Laugh Factory

3175 North Broadway,
Chicago, IL 60657

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Laugh Factory

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1915 as the 525-seat Lake Shore Theater, in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood, this small neighborhood house was eventually taken over by Balaban and Katz.

By the 1980’s, it had become faded and run-down and was given a facelift when it was taken over in the late-1980’s by the Cineplex-Odeon chain (which also operated the historic Biograph Theatre in Lincoln Park at that time).

It was also renamed the Broadway Cinema, because of its location on the corner of Broadway and Belmont Avenue.

The Broadway Cinema was last operated as a movie theater by the short-lived Meridian chain until its bancruptcy in 2000.

In 2002 the Broadway reopened, under its original name, the Lake Shore Theatre, as a venue for live performances, with an emphasis on comedy acts. Due to high running costs on the ageing building, the Lake Shore Theater was closed on April 10, 2010, but was re-opened in November 2011 as The Laugh Factory.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

GFeret on May 6, 2010 at 1:48 pm

aforementioned Chris Ritter
has migrated manager duties a few short miles northward to
the MORSE Theatre (now the MAYNE STAGE)

just thought you’d like to know

teachermonah on June 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Just wanted to add to your post that after “The Fat Black Pussy Cat” and before “Monsignor Murphy’s” the tavern was called “The Living Room” which was owned and operated by Fred “Sparky” Harvey.

GFeret on August 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

FYI (not a plug)

LAKESHORE THEATRE available for lease by the Kudan Group

CSWalczak on February 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

The theater will be renovated and reopened as the Chicago branch of the Los Angeles Laugh Factory: View link.

Broan on June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Broan on November 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

Broan on February 28, 2012 at 9:43 am The interior’s pretty much gone.

DavidZornig on October 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm

1982 photo added , photo credit of Saul Smaizys.

CrustyB on January 5, 2016 at 9:10 am

The crew of the WWII German U-boat U-505 was shown “Das Boot” in this theater, although many chose not to attend.

Trolleyguy on May 17, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Now known as The Laugh Factory. Website:

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