Windsor Theatre

1225 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60610

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Khnemu on March 12, 2018 at 12:32 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."

Khnemu on March 12, 2018 at 12:16 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.”

rivest266 on November 14, 2016 at 3:33 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

Broan on January 17, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Here is a THSA photo of the art deco exterior.

DavidZornig on November 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm

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

Broan on October 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 30, 2015 at 7:21 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.

DavidZornig on May 30, 2015 at 8:37 am

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

anothertoothpick134 on May 30, 2015 at 8:24 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?

radbid on June 28, 2014 at 7:48 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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 6:32 am

The principals of Pereira & Pereira, the firm that did the 1936 remodeling of the Windsor Theatre, were William Pereira and Hal Pereira. Percival Pereira was an older architect who was never a member of this firm.

Broan on June 7, 2008 at 12:33 pm

In 1934 a modernization in a chinese theme by Pereira & Pereira was announced but not carried out. In 1936 a more extensive, $70,000 plan by the same firm was used,

“Gay colors and new materials will be features of the exterior. Blue will be the prevailing hue. The interior will be entirely rebuilt, with new seats and a new lounge and restrooms in a space acquired for that purpose. The present boxes will be removed. An enlarged air conditioning system will be installed.”

Broan on December 29, 2007 at 9:10 am

The Windsor featured a balcont and stage.

Broan on April 25, 2006 at 6:55 pm

It was built on the site of a nickelodeon, the Lincoln, that had burned down.

Broan on April 8, 2006 at 7:19 am

According to records at the Chicago Historical Society, this was one of Rapp & Rapp’s earliest projects.

beecbee on April 24, 2004 at 7:47 am

Yep—it was on the east side of he street. Right to the south of it was “The Shooting Gallery” which was equivalent to the videogame rooms of today. I worked in the ticket counter/popcorn concession.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on December 22, 2003 at 7:18 am

Wasn’t the Windsor on the east side of Clark Street? If so there are condos and a Blockbuster store. The Jewel is on the west side of the street.