Teatro del Lago

1515 Sheridan Road,
Wilmette, IL 60091

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Mid `30's photo courtesy of the Chuckman Collection.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Teatro del Lago, opened in 1927, as part of the Spanish Court retail complex along Sheridan Road in what was then known as “No Man’s Land”, a triangular area between the North Shore suburbs of Wilmette and Kenilworth. (The area was finally annexed by Wilmette after much debate in 1942).

Both the theater and surrounding structures of the Spanish Court were built in Spanish Colonial style, including red tile roofs and buff stucco facades.

The Teatro was closed in September 1965 and was demolished in early 1966. A Jewel Food Store built on part of the site. The shopping center was remodeled and renamed the Plaza del Lago in 1967.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 50 comments)

MaryVallelonga on September 15, 2007 at 4:19 am

Have enjoyed reading all your posts….even though I did not discover you until waaaaaay after the fact. I too grew up in Wilmette. I am the third oldest of nine. All of your stories brought me back to a time that I still cherish so many years later. I lived in Wilmette in the late 1940’s until 1969. We lived at 901 Linden and then 830 Oakwood Avenue. I am hoping to find a picture of the Teatro del Lago. Any suggestions??? I remember Leo also. Did not know his last name. I really appreciated hearing his story. Can’t go past 4th and Linden without remembering him even so many years later. Hope all of you will continue to share your memories with all of us. Very cool! Mary
posted by Mary Burback Vallelonga on Sep 15, 2007 at 1:16am

alcfetz on September 15, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Mary, I would be happy to share 2 pictures of the Teatro Del Lago with you. One I took of the ticket taker at his post when I worked there in 1960. Can’t remember his name. I think he worked there forever. Send me your email address at and I will foreward them to you.

pleary on July 10, 2008 at 3:40 pm

As curator of the Wilmette Historical Museum, I’m so glad to have all of these wonderful memories recorded here; I’ve learned a lot from them, and have printed them out to add to our reference files. If anyone has photos or other memorabilia about the Teatro, or for that matter about Wilmette, we’d love to hear from you. Our website is at http://www.wilmettehistory.org) Incidentally, we recently learned that the Teatro’s old Kimball organ was rescued and is now in the hands of a collector who is restoring it.

One small correction to the info in the heading: the Teatro opened in the spring of 1927, not 1926, and closed on September 10, 1965. It was torn down early in 1966.

kencmcintyre on November 5, 2008 at 9:58 pm

From a Chicago Tribune article dated 11/1/64:

The Teatro theater in Wilmette will be razed in February, said its new owner Plato Foufas.

Johnmcd on June 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm

If anyone care to see anuy photos of the Teatro, I short a number in the late 50 and early 60s, inlcuding Stan Pratt, Sam Meyers, and the lonel;y painting of Rock Hudson hanging in the attic. Contact me at:

dsteinschneider on October 22, 2010 at 12:10 am

I have found memories of listening to 45’s in the booths at Paul’s Record Shop. I was only 10 when we moved from Robsart Road which was across the street (closed off at 10th street). The Teatro was an unforgetable structure. I agree with other poster genky that the area was a paradise for kids. I remember riding our bikes at age 8, 9 and 10 all over town. We moved east in 1965 so I wasn’t there for it’s demolition.

jenkyt on November 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Just posted a new photo for this theater of a lobby card from 1933. Not sure what to do with it so I posted it here.

pswiderski on January 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I am a big fan of the the theatre pipe organ. The Teatro Kimball organ was the first pipe organ I ever saw “in the flesh.” I have fond memories of listening and seeing the organ while my brother and a few others played it. It wasn’t a fancy organ, but there is always a special place in one’s heart for the first. I believe that Jim Walgreen removed the organ. I had recently seen pictures of it in the home of the owner at the time, which seemed like somewhere in the upper mid west. It was for sale at the time, but I don’t know what happened to it since then.

DavidZornig on December 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

I added a 1939 photo and 1929 announcement to the Photos Section. Here also is an expandable Flickr link with a 1962 Tribune history of the Teatro Del Lago. Copy & Paste.


DavidZornig on October 3, 2016 at 8:20 pm

November 1964 photo added, photo credit John McDonough. Photo and other memorabilia added courtesy of the Wilmette Historical Museum. Items are on display there.

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