Boulevard Theatre

1606 W. Garfield Boulevard,
Chicago, IL 60632

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This Gage Park neighborhood theater, built in 1916 for the Schoenstadt circuit, sat just under 1000. Later, a 2/7 Wurlitzer organ was installed.

In 1955, it was closed and was converted into the Boulevard Ballroom. The building has long since been torn down.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Englewood
Englewood on January 26, 2005 at 9:32 am

While the address is correct, placing the Boulevard Theater in the Garfield Park neighborhood is incorrect. It is on Garfield Boulevard but the neighborhood is more likely Gage Park.

According to the Chicago Park District, Garfield Park is located at:
Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago 60624.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on January 26, 2005 at 11:47 am

After the Boulevard at Ashland and Garfield Boulevard closed, it became the Boulevard Ballroom which had dancing. John Keating

Englewood
Englewood on January 26, 2005 at 11:54 am

John,

Hopefully, you’re familiar with that area. I’ve been trying to locate a theater, with no luck, from there . The theater was the Arcadia, located on 55th Street, between California Ave. and Fairfield Ave. CinemaTreasures has nothing on it and I’ve search the Web—nothing. Does it ring a bell?

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on January 26, 2005 at 1:01 pm

I am not familiar with that area on 55th Street. I lived about 10 blocks west on their on Garfield Blvd. which is also 55th Street. I just called a friend of mine who lived in that area. She remembers the Arcadia being there when she moved into the neighborhood in May of 1957. It was on the south side of the street and closed about 1958. She said that it was an old movie theater. She thinks the theater was replaced by a bakery.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on January 26, 2005 at 1:10 pm

Most of the movie houses in the neighborhood were controlled by the Schoenstadt Brothers chain. I thought the Arcadia might be one of therir, but it is not listed. My neighborhood places were the Radio and Halfield and they were Schoenstadt theaters.
John Keating

smroz
smroz on June 11, 2006 at 12:30 pm

You’re making me homesick. I was born and grew up at 1716 Garfield and we often walked to the Boulevard, which was just west of the corner soda shop. I distinctly recall seeing “Monolith Monsters” (‘57) and possibly “Colossus of New York” ('58) there. It may have closed soon after; I remember it re-opening as a ballroom but I never went inside. Our other favorite haunt was the Peoples theater, just west of Ashland on 47th St. It eventually closed and re-opened as an indoor flea market.

Englewood
Englewood on June 12, 2006 at 4:51 am

Arcadia vs. Acadia

In looking over the posts yesterday, I noticed my query about the Arcadia Theater. My error. It should have been the Acadia Theater. Everyone I knew pronounced it as the Arcadia. The Acadia (apparently named after the Canadian province) was located at 5535 W. 55th Street, between California and Fairfield Avenues. Cinema Treasures has a site for it.

Now I know why I couldn’t find it.

Mystery solved (mainly caused by me).

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 9, 2007 at 6:46 pm

On 4/27/55, the Suburbanite Economist was advertising these theaters: Southtown, Avalon, Capitol, Highland, Rhodes, Ogden and Shore. There was also a listing for the Twin Open Air Drive-In at 87th and Cicero. In the same issue, Vic Short mentions the Boulevard in his “Through the Keyhole” column:

NOW IT CAN BE SAID that the recent rumors about the Ogden being converted from a movie theater into a ballroom are quite without foundation. As a Stanley Warner showhouse, it is doing right well… . The Boulevard theater about a mile away is, however, being transformed and should be ready in maybe a month, maybe more, for a gala grand opening as a terpery, but of course I’ll have all the details on that matter in due time… . Stan Kenton has given up his old band and right now is breaking in his all-new ork of 20 pieces… . Remember when Joe Maize and his 4 Cordsmen played Kentucky lounge? They’re clicking this week in a big way at the Palace in New York.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 30, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Here is part of a March 1916 article in the LA Times:

CHICAGO-March 24-Two moving picture theaters were damaged by bombs in Chicago early today. In each case rivalry between two motion-picture operators’ organizations is believed to be the motive for wrecking the theaters, which were the Cosmopolitan at No. 7928 South Halsted St. and the Boulevard, a new building, at No. 1606 Garfield Boulevard.

The bomb at the Boulevard was planted in the rear of the building. It blew the rear wall out and almost totally wrecked the stage. It broke windows for blocks and numbers of persons reported to the police that they had been thrown from their beds. Harry Schoenstadt is the theater manager.

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