Central Park Theatre

3535 W. Roosevelt Road,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on December 25, 2017 at 9:02 pm


Broan on October 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

Contrary to the popular narrative, the Central Park did not open with air conditioning and was not the first in Chicago with air conditioning. Its sister, the Riviera, announced its “freezing plant” June 12, 1919. The Central Park’s was announced June 21, 1919. Ad is posted in Photos section.

Broan on October 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm

It’s a hassle to write in the link HTML for everything when it can be copy-pasted just the same.

DavidZornig on October 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Thank you. Can you do the same with the Randolph?

Broan on October 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Try clicking this again. I have no idea why this isn’t working for you, but it’s an April 1918 issue, page 734

DavidZornig on October 4, 2015 at 12:07 pm

OK, I got it to open up on Bing, not Google. It brings up a magazine from 1931. Is there a certain page that references the central Park?

Broan on October 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Just copy and pasted it in three different browsers and it worked fine.

DavidZornig on October 4, 2015 at 11:54 am

Above link doesn’t work either.

throne3333 on September 26, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Thank you DavidZornig for honoring my legendary uncle Dr. Lincoln Scott in your blog. He will moat definitely be missed. However, his passion to restore the amazing Central Park Theater lives. A not for profit Alternative Village is prepared to take to helm on Dr. Scotts behalf.The Central Park Theater has such an historical value to the North Lawndale community, we feel that yhe message muat be continued to be uttered throigh this restorative process.

DavidZornig on September 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Reverend Lincoln Scott who saved the building has died. Copy & paste to view.


Broan on February 1, 2015 at 7:12 am

Probably was remodeled early on to provide a larger stage and screen.

baraboowolter on January 31, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Upon comparing the historic interior photo with photos and videos of the church that is currently in the building, I have noticed that they don’t match. Clearly the historic photo has a “CP” on the valance of the proscenium opening so I take it that is for Central Park. Photos of the proscenium in the church don’t match nor does the ceiling. Can anyone help?

Broan on April 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm

On the West Side, maybe. There are some nice ones on the South Side.

GFeret on April 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

i’ve just noticed a major exterior brick tuckpointing job underway here. of all the large old inner city former theatre buildings i believe the central park continues to be in the best shape

RickB on January 17, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Shots of five endangered Chicago palaces—including this one—and a Roger Ebert essay. Chicago Magazine

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm

October 10th, 1917 grand opening ad uploaded here.

Broan on November 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

The marquee can be seen in this clip, at :55 and a wide view of the building can be glimpsed later, as well as views of the neighborhood in 1966.

GFeret on December 3, 2010 at 9:30 am

to me it’s particularly satisfying the see the central park theatre from outside on the west face which is open to view

why, it’s just common brick? the black fire escapes, leading off several emergency exits at various levels, all stand in fine shape and each and every incandescent bulb at the door bays remain constantly illumnated. a typical but very good urban vista in my opinion you might agree if you saw it in person. gives one some impression the building remains open for business as usual, movie theatre that is

spectrum on November 12, 2010 at 10:08 pm

This is now the church for the House of Prayer, Church of God in Christ.

TLSLOEWS on August 5, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Another Rapp and Rapp design,very nice.

KenC on June 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm

In the book “IMAGES of AMERICA- CHICAGO’S JEWISH WEST SIDE” by Irving Cutler, there are two nice pics of the Central Park on page 87. A great shot of the outside; on the marquee: FOOTBALLS JIM BROWN “RIO CONCHOS” plus BORIS KARLOFF “BLACK SABBATH”. A smaller picture of the interior is also featured.

GrandMogul on February 7, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Chicago Evening Post item for Saturday, October 27, 1917:


The Central Park Theater is one of the latest additions to the group of amusement centers in Chicago and one of the finest picture theaters in the country, if we are to believe all reports. So many unusual features have been incorporated into it by the builders that it would be impossible for one person to catalog them all, but one of the most important is a new development of the projection machine which makes it practically impossible for the operator to give anything but perfect projection. The Central Park theater is located at Central Park avenue and West Twelfth street, in the heart of a unified “home” neighborhood, and expects to draw its capacity of 2,600 persons from the immediate district.

NOTE: This theatre opened the same day as the Peerless theatre, at Grand and Oakwood Boulevards, this being an Ascher Bros. house.

GrandMogul on February 1, 2007 at 8:25 am

Chicago Evening Post ad indicates that the Central Park theatre opened on Saturday, October 27, 1917. It was a B&K theatre.