North Center Theatre

4031 N. Lincoln Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60618

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Essaness Theaters Corp.

Architects: Walter W. Ahlschlager

Styles: Adam, Spanish Renaissance

Nearby Theaters

North Center Marque

The North Center Theatre was opened February 3, 1926 with Matt Moore in “The First Year” plus variety acts on the stage. It was equipped with a Kimball 3 manual 21 ranks theatre pipe organ which was opened by organist Arthur Qurow. It was closed in 1963.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on February 9, 2007 at 3:53 pm

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
kencmcintyre on January 13, 2009 at 2:47 am

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
HughJazz on August 31, 2010 at 7:20 am

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 3:07 pm

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
clarkw on March 28, 2012 at 6:20 am

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
rivest266 on June 26, 2012 at 2:18 am

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

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 7, 2015 at 2:52 am

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

rivest266
rivest266 on November 11, 2016 at 8:26 am

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

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 26, 2021 at 2:01 am

1936 postcard with North Center vertical sign on the left. Enlargeable within link.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/30885260@N06/6363961187?fbclid=IwAR0BF_HyEZP7XVCzdCUQB33uAH-8Gxj0kGWEav5roUVqsiVlMdNdWfTV-MI

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2021 at 12:37 am

An item about the Walter Alschlager’s plans for this house in the November 1, 1924 issue of Moving Picture World said that the building would have an Adamesque fa├žade and the auditorium would be decorated in the Spanish Renaissance style.

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