Avalon Regal Theater

1645 E. 79th Street,
Chicago, IL 60649

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Showing 1 - 25 of 73 comments

DavidZornig on February 23, 2019 at 9:28 am

Link from August 2017 with photos.


LouRugani on September 10, 2018 at 3:34 pm

(Amber Fisher, Sep. 10, 2018) – Kanye West announced on Sunday, Sept. 9 that he supports the restoration of the Avalon Regal Theater in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, which has since been transformed into a church, then a performing arts venue. “We’re doing Chicago Comedy Jam. We’re going to restore the Regal Theatre,” tweeted West, a South Side native. According to several reports, West was likely referring to the Chi City Comedy Jam, an annual stand-up comedy festival that features black comedians from Chicago. This year’s Chi City Comedy Jam will be held Oct. 5-6 at the Arie Crown Theatre. No further details were forthcoming about when the festival would be held at the Avalon Regal Theater. South Side native and entrepreneur Jerald Gary, 33, bought the theater for $100,000 in 2014, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He’s since been trying to raise money to fix up the building, and sent a message to the Sun-Times saying he acknowledged West’s tweet, according to the report. Gary couldn’t be reached for further comment, the Sun-Times reported.

DavidZornig on June 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Set to reopen October 1st.


DavidZornig on March 14, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Update on the new Avalon Regal Theater.


DavidZornig on February 17, 2016 at 7:17 am

Potential venue for hologram concerts now.


DavidZornig on April 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Article from this morning. Copy and paste to view.


Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on April 1, 2015 at 7:10 am

The new owners of the New Regal/Avalon Theatre in Chicago are trying to reopen the theater as a performing arts center. They’ve launched a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the remaining $100,000 needed to open the theater.

You can contribute to the kickstarter campaign here: Resurrecting the Legendary New Regal Theater

whtesoxfan56 on November 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Anyway, my album of Open House Chicago 2014 pics. Not all pics are up yet(Saturday stuff is except for one pic, as of now the only things I’ve uploaded so far. a lot, lot more to come….), and the Regal Theater pics are towards the end of the album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/prfsnlwannabe/sets/72157647007243464

whtesoxfan56 on November 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I visited this theater on the Saturday of the Open House Chicago weekend, and was the last person to come in to visit that day, plus to leave when they locked it up that day. Dunno if you got lucky BobbyS, but it was a challenge to shoot pics in the auditorium IMO, due to the fact some of the lights that are supposed to illuminate the theater were sadly not on. I couldn’t even get one smart phone shot off on my phone inside the auditorium, and only could get phone shots off in the lobby. Also unfortunately, the balcony wasn’t open either.

But it was a very enjoyable visit, and I hope the new owner is able to reopen this theater at some point, even if not by fall 2015(guy locking the theater up for the day when I left, said that was the goal of the new owner). For myself, it was my first visit here in over 20 years(once did a school field trip here to see something(can’t remember what), back in the early 90s), and I really hope so darn much this theater doesn’t face the same decaying fate as the Palace Theater(another John Eberson theater) in Gary where it becomes nearly impossible to save, 20 miles east.

Scott on October 21, 2014 at 11:36 am

It never occurred to me before but I suppose there are a number of similarities between the Avalon (New Regal) and the Paradise. I’m sure the same could be said about the now-defunct Capitol, also on Chicago’s south side. Since the New Regal is the only remaining Eberson theatre in Chicago it would be very sad if it is torn down at some point. Hopefully they can make it work.

BobbyS on October 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Went to the open house today. A stunning theater. Beautiful! Many people showed up with cameras. Theatre well lit. Marquee not on. I could see how the Paradise was influenced by this theatre. Lobby very similar minus the statues of the Paradise and all the detail of course. But the outer lobby & boxoffice & doors brought back many memories of the movie palace on crawford ave. The parking lot next door was not in use. Locked up with grass growing between the concrete. Parking on the side street only. I wish new owners plenty of luck when it re-opens. Neighborhhod is definetly a challenge.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on October 14, 2014 at 6:32 am

$100,000 isn’t much money for such a big real estate deal. That’s not a positive sign.

And I really don’t understand why so much money was used to build a new Black performing arts center on the site of the old Regal Theater. The timing of the project was horrible, as both performing arts and film presentation aren’t what they used to be, and it created competition for the New Regal after so much money was spent to make it beautiful again. Neither facility has fared well:


I hope there is a good ending to all this. But right now I don’t see it.

DaveM on July 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

The Avalon will be open as part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago on October 18 and 19, 2014: http://www.openhousechicago.org/site/396/

RickB on March 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Sold for $100,000 to a company called Community Capital Investment, whose plans for the theater are unknown. DNAInfo story here.

DaveM on August 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

From David Roeder’s column in today’s Sun-Times:

A buyer has emerged for the landmark New Regal Theater at 1645 E. 79th St. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which has marketed the 2,250-seat auditorium for the eye-catching price of $99,000, said through spokesman Greg Hernandez that U.S. Equities Realty, its broker, has found a potential purchaser and is in the “due diligence” stage to determine if it can close a deal.

Hernandez declined further comment. The FDIC got the property through a bank failure. The last person to operate the theater was Regina Evans, the former Country Club Hills police chief, who booked some shows there but defaulted on her loans. She’s now due to be sentenced in a fraud scheme involving state job-training grants tied to the theater.

JudithK on August 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Would love to visit the New Regal Theatre; an audience is definitely waiting for a resolution on this story.

DaveM on March 23, 2013 at 8:22 am

This has been listed on and off for months. The update reflects that the price has been cut from $500k to $100k(!) Very sad. Property records indicate the seller is the FDIC. I haven’t been in the theater since the late 80s just after its restoration by the Gardner family, but back then it was in spectacular condition. This is a close second to the Loew’s Paradise as my favorite theater.

Dan Matson
Dan Matson on March 22, 2013 at 3:42 am

It’s up for sale Not sure if the listing was updated or first posted yesterday.


RickB on January 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Shots of five endangered Chicago palaces—including this one—and a Roger Ebert essay. Chicago Magazine

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on August 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

The projection booth was empty and not very memorable. I’ll check and see if I have any images of it though.

Scott on August 23, 2012 at 11:07 am

Your photos are excellent. I wish there was a close-up of the projection booth, which I’ve never seen a really good view of.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on August 23, 2012 at 7:21 am

I recently photographed the Avalon/New Regal Theatre check out some photos at After the Final Curtain

rivest266 on June 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm

August 28th, 1927 grand opening is in the photo section.

DaveM on April 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm

From the Sun-Times:


Pano1974 on April 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

I have looked into the theatre, it is beautiful! However there are about a half a dozen major reasons that hold me back. The interior of this theatre is amazing, and it is a work of art.