Bryn Mawr Theatre

1125 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60660

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Showing 1 - 25 of 52 comments

Mitchoc on February 18, 2018 at 7:47 am

Just added a batch of pics to my blog! :–)

DavidZornig on July 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

I was finally able to get a halfway decent shot of the Bryn Mawr ghost signs on the South & East elevations of the building from the train. The East elevation is more legible, as there is a reflection of the train windows on the other one. I never noticed the one on the East elevation before, but it came out better than my intended one. Photo in the Photo’s section.

DavidZornig on March 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

The Gar Wah was open at least into 1988, as I saw both “Robocop” and “Action Jackson” there. The latter was released February 12, 1988, and it was not first run at the Gar Wah.

DavidZornig on January 7, 2017 at 7:37 am

I caught a ghost sign on the rear of the theatre from the L yesterday, in the afternoon sun. I’ll have to get back up to that area and see if I can access the alley to get a pic.

Broan on October 23, 2016 at 9:37 am

The lobby storefront and theater are currently available for lease.

davidplomin on February 3, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Kellylo, those old props and posters if they are still there, and not chewed up by the rats could be worth a FORTUNE! I hope whoever owns the building doesn’t do something rash and just throws them in the dumpster when/if they ever renovate the theater. Would make a great decor!

kellylo on December 29, 2013 at 9:52 pm

O worked at the Bryn Mawr theater from 1975 until 1980. Mr. Praught was the manager, and the projectionist was named Maurey. It was owned by the Balaban Brothers. The AMAZING thing about this theater was behind the curtain. Back in the day, it was an old vaudeville theater. There were all kinds of old props in the caverns behind the screen. Thousands of old posters rolled up and in little cubbies. We used to go back there all the time. Until we got chased out by a rat the size of my shoe. That pretty much ended our trips back there. There was nothing better in the world…back then…then walking down Brym Mawr in the hot, city summer….and feel the cold air blow on you…just like an invitation to come on in.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on November 10, 2013 at 3:08 am

The Adelphi did not close in the 1980s. It closed around 2002 and got torn down in 2006.

davidplomin on November 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm

It’s too bad they can’t reopen the theater. Outside of the 400 Theater a few miles north, that area of the city is severely under screened. The 80’s lost The Granada, Devon, Adelphi, Howard. That’s a LOT of seats. Bryn Mawr east of Kenmore is looking a lot better than those seedy days of the 80’s. Just push for improvements west all the way to Broadway! It can look like Lincoln Ave north of Fullerton!!

korgsman on July 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Blessedtwoday: I attended Senn High School too; it’s always nice to bump into a fellow “Sennite” online. and I also remember when the price increased from $0.75 to $0.90. I hung around the Bryn Mawr theater in the late 70’s and then again when it reopened as The New Bryn Mawr theater in the early 80’s. Best regards.

Blessedtwoday on July 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm

I went there in 1976 (I was 11)when we first moved to the North Side. I remember when it cost .75 to see a movie! We were neighborhood kids who frequented there a lot. I loved, loved, loved it!! I remember everyone being upset because the price went up to .90!!! I attended Senn High School right down the street and had many dates there. Great memories!

RickB on March 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

I went to the Bryn Mawr a number of times in the late ‘70s. It was essentially just a black box, but it was in decent shape and when the movie costs less than a round trip on the L, who can complain? In those days you could have a lot of fun in Chicago for not much money. From what I read, that has changed for the worse in recent times.

Griffey30 on March 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Warmergrad ;Tim hit it right on the head. Actually the lobby was rather small. No balcony and the sound system was ok . We actually had to go to the alley side of the building and go under neath theater to turn marquee lights on and off until a timer was installed , which gives you an idea of the age of the building.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on February 27, 2013 at 12:45 am

warnergrad; I’ve been there a few times. An okay experience. Nothing really ornate. No balcony. Projection was half-way decent. Mono sound. It sort of looked like the Adelphi Theatre in Rogers Park. It’s now some type of warehouse.

Broan on February 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I was never there, but the sanborn maps indicate no balcony.

warnergrand on February 26, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Griffey – can you give me a better idea of what the theatre was like? Ornate at all? How large was the balcony? Was there lots of plaster molding? Can’t find any photos – really want to know what this place was like!

Griffey30 on February 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I managed the New Bryn Mawr theater in the early 80s.We had a mixture of customers from winthrop sheridan drive.We were always packed on the weekends and never had a problem in the theater.We did have security on the weekends but it was more for crowd control than anything else.I remember when we had E.T. the lines were around the corner to get in. The majority of our money was made from the concession stand and the rest from ticket sales.Our projectionist was making great pay as he was a union projectionist.When the theater was run as the Garwah theater they werent using a union projectionist and they had a fire in the auditorium.Hmm wonder how that happened.The theater,chairs, screen, projector, all had to be replaced or repaired and the theater was reopened under the name The New Bryn Mawr Theater.Those were great days for me and I have life long memories of the clientel, and staff that we had.

bizofjim on September 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I loved going to this theatre in the 60’s

RickB on January 14, 2012 at 7:16 am

A few other streets than run parallel to Bryn Mawr in that general area have suburban Philadelphia-connected names like Ardmore and Rosemont (and Devon, although the Pennsylvanians pronounce it differently). I think even Hollywood was once the name of an estate near the Main Line.

Broan on January 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

“Bryn Mawr Avenue was named in the 1880s by Edgewater developer John Lewis Cochran after Bryn Mawr station on the Main Line north of Philadelphia.[2] Bryn Mawr is Welsh for Big Hill.”

Mike_Blakemore on January 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

Interesting Name… Its Welsh.. Bryn means Hill or mont Mawr means Big or Great… There must have been settlers from Wales…

bizofjim on January 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I have many wonderful memories of the Bryn Mawr from the 1960’s. What a great place to spend a few hours. BTW in Chicago its the L not the EL. Chicago is not New York, thank god for that

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on September 9, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I walked down the alley today. One of the original exit doors was cracked open a little bit. I peaked inside. It looks like the auditorium is being used as a storage space. Perhaps some type of auto repair garage. The door wasn’t open too much but I did hear some noise if as though it was a repair garage. Lots of junk inside. Hopefully, one day, the door will be propped open some more so I can get a better view. There is a church somewhere in the building but definitely not in the auditorium space.

DellCousins on May 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I visited the Bryn Mawr only once, in mid-to-late 1987, to see “Gardens of Stone.”

Pretty classy flick for a grindhouse.

winner55 on February 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Does anyone know if there are any pictures available of the original marquee?