Laugh Factory

3175 N. Broadway,
Chicago, IL 60657

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

Mister_Comics on October 7, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Newspaper ad from Oct. 6, 1979 Chicago Sun-Times showing when the Lake Shore Theater was to re-open on Oct. 12, 1979. (see Photos section) Ad says “We are installing new seats”.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman on December 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Add to my last comment. The Lake Shore had a full marquee, full width & out to the curb. I assume that it is still the same one that is covered up.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman on December 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm

I lived & grew up, in this neighborhood (Belmont & Broadway) from 1945 to 1970. Attended Nettlehorst grade school. I saw many movies at the Lake Shore throughout that time period. Although small, it was a very neat, well kept theater, but without the ginger-bread, exterior had an exterior art-deco motif back then. Curved smoothed metal siding, colors were yellow & red. The front had a small independent 1-person ticket booth, now removed. A small door in the rear of the booth provided access and to the front theater doors behind. People could walk all the way around the booth, although narrow about 3-foot wide passage. Movie posters along the sides. Originally had greater seating, but I understand some seats were removed so as to enlarge the stage. The street had plenty of small shops. On the SE corner was a Wallgreens, later it became Rickeys Restaurant in the late 50s. Evergreen market started small and grew to encompass the NE corner, absorbing Duke The Florist. The area was rich in movie theaters, within walking distance to us kids in the 6 to 14 year range or so. They were the Essex (Sheridan & Pinegrove), Vogue (Broadway & Grace), Mode & Sheridan (Sheridan & Irving), Buckingham (Clark & Buckingham), Julian (Belmont & Wilton), Vic (Sheffield & Belmont), Century & Parkway (Diversey & Clark), Covent (Clark & Drummond). The Julian would not allow access if we were armed cap guns. We also took streetcars or our bikes to other theaters, Belmont, Biograph, Uptown, Rivera, Panthalon, Lakeside & many others. This neighborhood was very cosmopolitan. East of Broadway heavily Jewish & Catholic. West was mostly Catholic & Protestant. Sheffield & Clark was a Swedish (aprox 10%) neighborhood that extended all around, knew may kids with a Swedish last name, Larson, Swanson, Nelson etc. Many Swedish eateries. Winter time, all of us used the indoor swimming pool in the Swedish community center on Wilton just north of Belmont. They were very nice to all of the neighborhood kids. During that era, I attended, as a guest, most of the worship places, Catholic, Jewish & Protestant in the area.

rivest266 on November 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm

April 1st, 1988 grand opening ad as Broadway Cinema in the photo section.

Trolleyguy on May 17, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Now known as The Laugh Factory. Website:

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.

DavidZornig on October 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm

1982 photo added , photo credit of Saul Smaizys.

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

Broan on November 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

Broan on June 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

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.

GFeret on August 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

FYI (not a plug)

LAKESHORE THEATRE available for lease by the Kudan Group

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 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

Broan on April 6, 2010 at 11:34 am

View link More on the closing

GFeret on April 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Yeah we just heard that from (co) owner Chris Ritter, “the money isn’t there”.

BOOO says my friend Claire, who’d wanted to catch “The Best Church Of God” show there and is now limited to this coming (Easter) wknd before they lock the doors for good, and is doubtful about making.

CSWalczak on April 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

The Lakeshore will be closed permanently, at least as far as its present use is concerned, on April 10, 2010. Story here: View link

CinemarkFan on May 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Looks like I may make a trip soon.

GFeret on May 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Movies! return to the LakeShore, move over live theatre venue.

I just noticed Monsters Vs. Aliens (which I already saw) advertised playing here now, matinee & evening showtimes. I wonder what their pricing policy is, to take over the shuttered 3-Penny?

The last title I remember seeing here was Dead Zone w/ C. Walken, to give you an idea.

DavidZornig on April 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Interesting. I didn’t think that the marquee overhang had been added after 1982. Ricky’s restaurant is just to the left with the broiled foods signage above their window.
I think there was a tavern called Reflections just a few doors South of that art studio awning. Reckless Records is just South of that. I think there is also an old bi-level parking garage building in the next building South. Possibly with some white terra cotta details.

DavidZornig on September 6, 2008 at 9:04 pm

We saw a few things at the Lakeshore. Animated stuff like “Wizards” by Ralph Bashki, possibly along with “Fritz The Cat”. This would have been 1977 or so.
Next door was a long time 24 hour restaurant called Rickeys. Where the Chipotle is now. Chock full of neighborhood characters just like down on Rush St. This area was then called Newtown. Across from Rickeys & The Lakeshore Theatre on the S/W corner of Belmont & Broadway, was a Golden Nugget Pancake House. Where the KFC was in the `80’s, maybe now a bank. Not sure.

There was also an oddly placed mini-McDonald’s next to that, recessed into the building just South of Golden Nugget. On the N/E corner where the Walgreen’s is now, was of course Evergreen Foods. There was also a Dominicks on Broadway that burned about 3 years ago.,whose lot was next to Friar Tucks. Which has been there as far back as I can remember.
Across from that was a bar called The Fat Black Pussy Cat, where Monsignor Murphys is now. It had a small outdoor porch you could drink on overlooking Broadway. In 1977, B'way was cruise city for cars. It was routinely bumper to bumper on Friday & Saturday nights.
Most congested from Diversey to Belmont.
Broadway like Rush St. was full of eclectic stores that stayed open late most of the time.
As I recall, the Annoyance Theatre’s first home may have also been on Broadway right on the alley, across from where Briar starts Westbound.
I think that was where “The Real Live Brady Bunch” play was at. Either next door to Pleasure Chest or very close.

Broan on October 7, 2007 at 12:14 am

Architects were Grossman and Proskauer.

Broan on August 22, 2007 at 5:31 pm

The Lakeshore has recently changed their marquee to a funky red-and black

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 16, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Brian: Judging by the way the Biograph looked under Cineplex, I’d say there is a good chance the paint you see in the Lakeshore’s auditorium now was applied by them. I remember looking into the lobby once during the Cineplex years, and it contained the usual subdued color scheme. When I visited the theatre a couple years ago it seemed to me that the lobby was more lively than my old-time memory led me to expect.