Stony Theater

6855 S. Stony Island Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60649

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This theater was located in the 6800 block of S. Stony Island Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood of the city. It was opened by January 30, 1916 and closed by 1920. I grew up in the neighborhood circa 1941-1956.

Contributed by Glen Williams

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

KenC
KenC on August 14, 2006 at 1:38 am

The Stony theatre was open at least through June 1957. From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings Tuesday, June 11, 1957: STONY “INVASION, U.S.A.” “1,000 YEARS FROM NOW” “DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS”

Kay
Kay on December 30, 2006 at 6:32 pm

I drove through South Shore a couple of years ago, and what was once a bustling business area filled with stores to fill all the needs of the local residents, is now parkway with only grass and trees from 67th-69th on the east side Stony Island Avenue. The stores were still standing in dilapidated and boarded up condition on the west side of the street, a sad memory of what used to be.

The Stony Theatre was just north of the drugstore located on the northeast corner of 69th and Stony Island. I would guess it opened sometime in the 1940’s and at the time seemed so small and plain compared to the Jackson Park Theatre that was already down the street at 67th across from the park. I was a youngster then and used to walk to see movies at both theatres in the 40’s and 50’s. Also would walk up 71st street to the Jeffery and Hamilton theatres. Loved the Saturday serials that accompanied the featured film.

What great memories!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 30, 2006 at 7:20 pm

This first opened as the Southshore Theatre in 1915, but it closed in 1918. It re-opened in 1950 as the Stony Theatre and closed in 1958.

It re-opened again in 1961 and was demolished in the 1970’s

KenC
KenC on December 17, 2007 at 4:19 am

Through 1965, the Stony was open ;playing regular Hollywood fare. From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings dated Tuesday, Sept.21, 1965: STONY 6855 So. Stony ISLE.-363-9707 URSULA ANDRESS “SHE” “JOHNNY COOL”– HENRY SILVA. Sometime in late 65, early or mid 66, the Stony closed yet again. But it re-opened in late November 1966, probably under new ownership. From the Sun Times movie directory, Tuesday, Nov.22, 1966: GRAND OPENING! Wednesday at 12 Noon Chicago’s Newest And Most Elegant ADULT THEATRE STONY 69th and STONY ISLAND Phone MU 4 -7766 ADULTS ONLY Continuous Entertainment Daily 12 NOON to MIDNIGHT GALA MIDNIGHT SHOW FRIDAY and SATURDAY.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 17, 2009 at 4:52 am

Boxoffice magazine reported in January 1960 that Ben Conney had temporarily closed the Stony Theater to repair the heating system, so it may have re-opened before 1961 after the closing in 1958.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on July 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

The vertical sign of the Stony Theater can be seen in the distance in this photo.

maxfabien
maxfabien on June 17, 2015 at 12:05 am

The first movie I ever saw at a movie theater was at the Stony. My parents took me there in 1954 to see “Them!”.

SpencerS
SpencerS on February 7, 2016 at 8:26 pm

I was an usher at the Stony for quite a few years in the 50’s. A lot of memories.The projectionist had a bit of a drinking problem. He needed strawberry soda to mix his drinks. I was the runner to go across Stony to the store when he ran out. Loved putting up the new posters and marquee. Carrying the new film boxes upstairs was a bummer.

Khnemu
Khnemu on November 17, 2016 at 12:40 pm

From 1925-29 this address is listed in the Chicago Tribune as the South Shore Athletic Club. Also, in all of the movie listings in the Tribune, the theater was listed as the South Shore Theater (two words). A blurb in the real estate section of the Tribune from Oct. 3, 1930 states: “The Royal Palm Golf Course Inc., an Illinois corporation, has leased the building at 6855 Stony Island avenue, formerly known as the South Shore theater, and will open an indoor golf course and fountain luncheonette the early part of this month. The lease is for five years and a reported rental of $650 per month. Philip A. Weinstein and Short, Rothbart, Wilner & Lewis were attorneys”.

By 1942 and 1943 Tribune articles mention the Hollywood Bowl bowling alley at this address. In 1951, listings begin in the Tribune movie section for the Stony Theater. The last listing of this address in the Tribune is from 1969 about a security guard at a Price-Rite liquor store at the address being shot during a hold-up there.

Broan
Broan on February 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Mortgage bonds were listed for sale in the August 15, 1915 Tribune. This had opened by Jan 30, 1916. This is listed as a Lubliner & Trinz theatre in the May 27, 1916 issue of Motography, their fourth after the Vitagraph, Biograph, and Paramount. By the next year, L&T had dropped it. It had probably been put out of business by the Jackson Park Theatre. October 2, 1920’s Motion Picture News noted that it had been a dance hall for some time, but was being reopened as a theater by manager L.B. Salkin of the nearby Jackson Park Theatre – it’s unclear if it did. It was reported sold in the Feb 28, 1923 Tribune, and noted as “vacant some time”, with the plan to remodel into shops. August 22, 1925’s Moving Picture World reported that the theater had been sold the previous week and was to open the next month, as a dance hall, Tangerine Grove. Subsequently it became the South Shore Athletic Club and possibly the previously mentioned mini-golf. January 19, 1932’s Tribune reported that three former stores, remodeled some time ago from the theater, were to be converted into the “Park-N-Stop Food Market”, followed by the previously mentioned Hollywood Bowl. It had reopened by September, 1950.

It appears that the blocks that the Stony and Jackson Park sat on were demolished to make way for the extension of Cornell Drive, widening Stony Island to 8 lanes between 67th & 69th.

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