Village Art Theatre

1548-50 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60610

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Village Art Theatre

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Built as the Germania Theatre in 1916 but changed to the Parkside Theatre after the US entry into the First World War when anti-German sentiment was running high. The theater later went through a couple of other name changes over the years including the Gold Coast Theatre and the Globe Theatre. The theatre is located on Clark Street at Germania Place in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago.

Prior to being divided into four small auditoriums in the early-1990’s, the theater could seat 900. Little remains of the original interior design, but the facade, despite being almost entirely hidden behind an ugly modern marquee, is still intact and features red brick and beige terra-cotta highlights.

Long a popular venue for art, foreign and cult films, the Village Art Theatre was closed in March 2007.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 146 comments)

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on October 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Join the Facebook page!!! Village Theatre-Chicago.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on January 23, 2011 at 1:57 am

95th Anniversary this year for the Village.

Broan on January 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

It is worth noting here that the landmark designation allows the demolition of the auditorium provided that the front facade and the store portion of the building, including rooflines, is restored.
View link

GFeret on October 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

here is a link to activity at this building site by a real estate developer, and reading it it seems to affect the theatre or at the very least its facade:

my fear is given enough time this proposed new condo/high-rise corner development will in fact gobble up the gold coast (village) auditorium itself given the theatres' current dormant if rather sorry state. of course we have other clear examples of new residential (and other) re-development that retains only the original theatre facade for quaint decorative purposes

DavidZornig on October 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I have read in the past that the auditorium and interior of the theatre were already gutted prior to the landmark designation. So it’s only the facade that will be protected at this point. BTW readers will not be able to open the above link as it is posted. This has been an issue ever since CT changed their website design.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on October 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm

David; I “blue”-highlight the link. Copy it. Go to my e-mail. Press “Compose”. Paste link to my e-mail in the area in which I type up a letter. Send pasted link to myself. Click on link.

DavidZornig on October 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Or CT could just go ahead fix this, since it’s been an issue for so long…

GFeret on October 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm

yes, my link above would have to be of the ‘copy-to-clipboard-and-paste’ variety, and this’d be the first i’ve heard there’s no more ‘inside’ to the theatre! such a relief they got landmark status so a real-estate developer could capitoli$e on the theatre facade—all they ever really wanted.

imquirky on November 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I used to work there as a teen in 1966 when it was the Globe Theatre. I worked the box office; my boyfriend was an usher; my girlfriend worked the popcorn counter. The theatre was a little down-at-the-heels, but was the only movie theater around, except for the Playboy Theater on Dearborn.

I was actually told to document how many negro (term used then) customers bought tickets (!), but I secretly rebelled (made up lame excuses) and ignored this because I thought it was prejudiced even then. My boss (owner?) feared the neighborhood was “changing.” It was—-to a more upscale neighborhood, since Sandburg Village was still being completed.

Drove by it October 2013, still closed but still there.

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