Berwyn Theatre

6404 W. Cermak Road,
Berwyn, IL 60402

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Berwyn TheatreĀ©  Berwyn IL 1987...Don Lewis

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater, built for the Schoenstadt circuit as the Parthenon Theatre in the western Chicago suburb of Berwyn, opened in 1924. It sat over 1,600 and contained a 4/16 Barton organ.

In 1930, it was renamed the Berwyn Theatre, and its management was taken over by Balaban & Katz. The Berwyn Theatre was re-modeled by architect William L. Pereira in 1936.

The Berwyn Theatre continued to operate for another half century. After sitting vacant for several years, the theatre was heavily damaged in a blaze in 1990 and demolished afterwards.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 50 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm

From Berwyn, a close up showing some of the remarkable detail on the since demolished Berwyn Theatre building.

PMitchell
PMitchell on October 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

The Woolwoth’s like store between Ridgeland and Culyer avenues was Neisner’s 5&10 cent store.

joe voypick
joe voypick on December 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

In the 40s and 50s, this was a second round house, that is, movies played in downtown Chicago, (1st run) then to places like the Berwyn and Olympic. Eventually they made the 3rd run shows. To compete,Berwyn, like others,had low prices until 5pm when they were increased..hey…a family of 4 could save a dollar just by going early.

joe voypick
joe voypick on December 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

In the 40s and 50s, this was a second round house, that is, movies played in downtown Chicago, (1st run) then to places like the Berwyn and Olympic. Eventually they made the 3rd run shows. To compete,Berwyn, like others,had low prices until 5pm when they were increased..hey…a family of 4 could save a dollar just by going early.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on June 30, 2013 at 9:06 am

The inside of the entire theatre had been spray painted dusty rose/pink over the other coats of paint. I have some pieces of the plaster and some terra cotta from the theatre when it was being torn down. I remember my uncle taking me to get a haircut at the barbershop on the Ridgeland Avenue side of the theatre. Our family doctor was just across the street from the theatre on the Ridgeland side. Remember when the Douglas Park “L” went right by the North side of the theatre at ground lever in what is now the parking lot?

In 1924 a Barton Theater Pipe Organ 4/16 (manual/rank, keyboards/set of pipes) was shipped 180 miles from the factory in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to the theatre. That was a good size organ! Anyone know what happened to the organ?

RD&TD

Molly51
Molly51 on October 14, 2013 at 7:30 am

Worked at this theatre had a lot of fun. I was 16 my mother got me the job.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 24, 2016 at 4:06 pm

1928 photo as the Parthenon added, credit Chicago Tribune.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 24, 2016 at 6:03 pm

A book called The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Greek Immigrant in Chicago, Illinois, by Alexander Rassogianis, says that the Gregory Brothers theater circuit opened the Parthenon Theatre at Berwyn in 1924. The Gregorys were also in the construction business and built the Parthenon, as well as other houses in their circuit, and houses for other Greek theater operators in the region.

Broan
Broan on April 21, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Architect was E.P. Rupert for R. Levine & Co

JAYJay
JAYJay on September 6, 2017 at 11:09 am

My wife and I went to this Theater many times when living in Berwyn on Scoville mid 1970s. Berwyn was a great town back in those days. We also loved to eat at the Ridgeland restaurant right next door to the Berwyn. X-lent Bohemian cooking for cheap $$………….

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