Vitagraph Theatre

3133 N. Lincoln Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60657

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The Vitagraph was opened about 1914, by the early studio of the same name. It could seat around 1000 and was located in the bustling Lincoln-Belmont commercial district (today known as Nortown) near to the Struve’s department store.

When Vitagraph was absorbed by Warner Brothers in 1925, the Lubliner & Trinz circuit, one of the main movie theater circuits in Chicago during the 10s and into the 20s, took over operation of the Vitagraph.

In 1930, a year after the Struve store was sold to the Goldblatt’s department store chain, its owners decided to enlarge and modernize it, and a row of nearby properties, including the Vitagraph, were acquired and razed.

The Art Deco former Goldblatt’s store was converted over to mixed retail and residential (condominiums)use in the late 90s.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 20, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Here is a brief excerpt from a Chicago Daily Tribune article dated November 16, 1920:

One of Lincoln Avenue’s best known movie houses—the Vitagraph—was sold yesterday by Leon Sigman and Louis Greenblatt for a reported $165,000.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 20, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Interesting. Thanks.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 20, 2008 at 6:16 pm

So given the description and the odd numbered address, the Vitagraph must have been within that pointy part of the old Goldblatts property where Lincoln and Ashland meet.
Except on the Lincoln side, just South of the renovated Goldblatts building that starts at School Street.
The point where a small bank is today.
That pointy portion of the property sat vacant for a long time. The city used to set up porta-pottys there for years when the “Rock Around The Block” street fair used to start at the Belmont end.

The RATB fair has since been moved further North down Lincoln. Which caused people to simply buy their libations cheaper at Pelly’s Liquors, instead of from the fair vendors.

There was an earlier developer in the `80’s, who tried to do first what was ultimately done to the Goldblatts property. But I think they lacked money, and there were still a lot of vacant bookstores etc along Lincoln Ave. Next to the old Dub-L-Dog.
Oh, to have had some extra money in the early 80’s. It’s Yupdum now over there.
The Woolworths is condos, there’s a Whole Paychecks food store, etc.
An old bank and dance studio were recently converted into condos & retail on the West side of Lincoln.

The next pointy building just North on Lincoln Ave. across from Wishbone, is a classic vintage building that was used for the filming of “Straight Talk” starring Dolly Parton & James Woods. The building was made to look like the radio station DP’s character broadcast from. I believe there is a photography gallery & classes there now. Old time bakery Dinkl’s is North of there.

Does anyone have pictures of The Vitagraph?

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