Iola Theatre

1238 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60622

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The Iola was located in the Wicker Park neighborhood on Milwaukee Avenue, near Ashland Avenue. It opened in 1907 and closed in 1921. Today, a condominium stands on the site of this theater.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Broan
Broan on December 27, 2007 at 8:14 pm

The Iola was an exceptionally strange theater. Looking at the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, the narrow lobby went through the entire depth of the building fronting Milwaukee, and then extended across the alley to the theater, which sat on the island at the center of the block, with a natatorium next to it. It had small balconies along each side of the auditorium, rather than at the rear, and the stage was trapezoidal due to the shape of the block. This now sleepy block must have been quite different in 1914; it contained 4 theaters, the Schoenhofen (Brewery) Hall, the natatorium, billiard halls, bowling alleys, and about 5 other small halls. It also contained 11 tailor shops for some reason, as well as the Moeller Bros department store. The remains of the lobby may have stood until recently; a condominium was built on the site in 2007

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