Irving Theatre

4003-5 W. Irving Park Road,
Chicago, IL 60641

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Irving Theatre

Opened September 1, 1917, at the corner of W. Irving Park Road and N. Pulaski (then Crawford) Road, near Independence Park, the Irving Theatre survived until around 1970 before closing, and was demolished sometime later.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Here is part of a Tribune article dated 4/13/21. I don’t see that anyone has discussed Race as an AKA for this theater.


One of the northwest side’s large movie properties, the Race Theater building at the southwest corner of Irving Park boulevard and Crawford avenue, was sold yesterday by Charles O. Race of Charles O. Race & Co.

Broan on November 30, 2008 at 6:52 pm

It says “IRVING THEATER PROPERTY”. So obviously the building was named after the owner, and not the theater.

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Pulaski was Crawford, I think. It does say “Race Theater building”. I guess the Irving was in the Race Theater building, which is kind of odd.

DavidZornig on December 1, 2008 at 3:20 am

Just to confirm, Pulaski becomes Crawford Ave. in Lincolnwood, North of Devon Ave. I think Pulaski is 3600 West.
The City of Chicago is who renamed Crawford Ave. after Casimer Pulaski. So it remained Crawford Ave. North of the city.
Irving Park Road or Blvd. is 4000 North.

mikey2 on May 13, 2010 at 3:27 am

I too saw “Night of the living dead” at the Irving, must have been in 68 or 69, gosh I was like 8? Very scary. But I thought the “Exorcist” at the Commodore (early 70’s?) was even more scary.

(I now reside at Stateville CC)

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm

This opened on September 1st, 1917. Grand opening ad here.

TracyRowan on January 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm

The theater was in the Race Hotel, a large, residential hotel that also housed Andie’s Candies and a restaurant. I’m not sure what name is most correct, but it was more known as “Race Hotel” than “Race Theater building” in the neighborhood.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 16, 2014 at 2:09 am

Although the address is a little bit off (I believe Chicago shifted some addresses in the late 1910s-early 1920s) an item in June 17, 1916, issue of The American Contractor could be about the theater that opened as the Irving. It was a three story hotel and theater building for A. Y. Race, at 3946-3956 N. Crawford Avenue. It was 132x175, and was designed by architect Jeremiah J. Cerny. Cerny was also the architect of the Essanay Studios, where Charlie Chaplin’s early movies were filmed, and which is now a designated Chicago landmark.

hbr1 on March 4, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Going Tuesday 3/6/2018 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to see an old Vincent Price movie Last Man on Earth. His daughter will be at the showing. Saw the movie the first time in the spring of 1965 at the Irving Park Theater in Chicago at the cost of 25 cents.

kenny1950 on February 19, 2020 at 3:45 pm

As I can recall, after the theater was sold and demolished, a Mobil gas station was built there. I can remember they had a new style of gas pumps. They were round, like a cylinder.

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