Oak Theatre

2000 N. Western Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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Oak Theatre 1993 Handbill

The Oak Theatre opened in 1910, in the Logan Square neighborhood, as a vaudeville and movie house. It was designed by J.E.O. Pridmore. The theatre featured a balcony, and large stage, with Moorish interior decor. The exterior, of red brick, featured an elaborate terra-cotta facade in Neo-Gothic style.

The theater was remodeled in 1930 in Art Deco style by David Saul Klafter. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, it became an adult theater.

In 1992, it reopened as a concert venue. However, in 1995, it closed again, and was torn down that same year. A drive-thru bank was located on the site of the Oak Theatre, but had closed by June 2019.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 44 comments)

GFeret
GFeret on December 28, 2016 at 8:13 am

for a long time I certainly had my full of the old Oak theatre starting in the late ‘50s, certainly the '60s and into the '70s, and at least drove past throughout the '80s. But beginning mid-'90s I wasn’t ever in the neighborhood there so not only didn’t I see it’s demolition but was quite unaware of it then. Nowadays I return often but all I get for my trouble’s a drive-through bank (admittedly my wife likes the Mexican restaurant across western), because now Sam’s red-hots is gone too. Talk about a neighborhood character upheaval

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

Ran across this 1992 Tribune article about the Oak’s then conversion to a music venue. Further proof on how sadly short that incarnation was to last.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-03-03/news/9201200335_1_sun-ra-texas-tornados-national-trade-magazine

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 14, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Circa 1931 photo added courtesy of the Old West Town Facebook page.

Mister_Comics
Mister_Comics on April 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Newspaper ads for this theater list the address as 2004 N. Western, but papers have been known to make mistakes. See posted ad in the “Photo” section.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Posted previously:

DavidZornig on October 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

The address needs to be changed to 2000 N. Western. Check the 1993 flier I posted in the Photos Section. Several Chicago Tribune articles from 1992 also confirm the address.

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/4539/photos/1323

Filmteknik
Filmteknik on June 23, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Not surprised the photos posted by the former Oak stripper were removed but wished her (text) reminiscences could have remained.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 23, 2019 at 6:13 pm

I agree. The Admins should have just removed the racier photos, and left her comment as it applied to the history of the Oak. I hope they change their mind and return it to the comments.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 29, 2019 at 10:23 pm

The drive-thru bank on the Oak Theatre site is now permanently closed. Likely the victim of the 5/3rd Bank takeover of MB, who consolidated former MB locations and closed others completely.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 7, 2019 at 5:33 pm

The homeless have now set up camp in the former drive through bank lanes.

Filmteknik
Filmteknik on August 3, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Hi Linda! Glad you reposted. I saved the pictures (❤️) since I figured they’d be removed but didn’t think I’d need to save the text so glad it’s back. I love reading first hand accounts.

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