Clermont Theatre

3228 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60657

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Claremont Theatre, Chicago, IL

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This Lake View neighborhood movie theatre, which opened in 1909 as the Garibaldi Theatre and closed in 1911. It was reopened and renamed Clermont Theatre by February 1914, sat around 625, and was located not far from the somewhat larger Buckingham Theatre, which was home to the popular Organic Theatre Company for much of the 1980’s and 1990’s (now located in suburban Evanston).

After closing as a movie house in 1945, the Clermont Theatre was converted to retail use. It became home to the Alley alternative shopping center, which closed January 19, 2016. The auditorium was demolished in January 2017, the facade remains.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

CrustyB
CrustyB on January 17, 2016 at 8:29 am

I see an ad from 1914 refers to this at the Clearmont Theatre. Not sure if this is a misspelling or the actual name of it.

http://www.lakeviewhistoricalchronicles.org/2011/05/theaters-past.html?zx=403e6248ae5a0365

Broan
Broan on January 17, 2016 at 9:40 am

The earliest Tribune ad I could find was Feb 18, 1914 which spelled it “Clearmont”. By Feb 25, this was corrected to Clermont, the spelling that remained used through 1927.

GFeret
GFeret on January 18, 2016 at 7:14 am

the store there closed for good yesterday and had a farewell, although there’s still some activity there today

Broan
Broan on January 18, 2016 at 7:33 am

They had a party yesterday, but do not close until tomorrow.

CrustyB
CrustyB on July 18, 2016 at 9:04 am

I’ve heard that Edgar Bergen (Charlie McCarthy’s dummy ;) ) was a projectionist here during the vaudeville era. Haven’t seen an independent confirmation of that anywhere, though.

Khnemu
Khnemu on July 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Curbed Chicago reported back in February that The Alley would be demolished, and replaced with a 7 story apartment/retail building, but the facade would be saved and intergrated into the new building. I haven’t been to the area for a few months, does anyone know if The Alley is still standing? http://chicago.curbed.com/2016/2/5/10941142/alley-redevelopment

CrustyB
CrustyB on October 19, 2016 at 10:21 am

Khnemu, I was by there recently and it’s still standing. The gargoyles are gone but otherwise it’s intact. I was at an alderman’s meeting and the developers said they considered saving the beautiful building but there was a fire here long ago. It damaged the framework so it’s unfit for building upon. As far as the facade, the language they used was that they hoped to save it but, with century-old construction, who knows.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on January 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

The Clermont is currently being demolished. The front facade is still standing but I don’t know if it will survive the wrecker’s ball.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 27, 2017 at 2:02 am

This weblog post, which features some splendid photos of the terra cotta detail of the Clermont’s facade, says that the facade is to be the only part of the building saved. A seven-story building will replace the theater itself.

The article says that the house opened in 1909 as the Garibaldi Theatre, closed in 1911, and reopened as the Clermont, which it remained until closing in 1945.

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