Standard Theatre

750-52 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60610

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1980 photo of the Image Theatre. Photo credit John P. Keating Jr.

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Opened as Immenhausen’s Theatre in 1913, it was designed by the firm of Walker and Lowell and designed in the Georgian Revival style. Later in 1913, it was renamed the Standard Theatre. The theater was located on Clark Street at Chicago Avenue, in Chicago’s Near North Side neighborhood.

In the 1960’s, the Standard Theatre closed, but was reopened in 1969 as the Le Image Cinema, showing art and foreign fare. It was screening gay porn by the early-1970’s and closed in the very early-1980’s as the Image Cinema.

Today the building houses a liquor store.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

KenC
KenC on November 30, 2003 at 4:48 pm

Actually, the Standard was open for decades after the 1930’s, although it did not advertise in the papers. In the late 50’s and early 60’s, it showed a different double feature daily…third, even fourth run films. Back then, north Clark st. between the Chicago river and Chicago ave. was like a mini skid row, second only to west Madison st. The Standard got its business from the alcoholics, the poor residents of the nearby Lawson YMCA , and the near homeless people of the area at that time. Was kinda scary going inside as a kid…not sure what would happen. It had one of the smallest lobbies I’ve ever seen, but enough room on the walls to advertise all the upcoming movies for the week.Lots of westerns, horror , crime and comedies.By the mid 60’s it closed, but reopened in the late 60’s …all cleaned up… as LE IMAGE Theatre, showing art/ foreign films. “STOLEN KISSES” by Truffaut was the opening attraction. Later saw Pasolini’s “TEOREMA”. This new policy lasted a few years…not too successfully. By the early 70’s was showing gay porno. The theatre closed for good by the mid 70’s.

sdoerr
sdoerr on November 30, 2003 at 5:39 pm

Wow interesting info KenC. ANyone have any recent or old photos?

KenC
KenC on May 26, 2008 at 3:04 pm

In my first post, I was off by about 5 years re: the closing of this theatre. From the Sun Times movie listings dated Monday Sept. 22, 1980: IMAGE 750 N. CLARK 787-5667 OPEN 12 NOON FIRST RUN “HEAD WAITER” PLUS 2ND FEATURE ALL MALE CAST. Perhaps they dropped the “LE” when they switched from straight to gay porno around 1974- 75. For a few years in the mid 70s, this theatre was in competition with the Newberry, which was little more than a block north, on the same side of Clark St. Pretty sure the Image closed for good by early 1981.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm

I think the Image closed as a theatre in the late 70's. It was in the process of being converted into a night club in the late70’s, when a Stop Work Order was issued by the city. An expensive sound system had already been installed, but never got utilized.
Unless the Image reopened again as a theatre after that in the early `80’s, I believe it was done as any kind of venue after the failed opening of the night club.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Reactivate Notification Status.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on July 1, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Here’s one of my pictures of the Standard Theatre that I took last year:

View link

HughJazz
HughJazz on April 23, 2011 at 1:28 am

As an Andy Frain Usher,I worked at the Image(Standard) theater in 1971-72, along with the 3 other porn theaters under the same owners. The manager was a gentleman named Herman, and I worked a six-hour shift in the box office, collecting $3.00 per customer. The Image, Newberry, Town(later Park West), and Oak theaters were all owned by Joel Ross and his father, along with other theaters in Kansas City, Mo.

RiisPark
RiisPark on March 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I was there in 1969 when it was Le Image and showed art movies. I recall that it didn’t last too long.

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