Imperial Theatre

2329 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60612

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2300 block of West Madison Street 1968

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Imperial, in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood, opened around 1910, and may have been originally built for either legitimate theater or vaudeville before later switching to movies.

After closing in the 80s and falling into disrepair, the Imperial was demolished in 1994.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

MargoBelle on March 12, 2007 at 10:14 am

I lived at 2307 W. Madison, just down the street from the Imperial and went there regularly. I’m trying to locate a picture of my building and any of the surrounding area. Our apartment building was 3 stories tall, fronted on Madison, went around the corner on Oakley, and had back entrances on Monroe. The Alhambra Inn tavern was located on the corner of Madison and Oakley.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 10, 2007 at 6:35 pm

A Kimball theater organ size 2/6 was installed in the Imperial Theater in 1918.

kencmcintyre on November 25, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Phone number in 1960 was CAnal 6-3925.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 26, 2008 at 4:39 am

The phone number isn’t very important unless your telephone can do the time warp. The addresses and name of the theater in the Yellow pages is of value though.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 26, 2008 at 7:29 am

I’m not looking to start an argument LM, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But I think any historical information related to a given theatre property is valuable, and that would include old phone numbers. The purpose of this web site is to create a historical mosaic.

In addition, I think it could be fun for someone who grew up in the neighborhood. Such a person might see that phone number and say, “I remember that phone number! I dialed it a thousand times!” Good memories, and so on.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 26, 2008 at 7:38 am

I can understand your point LTS. To someone from the neighborhood the old number might be interesting to have, but to me it has little or no value. That is my opinion and I feel that I have a right to express it. As I have already stated, I believe that the theater name and address given in the Yellow pages are of value.

kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 9:19 am

I like the exchanges, because they remind me of my grandmother’s old number in Philly. I put the interesting exchanges on here in the hopes that someone else may feel the same way. If it’s just a generic phone number I don’t bother.

kencmcintyre on April 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Here is a 1982 photo taken when the Imperial was a church:

LouisRugani on August 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

That’s exactly as I recall it in the summer of 1984 as well. The eastern facade was crumbling.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Not one of the Windy City’s Finest.

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