Calo Theatre

5404 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60640

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

In the early 90s, the historic Calo, 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 theater, the seating decreased to just 135 in its main auditorium.

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

The Calo was acquired by Brian Posen in 2005, with the intention of converting the theater 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 has was reopened as a resale shop.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 51 comments)

teddy666 on June 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Maybe I missed it somewhere on these postings, but what was ‘Reflections Theater’ when it inhabited the Calo? Was it an adult theater at some point?

gmcalpin on August 13, 2009 at 1:00 pm

This is not exactly a photo, but the Calo Theatre recently made a cameo appearance in my webcomic, Multiplex:

(The next strip, #377, shows a bit of the interior, as well.)

Bing00 on February 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm

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

0123456789 on July 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm

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

TLSLOEWS on March 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Great interior photos posted by supercharger96.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Front looks so small.

mbss on March 10, 2012 at 7:13 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 12:19 am

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

CrustyB on January 9, 2014 at 10:06 am

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:

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