Elm Theater

7540 W. Grand Avenue,
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

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Mister_Comics on October 10, 2017 at 10:28 am

The correct address for the Elm Theater was 7540 W. Grand Ave. In the photo above you can see the address of the store (7542) next to the theater. Also old newspaper ads show the address as 7540. See posted ad in “Photo section”.

rso1000 on February 13, 2015 at 10:44 am

Added a few more photos of the murals on the auditorium walls taken 2/12/15. The remainder of the auditorium will probably leveled on 2/13/15.

GFeret on February 10, 2015 at 10:43 am

I have to say I never realized while I shopped at the True Value store that the building I was in was—at least in large part—the old Elm Theatre, re-purposed. It certainly didn’t look so from the front (Grand Ave) side, and I remember the Elm Theatre facade & marquee from the early ‘60s. But I see from the new demolition photos the full background.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on February 8, 2015 at 7:42 am

Just posted several photos of the Elm Theater auditorium demolition from Saturday, February 7. rso1000 has also posted some new photos from the last few days.

rso1000 on February 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Seen Today… The Auditorium is fenced in … Machinery on site.. about to begin Demolition in a few day or sooner.

dsadowski on February 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm

No, Caputo’s is at the NW corner of Grand and Harlem, where Ablin’s drug store was, plus many other shops. the Elm was a few blocks west of there near the Elmwood Park village circle.

RiisPark on February 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I had no idea that the old True Value is the site of this theatre. I thought the it was where Caputo’s is today.

dsadowski on August 1, 2011 at 9:54 am

FYI I found a Chicago Tribune display ad for the Elm dated June 5, 1960 showing a double bill of Here Come the Jets and Visit To a Small Planet. Since the marquee still had those films listed on July 4, I conclude the theater was already closed then. By July 4 there were no other theaters in the Chicago area still showing those two films. So it is probably safe to conclude the Elm closed about June 5, 1960.

dsadowski on August 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

Another photo from the same archive, this one is dated July 4, 1960. Not sure if the theater was still open then, but the marquee gives a double bill of Here Come the Jets (1959) and Visit To a Small Planet (1960), the latter being a Jerry Lewis movie with story by Gore Vidal. I checked that day’s Tribune, and nobody else was showing these pictures in town: http://cdm15232.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p15232cdi&CISOPTR=403&CISOBOX=1&REC=9

dsadowski on July 16, 2011 at 1:22 am

I found a picture online showing the marquee as the theater looked in August, 1964 as the Elm Bargain Mart. Elmwood Park was celebrating its 50th anniversary that summer. The photo gives the street address as 7540 West Grand: http://cdm15232.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=%2Fp15232cdi&CISOPTR=183&DMSCALE=56.23243&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMMODE=viewer&DMFULL=0&DMOLDSCALE=9.86842&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMTEXT=&DMTHUMB=1&REC=1&DMROTATE=0&x=35&y=32

dsadowski on July 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm

The street view should probably be more like 7532 W. Grand Ave., where you can see what’s left of the theater building. Meanwhile, the last display ad I could find for the Elm in the Chicago Tribune was dated May 22, 1960, and they were showing a double feature of “Seminole” and “Sioux Uprising,” so this may be when it closed. Locally, it was always a weak sister compared to the nearby Montclare and Mercury theaters.

dsadowski on January 7, 2010 at 9:44 am

The Facebook group Elmwood Park-Memories-of Places Gone Bye has a pic of the Elm that dates to Fall 1946 (based on the US release date of They Were Sisters starring James Mason):

View link

fab4fan on April 16, 2008 at 7:48 pm

The building has been vacant for at least the past year since the hardware store (True Value) closed.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 2, 2007 at 11:01 am

The Elm Theater opened in 1937 and closed in 1960. In 1963 it became the Elm Bargain Mart. The frontage, marquee etc were torn down in 1965. In the late 1960’s and 1970’s the former auditorium became Armanetti’s Liqour Store and then in 1986 became a True Value hardware store which remains in use today.

GFeret on January 2, 2007 at 10:31 am

There are printed newspaper ads for the ELM dating into the early ‘60s I’m pretty certain.

GFeret on January 2, 2007 at 10:30 am

There are printed newspaper ads for the ELM dating into the early ‘60s I’m pretty certain.

dsadowski on September 30, 2006 at 5:50 pm

I grew up in this area and I understand the Elm closed in 1960.

luchtg on March 9, 2006 at 2:06 am

When I was a kid, the Elm Theatre was the place to go to see great (for that time) horror and sci-fi movies.