Byrd Theatre

4740 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60644

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BobbyS on December 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

The San Fillippo Foundation in Barrington, Il. purchased the decal recently that was located above the marquee of the Byrd theater. They placed it above the stage and displayed it at their annual Christmas party/show… I could not make it out for I was sitting in the balcony. Does anyone remember it? I did not. I was always too busy reading the marquee. It was large. Next time I go, I will make a point to study it. It wasn’t Admiral Byrd.

jtmiller on May 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Remember watching many films at the Byrd in the late 1940s to 1961, when our family moved. Saw Disney’s “Peter Pan” there in 1952, when I was 9 years old.

LouRugani on December 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm

On November 7, 1917 the MADISON SQUARE Theatre opened, seating 2,000 people and owned by the West End Amusement Company, which also controled the Virginia and Crawford Theaters. The West End Amusement Company was formed by William E. Heaney (vice-president of the Illinois Branch of MPEL of America and manager of the Virginia and Crawford theaters), his father James B. Heaney, J. D. Murphy, and H. A., Paul A. and John Arm- strong. There was a $6,000 Wangerin & Weickhardt pipe organ. Admissions were 10 and 15 cents including the war tax.

BobbyS on February 6, 2011 at 1:54 am

The Bryd was renamed “PEPE” in the last years. They just put the letters over the BRYD name and showed Spanish films. I was long gone by then, but I do have a picture with the PEPE name. I wish I knew how to post a picture on this page. The Bryd was a fun place to see all your friends and scream together for the horror flicks..

BobbyS on February 6, 2011 at 1:40 am

Hi Anita! I remember seeing the horror film “Them” at the Byrd. The theater was full of kids and it was a blast on Saturdays. Usually double bills and drive-in type of movies. I have been afraid of ants ever since! I thought I saw “King Kong” there on a re-re-release or it could have been the State. Went to every movie theater on Madison St. all the time sometimes two in a day via the streetcar lines. I loved all the candy :Milk Duds. Halloway bars and of course the real butter popcorn…..Um-m-m-m-m.

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I saw The Jolson Story, Jolson Sings Again, Singing in the Rain, and Wizard of Oz at the Byrd. They showed a lot of films that were in rerelease.

LouisRugani on January 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm

When the city’s drive on license violators hit theaters last week, seven West Side movie houses made quick amends in their admission prices. In view of speedy corrections of the violations, Judge Cecil Smith discharged the cases.
Theaters affected and their maximum prices were: Tiffin, 4045 North, 40 cents; West End, 121 N. Cicero, 40 cents; Byrd, 4730 Madison, 40 cents; Symphony, 4921 Chicago, 40 cents; Crawford, 19 S. Crawford, 40 cents; K and C, 306 S, Cicero, 25 cents; and the Plaisance, 466 N. Parkside, 40 cents.

KenC on January 9, 2008 at 12:43 am

The Byrd was open as late as July 1967. From the Chicago Sun Times on Saturday, July 1, 1967: BYRD OPEN 1:30 – “THE PAD” “VALLEY OF MYSTERY”.

Bogbac on April 9, 2007 at 1:20 pm

I was an usher at the Byrd in the early 1960’s. In fact I was the only usher. Worked only on weekends. Use to let my friends in the side doors. They use to run movies for weeks on end. I remember the Guns of Navarrone and a really old one called Naughty Marrietta with Janet McDonald and Nelson Eddy. It was a musical

KenC on February 21, 2007 at 4:32 pm

There was a theatre on Roosevelt Rd. called the RENA. It was open at least through March 1964. Perhaps that’s what you’re thinking of, G. Feret. From the Sun Times movie directory dated Sat. March 28, 1964: RENA 4015 W. Roosevelt- Open 1:00 “MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES” Vincent Price “COMEDY OF TERRORS” & “SUMMER HOLIDAY” Cliff Richard.

GFeret on February 21, 2007 at 9:35 am

Well then, if the BYRD didn’t change name to RENO, where exactly was THE RENO??? I was sure this was it, and I WAS there, or very near closeby. Somebody please tell me I’m not imagining….THE RENO.

KenC on February 7, 2007 at 6:08 pm

The Byrd was open at least through September 1964. From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings on Sat. Sept. 12, 1964: BYRD 4730 West Madison Open 1:30 MA 6-8188 THE BEATLES “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT” Tab Hunter “GOLDEN ARROW”. The same double feature was also playing at the Imperial,Marshall Square, Tiffin,Montclare, Ramova, Maryland, Met, Granada, Century, and Riviera theatres.

GrandMogul on February 1, 2007 at 10:49 am

Chicago Tribune ad for Friday August 29, 1930 announces: “Attend the opening of one of these wonder talkie theaters! Byrd, Madison at Cicero, Chicago’s Wonder Talkie Theater!

GFeret on January 23, 2007 at 12:22 pm

If the BYRD was open that late, and I agree it could, the name would actually have been the RENO. I also was there sometime then (saw RETURN OF THE FLY).

billDeMaria on January 24, 2006 at 8:09 pm

Actually, the Byrd was open in the early sixties, I remember seeing
Hud there and also The Prize.

Bill DeMar