Windsor Theatre

1225 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60610

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1953 print ad courtesy of David Floodstrand.

The Windsor Theatre was opened September 20, 1886. The theatre suffered two major fires, and was rebuilt in 1914, opening as part of the Lubliner & Trinz circuit on May 9, 1914. It was one of the earliest projects from the architectural firm of Rapp & Rapp. The theatre was later run by the H & E Balaban chain. It was located on N. Clark Street near E. Division Street, in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

The Windsor Theatre was remodeled by the architectural firm Pereira & Pereira in 1936. The Windsor Theatre operated into the late-1950’s, and was razed by 1961.

Today the site is occupied by condominiums and retail.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

radbid on June 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I used to go to the Windsor when I was a kid in the “old neighborhood”. Saw “Imitation of Life” with Lana Turner and the whole audience was sobbing at the end. LOL. Was also there the last day it was open – they had a really bad magician on stage.

anothertoothpick134 on May 30, 2015 at 11:24 am

Movies I saw at the Windsor;

King Kong


The Giant Claw

I lived on Wells street when I was a kid back in the 1950’s

We would walk to the Windsor on Saturday afternoon.

Does anyone have any photo’s of the outside…or the inside?

DavidZornig on May 30, 2015 at 11:37 am

The Chicagology page has one exterior photo. Copy & paste to view.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 30, 2015 at 10:21 pm

An article about the closing and impending demolition of the Windsor Theatre appeared in the May 14, 1961, issue of the Chicago Tribune (Tribune archives.) The original Windsor opened on September 20, 1886, and later suffered two major fires. It was after the second fire that the house was rebuilt and reopened as a movie theater in 1914.

Broan on October 25, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Looks like this would have been one of the earliest Rapp & Rapp theaters with a cantilevered balcony.

DavidZornig on November 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

January 8, 1938 marquee photo in an Adler Sign print ad added, courtesy of Frank Dutton.

Broan on January 17, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Here is a THSA photo of the art deco exterior.

rivest266 on November 14, 2016 at 6:33 pm

September 20th, 1886 and May 9th, 1914 grand opening ads are in the photo section.

Article. There are plans to move the archives to

Found on

Khnemu on March 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm

The theater may have originally been known as the Lincoln, per this announcement in the December 7, 1912 Motography:

“The old Lincoln theater property at 1225-1235 North Clark street has been sold to T.J. Lefens, John B. DeVoney, and Otto Price, who will erect a modern theater building.”

Khnemu on March 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Apparently the theater name was changed from Windsor to Lincoln in 1894, then back to Windsor when the new theater opened in 1914. From the Chicago Tribune of October 24, 1894:


The final touches were put on the handsome new decorations of the Lincoln theater last evening, when a new drop curtain painted by Gates and Morange was revealed for the first time. It will greatly add to the effect of the improvements that recently marked the transition from the Windsor to the Lincoln. It merited the burst of applause which its first exhibition received."

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