Hiway Theater

6329 S. Western Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60629

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PROJECTION BOOTH

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on Western Avenue at 63rd Street in the Marquette Manor neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

The Hiway would have been another unremarkable theater built in the 30’s except for the original murals on the wall. The original murals contained many transportion related themes including airplanes, ships, trucks and railroads.

In the early 60’s, the Hiway was also used by the Chicago Savings and Loan Association on alternate Saturday mornings for a free show for local children. Parents had to stop at the S & L (a block away from the Hiway) to pickup the tickets.

When renovated in the mid-60’s, the murals were painted over with an ghastly yellow paint. In the late 60’s, the Hiway was converted to all adult move format.

Contributed by RonDombrowski

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on August 26, 2006 at 5:03 pm

If i am correct the spot whare the hiway was is now an auto insurance store and an auto parts store.
I recall this theatre`s sign if i am right it was like each letter was in a circle and it spelled out hiway.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 9, 2006 at 11:21 am

I photographed the Hiway around 1989. From the looks of it, I’d say the theatre was built in the teens or early 20’s. At the time it was boarded up. It looked like a decent house, though certainly unremarkable. It also looked to be in decent repair. But then what are you going to do with aging cinema of no particular architectural merit, that is no longer profitable, in an outlying neighborhood of Chicago? Still it is a shame when something that was once a thriving community destination is abandoned.

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on October 8, 2007 at 10:01 am

As a teenager I worked in the Hiway in the 1960’s. I got to know the projectionist well enough that he let me run the show once in awhile (quite a feat considering how tight the union was). Behind the cinemascope screen was the original silent screen still on the back wall. I re-lamped the auditorium once, had to use a huge extension ladder to do the pillars on the walls. Inside the exit signs over the lobby doors were no longer used gas jets. I understand the organ was sold to a church for $100 years earlier.

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on October 9, 2007 at 12:58 pm

“cinema of no particular architectural merit” I wanted to mention that as well as the old silent screen behind the cinemascope screen was a lot of fancy plaster work that could not be seen. The original silent screen was quite small and around it was plasterwork extending out to the exit doors on both sides of the cinemascope screen. The lobby had beautiful woodwork in it. Somewhere I have a couple pictures of the theater. If I find them I will post a link here.

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on October 10, 2007 at 10:30 am

OK, hopefully I get this link right

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 25, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Listed as the Hi-Way in the 1960 yellow pages, similar to the alternate spelling of the Belpark.

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on February 16, 2009 at 8:05 am

New link, besides the pictures, there is a short 8mm film clip driving by the Hi-way in the 60’s with the newer marquee.

View link

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on February 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

That architecture looks a lot like the Portage on the Northwest Side.

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