies. It did close for a short time in 1986 for a sprucing up, and it reopened as the North Shore Cinema under a new building owner. The general manager, the late Don Klein, told me the name of the theatre was changed to get the stigma of being known as the “Adelphi…..a shoddy, run-down movie house”. The thinking was that “North Shore” sounded…nicer, I guess. When the new owner wanted to get away from the movie theatre aspect of the building, he asked Don if he wanted to lease out the business. Don said, yes,…..under one condition….the name “Adelphi” must be restored. The owner said, “Fine, call it the Adelphi”. He didn’t care anymore. So Don took over in 1991 and it was once again known as the Adelphi Theatre. However, nobody wanted to spend money on changing the marquee so they covered the words, “North Shore Cinema”, with some type of cheap covering. It didn’t seem to last long on the front panel of the marquee (that was installed in 1986) and the words, “North” and “Cinema” were still exposed. Don struggled with the place for four years, showing 2nd-run Hollywood films. He finally threw in the towel in 1995 and Parag Gandhi took over the joint and showed Bollywood movies. The condition of the theatre got worse over time and it finally closed in 2002. Demolished in 2006. I used to work there. Don filled me in on the history of the Adelphi. He worked there when he was 12 years-old.