319 S. Clark Street,
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Architects: Charles Kirchoff, Thomas Rose
Firms: Kirchoff & Rose
Styles: Beaux-Arts, Neo-Classical
The Princess Theatre was designed by the Milwaukee-based firm of Kirchoff & Rose (who would later design the famed Palace Theatre in New York City), and opened in 1906 on S. Clark Street.
The Beaux-Arts style facade was elegantly Neo-Classical, faced in brilliant white terra cotta with a red Spanish tile roof. Four two-story Corinthian-style columns supported a pediment. The theatre could originally seat 900.
The Princess Theatre was one of the premier legitimate houses in Chicago when it opened, and for its first decade or so continued on as a legitimate theatre, before turning to vaudeville and movies. By the end of the 1920’s, it was solely a movie theatre, and remained so until closing in 1937.
This gem of early-20th century theatre architecture in Chicago was, sadly, razed in 1941 to make way for a parking lot. Since 1991, the Metcalfe Federal Building has stood on this site.
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A pair of postcard views of the princess
Another old postcard:
sorry, corrected link:
HOUDINI last shows in Chicago. Play March 8 until May 1st 1926.
Their was a show on PBS (the history det) talking a bout the Houdini Show. Was this the last of the shows that he played in Chicago?
Here is another postcard view
The Princess was razed in July 1941, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago Loses Another Theater
July 16-From Chicago comes word that any day now wreckers will start razing the Princess Theatre, on South Clark Street.
Here is an interior view
A group waiting to see Houdini
Page 122 of the book HOUDINI ON MAGIC has a photograph of the exterior with Houdini’s advertising.