Midwest Theatre

3558 S. Archer Avenue,
Chicago, IL

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Midwest Theater 1950's

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This McKinley Park neighborhood house opened in 1925 for the Schoenstadt circuit and sat around 1700. It was located on Archer Avenue near Leavitt Street, not far from another Schoenstadt house, the Archer on 35th Street. It was designed by E.P. Rupert and presented both vaudeville and motion pictures in its early years. The theater also originally contained a Barton organ.

The Midwest closed in 1965 and was demolished shortly after.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Broan
Broan on April 16, 2006 at 12:06 pm

I see a Jan 18, 1925 article describing a theater being built for Schoenstadt at Archer and Damen (close enough) by Hooper and Janusch, called the New Archer. Is that in fact the Midwest?

BenCybulski
BenCybulski on May 24, 2006 at 12:55 pm

Nope! That was the Archer Theater at 2010 W 35th Street-building still there, but a business instead. About a block from Archer-Damen.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on March 13, 2007 at 11:23 pm

If the map is right and i think it is, whare the midwest was is now eather a parking lot or a thrift store.
The map puts it by the CTA train station if this is wright it is as i have sayed it is now eather a parking lot or a thrift store .
The thrift store was an A&P food store this was in the late 70s or early 80s

Broan
Broan on September 4, 2007 at 4:33 pm

I believe my guess from April 2006 is actually correct as the Archer was built well before 1925. Likely the Midwest was originally supposed to replace the Archer for Schoenstadt, which would explain why it would be the New Archer. The plan probably changed when they decided to retain the Archer.

Broan
Broan on September 4, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Also, a March 20, 1936 Tribune article states that the assistant manager, Iving Fehlburg, was murdered by patron Peter Krisoulas in the theater office. Krisoulas feared that Fehlburg would have him arrested for molesting a girl in the theater.

WaltK13
WaltK13 on June 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm

The theater was between Hamilton and Leavitt, on Archer Avenue, the entrance closer to Leavitt. In its last few years they would have these great Halloween events where they ran the original Universal monster movies such as Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman and the Bride of Frankenstein and also have a magician up front on the apron of the stage, in front of the screen. Once the films would start they would give the ushers hairy, creepy, gloves and they would sneak down the aisles and run their hand over your head or arm with the ‘monster’ gloves and the screams would erupt around the theater. I also saw most of the, Hammer Films versions of those mosnter films as first runs at the Midwest. One of the last films I saw there was The Family Jewels with Jerry Lewis, shortly before the theater closed in 1965. It was replaced by an A&P grocery store, which if memory serves survived 5 years tops, maybe less, before it closed down. That building then sat vacant for, I think, a couple of years before the Unique thrift shop moved in.

WaltK13
WaltK13 on June 28, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Let me correct myself, the entrance was closer to Hamilton Avenue, not Leavitt Street.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Thanks guys,good stories.

Bfcybulski
Bfcybulski on April 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

I stand corrected on the May 24, 2006 post – it just took six years to think about it..

Anyone up for an ice cream soda across the street after the show?

rivest266
rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Grand opening ad posted here.

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