Julian Theater

918 W. Belmont Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60657

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Essaness Theaters Corp.

Architects: Hugo J. Liedberg

Nearby Theaters

Julian Theater, 1931

The Julian Theater opened on May 15, 1909, in the Lakeview neighborhood, not far from the Belmont Avenue El station, and sat 799. Originally, it featured vaudeville and other live stage entertainment during its early years, in addition to motion pictures.

During the 1930’s, 1940’s and into the 1950’s, the theater was part of the Essaness chain. The Julian also screened Scandanavian-language films in the 1930’s and into the 1940’s. The theater operated at least through the 1950’s. By 1967 it was in use as a church.

The former Julian Theater was demolished in spring of 2005.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Broan on December 3, 2006 at 4:42 pm

Here are my photos of this theater.

GrandMogul on February 7, 2007 at 11:24 am

News item concerning the Julian: Chicago American, Thursday, September 5, 1940, p. 21, c. 6:


Chicago’s home of Scandinavian talking pictures, the Julian Theater, 918 Belmont av., which has been closed for several months because the war in Europe caused almost complete cancellation of films, has succeeded in obtaining a new Adolf Jahr feature which might be the last to be seen on the screen of the North Side cinema until the events overseas are cleared. The latest importation, “Only a Trumpeter,” will reopoen the Julian on Saturday, September 14.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman on January 11, 2015 at 3:28 pm

I am from this neighborhood, lived in this area from 1946 to 1970 with many visits afterwards. It had a large Swedish population (aprox 10 to 20%) back then. A Swedish social club nearby, with a large pool, opened to the public. And some Swedish restaurants also. Us kids used to go there on Saturday for the matinee. Cartoons, Serials (from the 30s), Westerns etc. We would sneak our guns inside. It was a mad house.

Broan on November 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm

This article features a very early photo and description of the Julian, as well as descriptions of the other theaters in the immediate neighborhood in 1911, most of which do not have entries on Cinema Treasures.

Broan on November 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm

This page features ornament from the Julian.

DavidZornig on March 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

1947 photo added courtesy of Steve Lewandowski.

DavidZornig on November 25, 2018 at 5:24 pm

LakeView Historical Chronicles link covering the Julian and others.


DavidZornig on October 1, 2020 at 4:05 pm

1967 photo of the Julian as a church upper right. Flickr image will enlarge within link.


DavidZornig on November 18, 2021 at 7:27 am

Julian Theater is the third building down on the left in this December 1988 Flickr image.
Enlargeable within link.


Broan on November 21, 2021 at 7:03 am

The Julian was built for manager J. G. Conderman, who had previously owned a company that produced 40 foot ferris wheels for amusement parks. https://archive.org/details/ShowWorldv4n19/page/27/mode/1up?view=theater

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