Brighton Theatre

4223 S. Archer Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60632

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January 27, 1957 photo credit Eugene Powers, Vintage Tribune.

Opened as the Brighton Park Theatre in 1919, it was built for the Schoenstadt circuit by the architectural firm of Levy & Klein, whose other Chicago theatres include the North Side’s Granada Theatre and Diversey Theatre (later the Century Theatre). It was named for the neighborhood it was located in and stood on S. Archer Avenue near S. Sacramento Avenue.

The Brighton Park Theatre, which did not have a stage and was built specifically for movies, also contained a 2/6 Kimball organ.

The theatre was known as the Brighton Theatre after the ‘Park’ portion of its name was dropped during the 1950’s.

After a long life as a popular neighborhood house, it closed its doors in 1991, and in September 2003, was torn down.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 83 comments)

Broan
Broan on November 10, 2012 at 11:26 am

Here is a 1956 photo of the Brighton

csigrandma
csigrandma on February 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

Bill Nellis.. I read your posts.. could you please contact me at / I read you grew up in the neigborhood.. and I was to ask you a few questions about that neighborhood in the mid fifties. Thanks

bdown
bdown on February 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm

The last movie I saw here was Remo Williams in 1985. I don’t know if this cultural “shift” happened before then, but I can tell you that the Brighton was a dingy dump.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 10, 2017 at 9:27 pm

January 27, 1957 photo added, photo credit Eugene Powers, Vintage Tribune.

Also the below Flickr link has July 6, 2002 photo of the shuttered Brighton.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/abbyworld/80549182

Mister_Comics
Mister_Comics on July 12, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Brighton Theater is also known for the last place the Grimes sisters were last seen alive before their murder. The movie playing at the time was Love Me Tender, a Elvis Presley movie. This happened in 1956 and the crime was never solved. This horrible event has always stuck with the theater. Today, now that the theater is closed, this event has been long forgotten.

VICGRIGS
VICGRIGS on January 8, 2018 at 11:40 am

“vintage Bob” are you still out there? A friend of ours bought the theatre after it closed in 1991, with plans to restore it, but couldn’t afford the back taxes on it. Our band jammed there the entire summer while we helped trying to restore it. a piece of that theatre that i could share with the other folks would be incredible. let me know if you are still out there:)

johnc114
johnc114 on June 1, 2018 at 6:41 pm

Hi everyone, I can tell you I was an Usher and then assistant Manager. I repaired those great looking leather seats, used to sell tickets collect tickets, janitor the house, change the sign outside in the freezing cold. There from 74-77. Name the names I can tell you. Any questions email me at . Thanks for all the pics …..brings back memories.

VintageBob
VintageBob on June 2, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Vicgrigs, yes, I still have pieces of the Brighton boxed away. Sorry for the late reply. The new posts here got lost in the mix. Let me know how to contact you and I can get a piece out to you.

Johnc114, do you by any chance have any interior pics from the Brighton back then, or other memorabilia? I’d love to see any!

johnc114
johnc114 on June 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm

Mr. VintageBobVintageBob unfortunately I do not, but I had. I can tell you I had of the candy stand, entry exit and box office. The ticket collection stand where one of us would collect and tear the ticket handing half back to the customer. I had a shot of my friend Chuck who was or wished he was a Bruce Lee. He was showing me a move and he ended up putting his elbow through the top of the glass top of the candy counter. Believe me I had a bunch of the entire place but a flood in Hammond Ind in 2006 flooded our by-level. Changing the bulbs on the interior vertical strips of the theater was hell. The ladder was narrow, it was loose and wobbled, you packed your pockets with bulbs and went up hoping you come down the same way….by ladder.

We still had to shovel coal into a hopper which feed the furnace. Then every Monday a man would come and shovel the ashes into a 55 gallon drum and carry it up the stairs.

I could ramble on but hey it was a good place to work at 1.95 an hour. The operators union controlled that. After I grad from HS, I got a raise to 2.11……White Castle here I come. John

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on June 3, 2018 at 1:51 am

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