Calo Theatre

5404 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Circa 1916 photo of the Calo Theatre.

Opened November 20, 1915 for the Ascher Brothers circuit, the Calo Thetare, which originally seated 880, is located in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on Clark Street near Balmoral Avenue.

In the early-1990’s, the historic Calo Theatre, with its elaborate white terra-cotta facade, became the home of the Griffin Theatre Company, which put almost $100,000 into renovating and restoring the former movie house into a legitimate theatre, the seating decreased to just 135 in its main auditorium.

In the summer of 2004, the Griffin Theatre Company left the Calo Theatre due to rising upkeep and renovation costs, in search of a new home elsewhere in the city.

The Calo Theatre was acquired by Brian Posen in 2005, with the intention of converting the theatre into a three-auditorium venue for local theatre groups to rent, much like Lakeview’s Theatre Building, however, those plans never came to fruition. Instead, the Calo Theatre was reopened as a resale shop.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 53 comments)

Bing00 on February 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm

So, WHY don’t they refurbish all those lights???

0123456789 on July 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

They should do something about that plaster so that no on e gets hurt.

TLSLOEWS on March 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Great interior photos posted by supercharger96.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Front looks so small.

mbss on March 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Teddy’s comment above is almost correct. Reflections Theater, founded by Michael Ryczek, was in the Calo for several years (80s/90s). I was on the advisory board, did the graphics for the programs and marketing, ran a children’s theater program there for a time, and ran lighting too—as well as anything else that no one else had time to do. We were a happy group, but not terribly business-minded sadly. The theatre’s triumph was probably a fine production of Lanford Wilson’s Talley Trilogy.

Broan on July 13, 2012 at 2:19 am

Here is a nice photo of the Calo as a bowling alley.

CrustyB on January 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm

The Calo was where cop-killer Gus Amadeo was watching his last movie before being ambushed & killed by Det. Frank Pape back in the 50s. You can read about it here:

Broan on October 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Opened November 20, 1915

DavidZornig on December 7, 2015 at 7:40 am

Recent Edgeville Buzz article about the Calo Theatre. Mentions building designer George H. Borst again, who coincidentally was also involved in building The Elms hotel on Elm near State Parkway. Which housed many of the stage crews for the downtown live theaters in the 70's &80’s. The crews were always late night regulars when in town, at my late friend’s nearby tavern, the Hotsie Totsie Yacht Club & Bait Shop on Division. I got too meet many stars back then as a result. Yul Brynner, Sammy Davis Jr. etc. As the crew would sneak them in late at night.

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