Argmore Theatre

1040 W. Argyle Street,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Argmore Theatre, Chicago, IL

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Argmore was opened in 1913, and two years later, was acquired from its original independent operator by the Alfred Hamburbger circuit. It was located in the Edgewater neighborhood, near the intersection of Argyle Street and Kenmore Avenue, hence the theater’s name.

In 1922, the Gumbiner Brothers took over operation of the Argmore. Acquired by the Essaness circuit in the 30s, it continued to be operated by that chain until closing in the early 1950s.

The former theater building was later was converted over to retail use. It currently functions as a liquor store.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Broan
Broan on October 10, 2007 at 10:30 am

Recent photos of this theatre are HERE. When announced in 1913 the roof was to have a roof beer garden of sorts and all offices and apartments were to have metal flowerboxes. It was to be dedicated to “the better class of photoplays”. Its original manager was a Mr. Aronson, previously of the famous College Inn downtown. In 1931 it was one of a number of theaters bombed by the projectionists union. It later became part of the Essaness chain. Perhaps the most interesting detail nobody has touched on yet is that the Argmore was a mere 3 blocks away from the famed Essanay studios, and so was likely the theater of convenience for many of those silent stars.

Broan
Broan on October 10, 2007 at 10:33 am

Now that I look more closely, I was wrong, the auditorium is still there.

sperlaine
sperlaine on March 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm

This theater was also on the Gumbiner circuit. Chicago Tribune, Jan 8, 1922 pg H18. “LEASES ARGMORE THEATER – Abe Gumbiner has leased from Gustav Hochstadter, through Mark Levy & Bro., the Argmore theater, a 660 seat movie in the Argmore building at the northwest corner of Argyle and Kenmore, for a term of years from April 1, 1923. He then bought the lease of Applebaum & Kahn and is now operating theater. He also operates eight other theaters in Chicago and Hammond.”

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 30, 2008 at 7:57 pm

I had absolutely no idea that Foremost Liquors was formally a theatre. I lived on Argyle just East of here from 1980-`83.
This is why I love Cinema Treasures. There is always something new to learn.

Aside from the many times I was in Foremost, my regular “Super Mercado” was kitty corner from that.
Foremost had a rather large tin ceiling as I recall.
The neighborhood West of Sheridan was changing rapidly in 1980. From fast food & halfway houses to predominately Vietnamese. The Argyle “L” stop was remodeled with an Asian themed roof. Some dubbed the area “New Chinatown”.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 9, 2008 at 8:59 am

This is a tad off topic, but Foremost Liquors also utilized another classic building as their main office. Nearby only blocks away from the Argmore site, at the S/W corner of Broadway & Berwyn.
Their offices were on the second floor and were very art deco inside as of 1985 or so. There was also a giant statue of their smiling bottle/logo in their inner lobby. I believe Matanky Realty then took over the space.
Next door was briefly the 2nd home to former Sheridan Rd. & Berwyn niteclub Coconuts.

Yves Marchand
Yves Marchand on July 7, 2009 at 6:20 am

On a recent visit, the friendly manager showed us the auditorium which is now used as storage space for the liquor store.
You can see what remains on this picture :
View link

CompassRose
CompassRose on March 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Vintage view of the Argmore (with a Fred and Ginger movie!) here: Argmore Theater.

whtesoxfan56
whtesoxfan56 on November 13, 2011 at 10:54 am

I’m very surprised how much of the theater’s look remains, in the storage area for Foremost. I never would imagine it’s been preserved that well. And agree that’s what I love about this site, learning about buildings and sites that I never realized were once theaters.

davidplomin
davidplomin on August 17, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Hey Yves! Very nice of the manager to show you the storage area where the main auditorium is! I’d like to get into the Bryn Mawr and see what’s still there!

whtesoxfan56
whtesoxfan56 on November 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Heck yes davidplomin, I agree that’d be another good one to see! Especially since I remember as a kid, seeing that theater abandoned for years and years. Dunno if I ever saw one movie there as a kid(was born in 82), before whenever it closed in the 1980s.

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