Irving Theatre

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

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hbr1 on March 4, 2018 at 11:30 am

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm

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.

TracyRowan on January 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

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.

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

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

mikey2 on May 12, 2010 at 7:27 pm

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)

DavidZornig on November 30, 2008 at 7:20 pm

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.

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 10:55 am

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.

Broan on November 30, 2008 at 10:52 am

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

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 10:50 am

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.

DavidZornig on November 18, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Next door to the North on Pulaski is a small green & black, art deco apartment building. As I remember it has a pointy almost crown like overhang above it’s entrance.
A friend of mine lived there around 1989. It still had the original built-in drop down Murphy beds & ironing boards.
Cool place. A surviving Irving Theatre would have been cooler though.

jackhicko on February 19, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Here’s a recent photo!
View link
It was zero degrees… no wonder I left.

GrandMogul on February 1, 2007 at 8:34 am

Ad in the Chicago Tribune for Saturday, September 1, 1917, announces the new Irving, Irving Park Boulevard at Crawford—Opens Tonite—with first exclusive showing in Chicago of Mary Miles Minter, “Charity Castle” Irving—-the new theater of comfort and luxury, presenting the utmost in photoplays with proper musical accompaniment, etc.

Broan on May 22, 2006 at 5:49 am

The Irving was always the Irving. The Irving Park was a nickelodeon at 4835 W Irving Park Road, at Six Corners.

rkm3612 on May 1, 2005 at 2:59 am

I remember going to see ‘Trog’ there on a Saturday matinee. The movie is Joan Crawford’s sad ending to her career in 1970. The theater quietly disappeared and a Mobil replaced the entire corner right off of the Kennedy Expressway. I don’t remember much of the facade except seeing the ‘IRVING’ sign from far away on the Irving bus. Across Irving Park Blvd. was the famous Buffalo’s Ice Cream, also gone.

jackhicko on February 18, 2005 at 3:32 am

I flew back there last month for the first time in 35 years. This was one of the first places I went…to see the ghost of the Irving and the ghost of the Buffalo. I took a picture of the Mobil station as it is now. If anyone cares, I’ll send you a copy of it.

jackhicko on February 18, 2005 at 3:28 am

I went there many times, but I only remember “Night of the Living Dead”, which cost me a quarter. Adults were 90 cents at that time.

Kenny4504 on February 6, 2005 at 12:40 pm

he Irving was torn down and replaced by a Mobile gas station around 1970.

rlgoldst on December 24, 2004 at 8:16 pm

My friends and I went to Saturday matinees at the Irving at least twice a month. Admission was a quarter, ice cream bars a dime. One Saturday we were disappointed that “Hunchback of Notre Dame” with Charles Laughton wasn’t a football story. … I thought the Irving was torn down when the Expressway was built in the late ‘50s.

bnykaza1 on May 26, 2004 at 5:36 pm

I remember seeing “Night of the Living Dead” when it first came out at the Irving – Im guessing around 1968?

richardg on March 15, 2004 at 4:36 pm

The Irving showed movies into the late 50’s and maybe even the early 60’s. It stood empty for a few years and I’m almost positive was not torn down until the mid 1960’s. It’s exterior was either a very light brick or a white terra cotta. It had a nice marquee and an impressive vertical which only spelled “Irving”. My first unofficial date was spent at a Saturday matinee in the Irving in 1958. I believe it was the only time I was in the theatre.

richardg on December 11, 2003 at 6:36 pm

It did have a balcony but I don’t remember much else about it.