New Apollo Theatre

1536 N. Pulaski Road,
Chicago, IL 60651

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New Apollo Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This Humboldt Park neighborhood theater, which opened in 1913, sat almost 1140.

Closed as a movie theater since the late 1930s, the building today houses a restaurant and banqueting hall.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Jimindreika on January 18, 2003 at 5:52 pm

The Pioneer Lounge & Billiards was never known as the NEW APOLLO Theatre.The building across the street, at 1540 N. Pulaski, was the New Apollo, opened in 1913,and it still has the name scrolled in stone.

Broan on November 27, 2006 at 3:48 pm

The New Apollo must have closed some time before 1946, because a 13-year old boy discovered a skeleton there while playing in the decaying theater in 1946.

GFeret on January 4, 2007 at 10:25 am

While not the NEW APOLLO per se, the PIONEER LOUNGE & BILLIARDS bldg
(as it was once called) directly across Pulaski sure as hell looks like a former movie theatre, from all sides. I used to go bowling there decades ago, so if there was a conversion it would have to go back at least to the ‘40s, or ????? My (strong) feeling is that it (the PL&B bldg) indeed was a theatre, but the NEW APOLLO may have stole its’ thunder fairly early on, not to mention the (former) TIFFIN just around the corner. Anyone else out there have a similar opinion?

Broan on January 5, 2007 at 7:56 pm

The theater was already closed in 1930 when it was leased for 20 years, to be redecorated and acoustically treated for talkies; by 1938 it was closed again when two 14 year old boys tried climbing in through the ventilator shaft, resulting a 14-foot fall, breaking one boy’s arm and the other’s leg. The article was complete with an illustration of how they fell. Also, the 1946 skeleton find was discovered to be a hoax the next day.

Broan on January 5, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Here is a recent photo of the building (eek.)

Broan on January 5, 2007 at 8:33 pm

And in answer to the question, the Pioneer Arcade (as it was known) across the way was built for its purpose in 1923. This, and not the New Apollo, was the building designed by Jens Jensen,. The architect information for the theater listed above is therefore invalid, unless he designed both- I assume this information is an artifact from when the address was previously misidentified. Of course it’s conceivable that Jensen was the architect, but unlikely. The Pioneer Arcade was designed as “one of the most elaborate recreation buildings in the city”, with a 35-table billiard room, 20-lane bowling alley with platforms for 600 spectators, and locker rooms.

GFeret on January 9, 2007 at 11:12 am

Thank you BW (I think).

In the ‘50s the NEW APOLLO bldg was a favorite grocery store of my Mom’s, and remained so until about 1968. I wish I could remember the stores’ name.

Broan on October 7, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Recent photos of this theatre are HERE

DeanHickstein on December 7, 2007 at 1:00 pm

BW, Thanks for teaching me quite a bit of history about my old neighborhood. Is this the building that Jimenez ran his grocery store out of starting in the 70’s?

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