Alvin Theatre

1612-1614 W. Chicago Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60622

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Alvin Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, the Alvin opened in around 1913, and sat 540. The theater was originally built for the Lynch circuit and later was part of the Balaban & Katz chain. The Alvin was operating as a Spanish-language movie house during the 70s. The former theater building was until recently used as a retail store.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Broan on November 23, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Architect was David Saul Klafter.

korgsman on May 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm

This was the first movie house I ever attended! I arrived in the U.S. in July, 1975. Being from a small town in Mexico, I had never attended one. My older brother got me hooked on movies!!! Anyway, I recall seeing a Mexican vampire film and a western (I have no idea of the titles) and my brother had a girlfriend who cashiered at a small record store next door to the theater. So began my long love of movies.

chicagoavenue on October 2, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I saw my first movies at the Alvin – they excelled at triple features in the 60s!. I also worked there one summer in the 60s – my first paycheck was aboutn $86 and change. I preferred it to the Hub because it was smaller and closer to where I lived – Chicago and Ashland. I still go back to the old neighborhood and yes, the Alvin was turned into a clothing store. I hope it’s resurrected as the neighborhood seems to be going that way.

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Loopnet still has the ad posted, but says the building is no longer available. Maybe in escrow or they took it off the market.

WDM on January 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Often went there as a kid in the 60’s. Thought it was weird the Hub and Alvin so close to each other but gave you a choice of movies. Plenty of good eats near at Braverman’s. Also near was Todd’s Burgers. Todd opened the place out of High School in the mid 60’s. Was almost next to the ALvin but moved down Chicago Av. Also at Chicago and Ashland was Helen’s Grill. a 7 seat lunch counter. Burger and chips, no fries … Or Goldblatt’s for the lunch counter or just grab a Green River at the Andie’s Candies.

chicagoavenue on January 13, 2009 at 12:31 am

Andie’s Candies. That place was as cold as a meat locker and they had the COLDEST water too. Braverman’s,..Green River…yes, I had forgoten about those places. Woolworth’s was a good place to grade an RC and a plate of fries for a quick lunch. Thanks for the memory jolt!

kencmcintyre on April 19, 2009 at 1:18 am

Compare the 1982 photo to the Loopnet photo posted in December 2006:

GFeret on March 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

i walk past the (former) ALVIN THEATRE a couple times a year, when me & wife Claire get a yearning for a slice at Hoosier Mama’s Pie bakery right next door. recall last year (2011) people there talking ALVIN building was on the market

blurachel on April 30, 2015 at 12:14 am

If anyone’s curious, the building has been leased and will be renovated by this Fall.

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