5700 S. Lake Shore Drive,
Chicago, IL 60637

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Yesterday's Main Street Cinema Nickelodeon

In the Museum of Science and Industry, located on Yesterday’s Main Street is a reconstructed nickelodeon that shows complete silent movies. You can sit there all day and watch old silent movies if you want. They use to charge 5 cents to watch a movie. Now its free with admission to the museum. The theater has been in the museum for as long as the museum been there.

Contributed by Kenneth Kwilinski

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on April 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Kenneth Kwilinski; Do you know if this theatre projects the silent films in 16mm or digital projection? I went to this theatre in 1976 and I’m quite certain it was 16mm back then. I have a feeling it’s digital today. Do you know how silent movies are projected in this little theatre?

Mister_Comics on April 17, 2014 at 6:19 pm

I visited the museum last year and stopped by the Old Time Street to see the Nickelodeon. They were still showing old silent films. A Chaplin one at the time I was there. I didn’t notice a projector. I believe its digital now. Its possible they are looping a string of films onto a projection screen. They also had piano music playing, coming from speakers. No actual real piano playing. I remember back in the 70’s when they used a projector to show 16mm movies on the screen. I think they had a piano player too. That’s about all I remember on this theater. Now there is a working ice-cream stand near the entrance of the Old Time Street. Good ice-cream!

craigmorrisonaia on January 1, 2016 at 6:04 am

Stopped by the nickelodeon when visiting the museum in about 1964. The pianist was Litta Burlingame, who had played in silent-era Chicago theaters. She was full of wonderful stories about the early days.

Mister_Comics on January 6, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Yes I remember the piano player now. Very knowledgable as I remember. Thanks for verifying that craigmorrisonia.

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