Crystal Theater

2701 W. North Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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Crystal Theater 1951

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This large neighborhood theater, seating 1,860, was built originally for the Lynch circuit in 1917. It later was operated by Balaban & Katz.

It was located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on North Avenue between Fairfield Avenue and Washtenaw Avenue. The theater closed in the mid-1960’s and was razed soon after closing.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

GFeret
GFeret on December 19, 2006 at 12:30 pm

The CRYSTAL’d have Saturday a.m. kiddie shows in the early ‘60s, for
which free passes sometimes were distributed around my grammar school (7 FACES OF DR. LAO for example). Unique was that the theatre’s outside movie poster displays were NOT glass-encased (just tacked-up at all times); many budding film poster collections were begun here as a result of this. They gave up the ghost around 1965 and quick demolition without the usual conversion or darkened aftermath (which stunned me a little then).

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 6, 2007 at 9:06 pm

A Barton theater organ was installed in the Crystal Theater in 1920. Note: Dividend manual.

greginbur
greginbur on June 29, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I’m not so sure it was a Barton installed. I own Kimball chests labeled Lynch Th. North Ave. unless there was another lynch theatre on North Ave. I believe a Kimball organ was installed (the chests are for a 8 rank organ)Greg S.

SusanLocke
SusanLocke on September 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I would go to the show almost every Saturday for showtime with my siter and brother and friends. for only a quarter addmission. I lived on Rockwell right of North Ave from thirteen years, attended Von Humboldt Grade School. I watched Disney films and all the Godzilla, Rodan, Attack of the Killer Schrews and many many more. I saw the High and the Mighty with John Wayne….North to Alaska…there with my MOM. We used to attend The Record Hop Dances in the Crystal Ballroom in the same building. You could go early for cartoons and a raffle drawings on Saturday Mornings. Would love to hear from anyone who lived near this classic Theatre. or in the Humboldt Park Neighborhood..write me at or contact Susan Besaw on Face Book..hope to hear from you !!!!

LouRugani
LouRugani on December 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm

The CRYSTAL Theatre opened Thursday, November 8, 1917 on the site of an earlier CRYSTAL Theatre. It was operated by Peter J. Schaefer of Jones, Linick & Schaefer and Fred and Frank Schaefer of the Schaefer Theaters Company, and seated 1,800 on the ground floor. An eight-piece orchestra was employed and the architect was Henry L. Newhouse. The opening attraction was “The Man From Painted Post” with Douglas Fairbanks. Admission was 10 and 15 cents, including the war tax.

richmazurek49
richmazurek49 on November 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

WE HAD A BAR CALLED THE MIDNIGHT SUN AT 1531 N. CALIF AVE, WITH 2 HALLS FOR WEDDINGS. WE WERE THERE FROM 1954-1970. I USED TO GO OUT THE BACK DOOR TO THE ALLEY, LEFT 300 FT AND TURN RIGHT ON NORTH AVE ABOUT 50 FEET TO BE IN FRONT OF THE CRYSTAL THEATRE. FOR 25CENTS, I COULD SEE A DOUBLE FEATURE. I GOT TO SEE FIRST RUNS OF MOVIES SUCH AS….RODAN, DRACULA, HOUSE OF USHER, 13 GHOSTS, BUTTERFIELD 8, FRANKENSTEIN, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON AND HUNDREDS OF OTHERS. I REMEMBER WHEN IT HAD A FIRE AND A DOG DIED INSIDE OVERNIGHT. KNEW THE DOG, FELT SAD. THERE WAS A POPCORN AND MALT SHOP NEXT DOOR WITH A BIG WINDOW TUMBLING HOT CARAMEL CoRN. IF YOU DIDNT EAT IT WITHIN A HOUR IT WOULD HARDEN INTO A BRICK IN THE CARDBOARD BOX. THE OTHER WINDOW HAD FRESH CARAMEL APPLES AND RED CANDY APPLES. GOOD TIMES….RICH

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