Coronet Theatre

817 Chicago Avenue,
Evanston, IL 60202

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The New Main Theater, circa 1928

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened in 1915 as the Triangle Theatre, it was re-named Park Theatre in the 1920’s and the New Main Theatre in 1928. The theater became part of the Balaban & Katz chain in 1936 and was remodeled by the firm of Pereira & Pereira. It was renamed the Coronet Theatre in 1938. The Coronet Theatre was one of the smaller of Evanston’s movie theaters, which included, among others, the Varsity, the Valencia, and the Stadium (later renamed the Evanston).

This Art Deco style movie house sat just over 800, and remained a first-run theater for decades, before it began to decline in the 1970’s, due to the abundance of larger multiplexes opening up in neighboring Chicago and nearby suburbs.

It closed as a movie theatre in 1984 and was later used on and off as a concert venue, but was closed in the late-1990’s, and demolished in 2000.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

DavidZornig on August 29, 2008 at 8:25 am

I remember seeing “Carrie” at The Coronet. My friend who’d already seen it, grabbed my arm at film’s end(SpoilerAlert), when Amy Irving has a dream sequence. I nearly lept into the 80's. I also saw "Rocky" there as I recall. When it tried to become a concert venue in the90’s, I remember reading that the proprietors met nothing but community resistance. Particulary from the then Alderman, possibly not even from that ward.
It involved the sale of liquor. And a dispute about patrons being allowed to only drink in the lobby, and not carry the drinks into the auditorium. A technicality apparently in the proposed license process.
I think even spotters were snuck in to catch any possible “wrongdoing” in the act.
A mindset that was probably part of why Evanston was dry until 1975. Though the Coronet’s previous porno incarnation couldn’t have helped.

In the building known as The Main next door was Amazing Grace. Another venue that featured folk music, etc. Along with a barber shop, restaurant called the Main, and some other shops. I drove by there last week. The entire corner is gone. Aross on the S/W corner is the famous Main Street New Stand. The original neon sign adorning a newer structure.

GeorgeStrum on August 30, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Doris Day grew up here. She may have attended this theatre as a child.

DavidZornig on August 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Greetings. Different Evanston. Doris Day was born in Evanston, Ohio. Near Cincinatti. The Coronet was in Evanston Illinois.

DavidZornig on April 12, 2009 at 3:42 am

Reactivate notification status.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm

All new seats, but the marquee leaves something to be desired. 1982:

View link

kencmcintyre on April 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm

They almost spelled it right.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 2:28 am

The principals of Pereira & Pereira, the firm that did the 1936 remodeling of this theater, were William Pereira and Hal Pereira. Percival Pereira was an older architect who was never a member of this firm.

DavidZornig on November 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Correction to the circa 1928 photo I just posted. Photo credit should got to Barney Neuberger via Scott Greig.

Broan on August 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Here is a brief view of the Coronet in a Drivers Ed video, as found by David Zornig

dvarapala on June 13, 2014 at 4:20 pm

A glimpse of the Coronet is visible in the background of this painting by Walter Burt Adams.

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