Adelphi Theater

7074 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60626

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Adelphi Theater

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The Adelphi, built in 1917 for the Ascher Brothers circuit, was designed by local architect J.E.O. Pridmore. The theater stood on Clark Street at Estes Avenue in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

In the 1930s, the Adelphi received an Art Deco remodeling. The theater was modernized during the 1940s and again in the 1950s. It began to show second-run features starting in the late 1960s, and closed briefly in the early 1980s, after several years screening Spanish movies.

In the mid 1980s, the Adelphi reopened as the North Shore Theater, but was again known as the Adelphi when 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 closed in January 2002. Sadly, the still-viable theater was demolished in January 2006.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 82 comments)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I went by here a few weeks ago and was sorry to see that nothing has been done with the site. While this is a personal matter for us architecture fans it is not uncommon. There are unfinished projects from the boom all over Chicago. I remember going to the Adelphi in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was kind of a dump at that point, and I’m sure the ten years after that didn’t help. But at least it filled the lot and was rented out for the occasional Bollywood film.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on March 17, 2013 at 8:59 am

I rode past the Adelphi site on the Metra recently. It’s still a pit and whatever steel beams the builders did erect are gone now.

Cinemaven
Cinemaven on April 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm

It somehow went to a sad waste, Not only demolishing the once grand cinema. But leaving it as mere empty space.

timbottcher
timbottcher on May 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm

My childhood home was about two blocks west of the Adelphi on Estes Ave. As the text notes, by the time I was going to the movies it was mostly showing second-run films. I think you could see a cartoon and a double feature there for a buck. My most memorable experience there was seeing “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971). It was probably the only time I saw kids and their parents in a line that wrapped around the theater down Estes. I saw a lot of flicks there and other nearby theaters, including the Nortown on Western Ave. and the Grenada on Sheridan Rd.

Blessedtwoday
Blessedtwoday on July 27, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I remember going to see “Beat Street” there in the 80s. Great theater. Breaks my heart that it’s closed.

dancindoug
dancindoug on August 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I was born in Evanston, IL in 1943 and grew up in Rogers Park. I lived at 1904 Pratt Blvd. from 1943 to 1953. My family then moved to Arlington Heights. I was just on You Tube (channel name, Sneaky Guy) and was watching a scene from the 1953 Doris Day film “Calamity Jane,” which I had uploaded. I actually saw “Calamity Jane” at the Adelphia as a young boy of 10. I saw many films there as a child on a Saturday morning. Back then (back in the day) you got to see a double feature, a cartoon, and a short serial that kept you coming back each week, all for 25 cents. You could then go to Walgreens drug store on Clark and get a REAL chocolate malt for another 25 cents. In those days there was only air conditioning in theaters, drug stores, and supermarkets. Wow… that was 60 years ago and Doris Day is now about 90 years old.

dancindoug
dancindoug on August 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hi Bob,

I currently have 76 Doris Day videos on my YouTube channel Sneaky Guy (www.youtube.com/user/SneakyGuy999). There is some controversy as to whether she was born in 1922 or 1924 so that’s why I said she’s about 90. The date you cite, April 3, 1924, is the most prevalent date given for her date of birth on the Internet.

dancindoug
Doug

Chris1982
Chris1982 on April 30, 2014 at 12:09 am

There was another Adelphi Theatre at 11 N.Clark St. in 1926 that seated 1550.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Chris: the earlier Adelphi Theatre is listed here as the Clark Theater.

An ad for Pittco Store Fronts (a division of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.) in the June 29, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald featured photos of the Adelphi’s entrance before and after the remodeling designed by Mark D. Kalischer.

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