Manor Theatre

5609 W. North Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60639

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MK
MK on April 11, 2014 at 10:56 am

Does anyone have photos of the ballroom when it was Farrara Manor. It was so beautiful and steps down to it from another level with chairs and tables all around to get away from the noise and crowd to talk. Some must have photos from their weddings. We couldn’t afford it, but it was wonderful to go to a wedding there.

greginbur
greginbur on March 16, 2014 at 11:02 am

Parts of the Kimball pipe organ went into Evanston Township High School, now since removed and into the hands of Theatre organ instalations.

RiisPark
RiisPark on March 12, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I remember seeing Dracula as a kid there in the late 1950’s.

I knew the family that operated it as Di Vinci Manor in the 1980’s. They operated it as a banquet and a bingo hall. I also saw some boxing matches there around this time.

Soupy219
Soupy219 on March 23, 2011 at 8:15 am

Here is a shot from a bus site – circa 1967

View link

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on October 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

It was called the Ferrara Manor, because the owners of the Ferrara Pan Candy Company in Forest Park purchased the theater once it closed. The owners of the candy company also had (and still own) a bakery in the old Italian neighborhood in Chicago. The family lived nearby in River Forest and wanted the building as an ancillary venue to their primary businesses. Renting the banquet hall meant you would use Ferrara for your wedding cake and candies as well as other catering needs.

Eventually the decline of the neighborhood around the Manor caused their banquet business to go south.

Robin Roz
Robin Roz on September 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm

My father says this place was once known as the Ferrara-Manor (when it was a banquet hall).

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 18, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I remember driving past this place a lot in the early 80's. I loved that swooped underside to the marquee. There was a deserted50’s suburban feel to that stretch of North Ave.
With giant bridal shops & stores that seemed to never have foot traffic.
Also the Wagon Wheel & Randall’s Ribs restaurants, plus Kiddieland weren’t too far away. I think a CVS or Walgreens also replaced the Wagon Wheel.

The Manor going from weddings to wrestling is interesting.

ice
ice on September 14, 2006 at 5:41 pm

I wrestled there in the early 1990’s with Windy City Wrestling. Headlined in a cage match as the Untouchables – maybe July 1991.

Broan
Broan on June 6, 2006 at 8:08 am

The architects were Hooper & Janusch. Oddly, the original plans included provision for expanding to the west, to add four additional stores and 1500 more seats to the theater for a total of 3100. I’m not really sure how practical elongating a theater would be…

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 4, 2006 at 6:46 pm

I saw it standing as I passed through the neighborhood one day. I think it was in the 90’s. It looked to be closed and in pretty rough shape.

rso1000
rso1000 on January 10, 2006 at 6:20 pm

As a banquet hall it was called the Ferrara Manor and later in the 1970’s it became The DaVinci Manor.

The theatre marquee still operated well into the 70’s.

The front of the marquee facing the street still proclaimed ‘ MANOR ‘ in big block letters and neon lighting.

Where Movie titles once appeared, now they would announce “ Congrats Rob and Laura ” – “ Happy Anniversary Ward and June ” or “ Welcome Weight Watchers Dinner Dance.”

In later years the announcement area (which faced east and west) was covered by canvas material but the flashing directional lights still worked. Eventually the marquee was removed and replaced by Canvas Awnings over the main entrance.

My first visit was in late 60’s attending a cousins wedding and then I returned to perform at least three parties in the 70’s.

The main Auditorium was quite large. When I was there, it was always operated as a full room so I doubt it was ever divided.

If I’m correct, the area under the balcony was raised several steps higher than the area under the dome. That raised area was carpeted while the main floor was tiled. Also I recall raised areas along the north wall (perhaps 6 â€" 10 feet) used for overflow banquet seating.

There was an air conditioning unit located on the south wall that still rested on a slab of the original Theatre slanted floor.

The Balcony was enclosed and used as a separate banquet hall. I recall a lot of Italian lights but never gained access as the glass doors at the top of the stairs were usually locked.

The last time I was in the Manor was in the early 1980’s for a professional wrestling card with Dick the Bruiser and Moose Cholok teaming up against some bad guys. Although the neighborhood had changed dramatically, the auditorium and interior still looked in good shape.

The location is now home to a Walgreen’s

richardg
richardg on December 13, 2003 at 6:02 pm

I never did see the auditorium of the Manor Theatre but did look into the foyer though the glass doors after the conversion to banquet facilties was complete. It looked like the garden of an Italian villa and was a popular spot for Italian wedding receptions. I knew an Italian girl who told me there was a two year waiting list for most bookings.This was in the 1960’s but it remained a popular banquet facility for many years. Years later the marquee (it was a nice one) advertised boxing matches and later still break dancing contests. The neighborhood had deteriorated and so did the Manor’s exterior. I can’t remember the year it was demolished.