Village Art Theatre

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

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Showing 1 - 25 of 164 comments

DavidZornig on January 20, 2018 at 5:43 pm

OK I’ve added some photos from today with the marquee removed. It exposed some original recessed lighting over the entryway, as well as vertical and square lighting previously hidden by the marquee. 10 vertical fixtures per side, and 14 fixtures per side in a square pattern, that had been encapsulated by the framing for the newer marquee.

DavidZornig on January 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm

The marquee was removed sometime this week. I’ll get photos tomorrow.

DavidZornig on December 27, 2017 at 8:11 am

The building received landmark status in 2009. A 2008 link is above in the comments. I have not heard of any plans for it’s return to an active theatre. The sales office on Well Street for the project is not open yet, but the website is finally up. The only recent changes were the cutting down of the trees in the parkway behind it and replacing them with utility poles. Also construction fencing and cement barricades on the Clark Street side. The No Parking signs are dated until February. I’ve asked the nearby commercial tenants and all they’ve heard is that electrical work will be first. Here is the website, though it has a VIP sign up and not much info yet.

HelloMyNamesJen on December 27, 2017 at 7:48 am

@Furiouslion76 – how interesting! Echoing request for article, I’d love to read more.

Trolleyguy on November 29, 2017 at 6:56 am

Furiouslion, that’s very good news. Do you have a link to an article or story for attribution?

Furiouslion76 on November 28, 2017 at 10:04 pm

It’s been spared. The entire building. And it will be given landmark status. Its original single screen will be restored, as well as its reputation for showcasing independent, foreign and cult films. Of course it will get an extensive renovation upon reopening.

DavidZornig on November 24, 2017 at 9:08 am

I added artist’s rendering images of the re-purposed facade, from the sales office window now on Wells Street. Also some photos of the rear of the theatre, coal chute and exits. As this area may not be accessible soon. Trees in a parkway behind it have been cut down, and blue construction fencing has now gone up in front of the theatre as of earlier this week. I’ll get pics of that soon.

DavidZornig on May 12, 2017 at 5:29 am

The current Skyline newspaper has an article titled “Stalled Old Town condo project moving forward with a new developer”. The online version requires a subscription.

thecheckeredman on March 14, 2017 at 10:36 am

I would love to see this theatre renovated and turned into something akin to the New Beverly in LA…

DavidZornig on March 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Added 6 pics I took yesterday.

Broan on February 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

On 8/4/16 Variety reported that the Germania had opened July 29, 1916, calling the house “one of the prettiest in Chicago”.

On 9/21/17 the Chicago Tribune reported that Lubliner & Trinz were negotiating to lease the theater, this must have fallen through.

It was renamed by May, 1918 due to WWI anti-German sentiment.

DavidZornig on January 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Here is the 2008 preliminary landmark designation archive. It describes the property and lists various additional history that may or may not have been in previous dead links. I happened across it looking up something else.

DavidZornig on January 23, 2017 at 9:13 am

I suspect the development that was to be built incorporating the Village Theatre facade either fell through or has been put on hold. The banners said Spring 2017, and one of them has blown over the top of the old marquee. Nothing has taken place except the vacancies on the North Avenue side. Elly’s Restaurant is still open.

rivest266 on November 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm

First small ad as Gold Coast from January 14th, 1934 in the photo section. Also checked the Tribune from 1916.06.24 and found nothing on Page 15.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on June 23, 2016 at 6:55 am

Somebody wrote to me and told me that the Germania Theatre might have opened on June 24, 1916; although he said that is unconfirmed. Does anyone out there know an exact date of the Germania’s opening? I can’t find any ads in the June 24, 1916 Tribune.

imquirky on October 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Thanks DavidZornig for the updates. Glad they decided not to tear down the theatre!

DavidZornig on October 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Here’s a 10/06/15 article about the project.

Broan on October 9, 2015 at 6:50 pm

The parapet restoration looks well-done.

DavidZornig on October 9, 2015 at 6:29 pm

I added my 10/08/15 photo of the marquee wrapped in the upcoming development’s advertisement.

atlantalex on April 11, 2015 at 1:00 pm

The Village Theater may be haunted! Supposedly the last marquee posting occurred in 2007 when it closed, but early Friday morning after the stormy night ‘Bed Of Fear’ appeared above the boarded up doors. Later in the afternoon, the entire south side of the main marquee blew out flying past unsuspecting passersby before landing just short of W. Germania Place. Check it out if you’re in the area.

RickB on December 24, 2014 at 10:28 am

The Village in 1978: an artistic and financial success, according to Gene Siskel.

CrustyB on August 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm

I hope they preserve it soon. I was just by there and the entire building is slanting noticeably to the right.

Broan on April 21, 2014 at 7:50 am

9/5/2013 9/6/2013 2013-1504 1548 N. Clark 100486552 Village Theater 42

Exterior: Remove and rebuilt 76 linear feet of 3' high parapet along Clark Street façade per Historic Preservation stamped plans dated 9/6/13.

Salvageable masonry to be retained and reinstalled. Any required new masonry to match historic size, color, texture and appearance. Masonry to be cataloged and evaluated per submitted plans. Historic Preservation staff to be notified to view and approve terra cotta samples prior to order and installation. No other work permitted with this approval.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on April 21, 2014 at 7:44 am

Does anyone know why the terra cotta is being removed from the Village Theatre? I just uploaded a photo that I took yesterday (Sunday, April 20, 2014) to the photos section.

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.