Drake Theatre

3548 W. Montrose Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60648

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Showing 15 comments

TLSLOEWS on August 9, 2010 at 11:44 am

Wow no comments in almost 3 years.

mp775 on August 14, 2007 at 10:02 am

See BWChicago’s post right above yours. It was the same photo.

sweety95 on July 16, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Hi Mp775 could you please repost the link of the Drake in 1967? I tried the above link but it didnt work.

Broan on April 2, 2007 at 4:09 pm

Here is a photo of the new drake

GrandMogul on March 29, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Chicago Daily News, Tuesday, January 6, 1942, p. 11, c. 4:


Three new theaters have joined the Balaban & Katz chain. All are locatd on the Northwest Side and have been under the B. & K. banner since the first of the year. They are the Portage at 4050 Milwaukee avenue, the Admiral at 3940 Lawrence avenue, and the Drake at 3548 Montrose avenue. All three are now undergoing minor operational transitions and will offer the latest cinema advantages to neighborhood audiences.

brebel on January 31, 2007 at 3:36 am

thanks mp775 for providing the link to a photo of the theater . The gallery is centered around buses but it is loaded with great photos of Chicago neighborhoods and intersections in the late 60’s.

I used to bowl at Drake Bowling alley when I was a kid in the mid 70’s. In the late 70’s The owner of the bowling alley name was Matt and his daughter’s name was Barbara. I don’t think the lot next door was technically the lot for the bowling alley. I know the owned lot was west on Montrose and on the South side of the street. It had a sign that sadi parking for Drake bowl.

I remember the theater building but mostly because of the store fronts. I was never in an area I would recogize as a theater. One of the stores was a beer can collector store. He didn’t have a lot of beer cans, now that I’m older I have no clue how he stayed in business.

I forwarded the link photo to a friend of mine last night, who lived in the neighborhood and worked / lived at the bowling alley. At one time he was in 7 leagues in a week.
He told me that there was a rumour in the neighborhood (in the 70’s)that the buildng’s basement had been sealed off during remolding and that many films remained in the basement.

I don’t understand the post from above about a “radar that picks up on theater buildings” by Life’s too short but it might be possible that there is a small treasure under that parking lot.

Geraldo time to dig out another vault

mp775 on September 4, 2006 at 1:38 pm

You can also see half a sheild at the top of that column, the last remnant of the terra cotta.

Drake Bowl is also gone, having been replaced by a multistory condominium building.

On another note, does anyone know if the building at 3630 West Montrose was a theater or ballroom? Sure looks like it.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 1, 2006 at 1:18 pm

Pretty cool. Wonder what they were using it for at the time?

mp775 on September 1, 2006 at 11:37 am

Here’s a photo of the Drake in 1967, from BusTalk.net: View link

Broan on April 27, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Yeah, looks right to me. Odd that they tore down the lobby section though, in most situations like this they seem to just send the cars straight through it.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 27, 2006 at 1:01 pm

I have a radar that picks up on former theatre buildings, and it was activated by this address about two weeks ago. It looks like the Drake’s retail and apartment block still stand. I think there is one column of the theatre’s front wall remaining on the west wall of the apartment and office block. Useless trivia I suppose…

Broan on April 17, 2006 at 5:14 am

When originally announced, it was said to have a 2,200 seating capacity with a mezzanine and balcony. Seating figures usually weren’t that inflated; was the balcony plan scrapped? It also was said to have a working stage.

Broan on April 17, 2006 at 5:12 am

Architect was E.P. Rupert.

TRAINPHOTOS on August 15, 2005 at 3:06 pm

Correction to the above. My Dad said that another theatre had this feature. One entered the Drake facing the screen, as in most theatres. However, the Drake was in an “L” pattern with the foyer fronting Montrose Avenue and the auditorium was behind the bowling alley. This accounts for the unusual gap between the bowling alley and the city’s alley.

TRAINPHOTOS on May 28, 2005 at 10:25 pm

My Dad worked here as an usher. He said that this theater was unusual because when one entered the auditorium, one was actually facing the audience.