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 11 comments)

corvetteguy1963
corvetteguy1963 on December 13, 2006 at 9:02 am

I was down Madison today and noticed this site is still a vacant lot.

GFeret
GFeret on January 11, 2007 at 5:22 am

If the old (JUN ‘68) theatre ad in the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES newspaper movie section is to be believed, then the correct IMPERIAL street address no. is 2329 W. (not 2339). Says here they’re running DAY OF THE EVIL GUN, SAMSON & THE SLAVE QUEEN, and BONNIE & CLYDE—a dyed-in-the-wool triple-bill if ever there was.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 11, 2007 at 3:10 pm

Wow: by the time I saw the Imperial most of those buildings were gone. The theatre itself was being used for storage (this would’ve been late 80’s).

MargoBelle
MargoBelle on March 12, 2007 at 7:14 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.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 25, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Phone number in 1960 was CAnal 6-3925.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 26, 2008 at 5:29 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.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 7:19 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
kencmcintyre on April 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Here is a 1982 photo taken when the Imperial was a church:
http://tinyurl.com/ca5cqc

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on August 13, 2010 at 2:45 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 3:39 pm

Not one of the Windy City’s Finest.

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