McVickers Theater

25 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60602

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Showing 1 - 25 of 83 comments

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on January 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm

A 1984 article with some inaccuracies.

DavidZornig on March 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm

The Calumet412 website has a photo claiming to be the 2nd version of the McVickers. No mention of the source or photo credit.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on February 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on November 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

The first McVicker’s opened 155 years ago today.

chicagomike47 on September 10, 2012 at 6:57 am

i remember the MCVICKERS showing mainly ‘reserved seat only’ movies in the late 50’s and early 60’s including THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, WEST SIDE STORY, 55 DAYS AT PEKING ect.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on September 24, 2011 at 2:34 am

Towards the end of this clip, Geoffrey Baer discusses the McVickers Theatre.

JudithK on September 21, 2011 at 12:39 am

My office is just down the street from State and Madison; lots of changes.

JudithK on September 17, 2011 at 1:19 am

Great photo! Lots of the block is gone, but I do remember the McVickers.

DavidZornig on October 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Just in case a Google search doesn’t bring it up properly, the old Chicago Historical Society is now called the Chicago History Museum. And I’m petty sure it uses a Clark St address.

They made the change a number of years ago, I think to in order to qualify for different types of funding or grants.

Down at the Chicago Cultural Center, Tim Samuelson is also a great source for Chicago history.

JudithK on October 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

There was a family named Stevens who owned hotels in Chicago; try this link to a story from Chicago Magazine about them.

View link

Additionally, the Chicago Historical Society may assist you. They are on North Avenue in Chicago.

Good luck.

JoyceShumate1 on October 17, 2010 at 4:53 am

I have an old photo of a man. It is a photo glued on a hard cardboard. The wording under is is Stevens, Chicago, McVickers Theatre. I would like to identify the man. Could you help me locate someone who could help identify him? Thank you for your help,

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on September 20, 2010 at 3:57 am

The last theater will not send you to the Edens, try this:


Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on September 20, 2010 at 2:32 am

Michael Coate has done a great amount of research to find out which CINERAMA films played at which CINERAMA theaters all around the United States and Canada. Here is his list for the McVickers. Thanks Michael

WINDJAMMER (Played previously at the Opera House) December 25,1959, 22 Weeks, 3-Strip CineMiracle


HOW THE WEST WAS WON, February 27, 1963, 37 Weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, November 19, 1963, 33 Weeks, 70mm

CIRCUS WORLD, July 8, 1964, 15 Weeks, 70mm

THE BEST OF CINERAMA, October 21, 1964, 9 Weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, March 10, 1965, 29 Weeks, 70mm

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL, September 28, 1965, 9 Weeks, 70mm

BATTLE OF THE BULGE, December 22, 1965, 14 Weeks, 70mm

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE, March 29, 1966 (World Premiere), 11 Weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA/KinoPanorama

KHARTOUM, June 22, 1966, 11 Weeks, 70mm

KenC on July 28, 2010 at 4:35 am

In the late 60s- early 70s, the McVickers played quite a few films from American-International. On Friday, August 15, 1969, SONNY and CHER were on stage at 8 and 10 P.M. with guest M.C. JIMMY P. STAGG, D.J. at WCFL, to promote the film “CHASTITY”.

TLSLOEWS on May 20, 2010 at 1:13 am

Nice photo and ad Bryan.

JudithK on May 20, 2010 at 12:58 am

I saw “Gone with the Wind” at the McVickers in the mid-1960’s I think – it was the release which converted the film to wide-screen. It had a balcony – my parents and a friend and I were there – and the sound was pretty good. The McVickers was still in pretty good shape at that point and it was the only time I was there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

The Art Institute of Chicago has this item which attributes the third McVickers Theatre to architect Thomas W. Lamb as well as Henry Newhouse.

As the Adler & Sullivan-designed second McVickers Theatre was demolished to make way for the third McVickers, shouldn’t it have its own Cinema Treasures page?

DavidZornig on April 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Funny, that 11/29/08 picture link has a woman’s bunny costume that predates Hefner’s Playboy magazine launched in Chicago by 5 years.

Over on the Montclare Theater CT page, I believe it’s mentioned Hefner thinks he got the idea of the bunny cuffs with no sleeves, from his days as an usher at the Montclare. They wore jackets with fake, cardboard shirt cuffs underneath.

kencmcintyre on March 28, 2009 at 9:46 pm

This is one of the earlier versions of the theater:

DavidZornig on November 30, 2008 at 4:24 am

FYI, Just a further tidbit about Claudia Cassidy, originally posted by BWChicago & SPearce in February of `08.

There is a theatre bearing her name, the Claudia Cassidy Theatre, located in the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 East Washington. It is located next the GAR Rotunda & GAR Hall on the Randolph St. side. I’m sure the history can be easily accessed by visiting

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 3:19 am

The McVickers Theater can be seen in the background of this 1950 photo from Life Magazine:

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm

The attraction posted on the marquee of the McVickers in the old photo posted above by Lost is “The Bostonians”. It was a popular touring company in the 1890s and early 1900s which specialized in operettas and operas.