North Center Theatre

4031 N. Lincoln Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60618

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North Center Marque

The North Center Theatre was opened February 3, 1926.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

rso1000 on January 10, 2006 at 6:49 pm

Demolition was around 1966 – 67.

Although the theatre had been long closed, just prior to demolition, it was reopened for one day and a final farewell Vaudeville program was presented on a Saturday night. Fortunately my parents took me there to see that show.

While the theatre was dirty, musty and obviously not used for several years, my fond remembrance was finally seeing the towering NORTH CENTER sign lit for my first and last time.

Broan on April 26, 2006 at 6:55 am

The rendering I mentioned in December looks entirely different from what was built.

GrandMogul on February 9, 2007 at 7:53 am

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ad for Wednesday, February 3, 1926, announced that the North Center theatgre, Lincoln & Robey (now Damen) avenue, at Irving Park Road, opened on that date.

kencmcintyre on January 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in May 1941:

CHICAGO-The Essaness Vogue, which has been recently remodeled, had a gala opening Friday. Another Essaness house, the North Center, which has also been remodeled, will have its official opening Thursday.

HughJazz on August 30, 2010 at 11:20 pm

The grocery store at Lincoln & Belle Plaine was called “Red Owl”, and had a red, black and white owl’s cartoon face as its outside logo. On the west side of Lincoln was the “Childrens Bargain Town” toy store.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 10, 2012 at 7:07 am

Open 1925-1963

In 1925 a Kimball Theater Pipe Organ 3/21 Manuals/Rank (Keyboard/Sets of Pipes) was shipped to this theater.

William Wallace Kimball founded the W.W. Kimball and Company in Chicago in 1857. At certain times in the 19th and 20th centuries it was the largest piano and organ manufactuer. Kimball began assembling REED organs in 1877. The factory produced 15,000 organs a year, as the world’s largest organ maker. They produced 403,390 REED organs. The PIPE organ division built 7,326 models. They also went on to make ELECTRONIC/ELECTRIC organs.

From the photos above the console in 2007, was in a residence in Omaha, Nebraska. Anyone know what happened to the pipes?

clarkw on March 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm

The organ itself went to Jim Walgreen and was broken up for parts when he got rid of everything. It was in BAD shape by that point, which is really a shame.

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 6:18 pm

February 3rd, 1926 grand opening ad has been posted here.

DavidZornig on May 6, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Circa 1930’s post card added courtesy of Jared Kachelmeyer.

rivest266 on November 11, 2016 at 12:26 am

April 16th, 1949 grand reopening ad in the photo section.

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