Berwyn Theatre

6404 W. Cermak Road,
Berwyn, IL 60402

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Showing 1 - 25 of 46 comments

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.

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?


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.

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.

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 9, 2010 at 4:13 am

Douglas Deuchler’s book Berwyn has a larger black-and-white version of the picture of the Parthenon Theatre at the top of this page, and identifies it as a 1924 postcard. That’s probably correct.

Another Arcadia Publishing Company book, Czechs of Chicagoland by Malynne Sternstein, identifies another view of the Parthenon as one of a series of photos depicting Czech communities around Chicago published by photographer by E.F. Macha in 1925.

The architectural style of the building would have been retardataire for the late 1920s. I’d guess that the Parthenon opened in the early twenties, or maybe even the later 1910s.

carlino49 on November 10, 2010 at 10:20 am

I remember going to the Berwyn Theater many times as a young boy in the late 50’s and early 60’s. As I recall, kids could get in for 25 cents in those days. You actually got to see a double feature with cartoons! How about that!

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm

From the early 1920s a picture postcard view of the Parthenon Theatre before it became the Berwyn in Berwin IL.

0123456789 on July 10, 2010 at 11:54 am

That theatre is intereating. Reminds me sort of the Ra,mova Theatre. In Bridgeport.

zdenek on September 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Roxy Theatre, Berwyn, Illinois
Once upon a time located on Grove Avenue at 32nd Street next to Beranek Pontiac.
Visited there many times in the fifties.
Does anyobody have pictures?

blkttop82 on May 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I guess they won’t let me download pictures at this time. Any interested drop me a line.

blkttop82 on May 10, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I grew up in Berwyn, lived there from 1976-1995. My mom & grandma took me there when I was a boy to see Star Wars. I can remember your feet sticking to the carpet which was red.
In 1990 when they were tearing it down, my little brother & I snuck in and took several pictures. I was going through a stack of old & found them.

zdenek on April 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm


zdenek on April 16, 2008 at 11:45 am

reply to Michael Kuecker :
The mayor’s idea to turn the bulding into a mini-mall – a cluster of retail stores in order to save Cermak Road as a retail center – was dead on arrival. The city had no money to do it and there were no business establishments willing to put money into it.(They all had gone already into the Riverside Mall)
And the cinema? Well, once there were cinemas in the Harlem/Cermak Plaza with all the free parking the Berwyn cinema was doomed also. So the LaSalle Bank seemed like a feasable ventureat the time.

MKuecker on April 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm

RE THE CORRECTION: You’re right. That was Park’s Pharmacy – another beautiful terra-cotta treasure the victim of the Cermak Corner Firebug. :( Hosek’s was closer to Lombard I think.

MKuecker on April 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm

My mum seems to think it was called Carmel Corn or something. It was a little black & white design sign, but she remembers it well. :) She thinks it may have been a chain of stores. Ah the fire that destroyed ONLY the apartments above the theatre and a few of the shops below. All the same prevented it from being declared a landmark. The then mayor gave into the almighty greenback of ABN AMRO now known as LaSalle Bank. :( The theatre itself suffered no more than minor smoke damage. Nothing a fresh coat of Highland Rose colour paint couldn’t have cared for.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on April 13, 2008 at 6:55 pm

My November 1987 image of the stately Berwyn Theater with the top half of the “B” not cut off of the vertical sign as in my original posting.

zdenek on February 19, 2008 at 7:08 am

The caramel popcorn shop near the Berwyn theatre? That one goes back many many years ago, much farther back than the fire that destroyed the theater. It was sometime in the early sixties, if I recall correctly, it was forced to close simply by the law of competition – the theater opened its own caramel popcorn stand in its vestibul that became frequented by people passing by. And that put the old shop out of business.
By the way, the owner of the popcorn shop was an old Greek who died and it may also have been the reason for the shop’s closing.

JoanieLou on February 18, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Does anyone remember the little shop near the Berwyn where they made that wonderful caramel popcorn? It was almost impossible to walk past the place without turning in the door — you could smell it from 100 feet away and it was heavenly. My dad used to take me to Saturday matinees at the Berwyn, wonderful memories.

uptownjen on February 12, 2008 at 7:08 pm

the lettering and color combo on the berwyn marquee in later shots looks just like remaining lettering on the uptown theatre in chicago. perhaps the balaban and katz connection?

zdenek on November 21, 2007 at 12:45 pm

CORRECTION: The pharmacy at the south/east corner of Ridgeland and Cermak was PARKS Pharmacy. His former employees, husband and wife, MR and Mrs Subka split away in the early 60’s and opened a pharmacy of their own across the street, at the north/east corner.

MKuecker on November 15, 2007 at 10:07 pm

CORRECTION: That was HOSEK Pharmacy. Nosek Pharmacy was on the corner of Austin and Cermak in Cicero. it’s an Hispanic Medical Centre now. I used to live in the flats above the Central Federal S&L :) It’s funny because when I moved into my current flat, the refrigerator was so old there was a 1967 Calendar in the back of it from HOSEK Pharmacy. LOL – But the Neumode Hosiery and the Singer Sewing Centre is correct. A 1957 Ad for Singer Sewing machine said: Put $12 down, and make time payment for as little as $1.27 a week.
WOW! Times have changed. :)