Frolic Theater

951 E. 55th Street,
Chicago, IL 60615

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The Frolic Theater was located in the Hyde Park neighborhood on 55th Street between South Cottage Grove and Ellis Avenues, not far from Washington Park. The theater was built for the Ascher Brothers circuit in 1915 and was designed by prolific architect Henry L. Newhouse. By 1929 it was operated by Fox Theatres.

The Frolic Theater was operated by Warner Brothers Circuit Managemant Inc. for 1931 and later by Stanley-Warner into the 1950’s.

In 1961, the theater was closed, and has since been razed, along with the surrounding block, replaced by the University of Chicago’s Stagg Field.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

BruceFloyd on March 5, 2004 at 7:57 am

The Frolic wasn’t located in Washington Park. It was located in Hyde Park. It had the stickiest floors in the history of theaters. I know,I grew up one block away and went to the the Frolic every Saturday when I was kid.

Bruce Floyd

dvdmike on March 6, 2006 at 9:39 am

I remember seeing the Frolic before it was was torn down. There was also a storage company down the street. This was before the entire south side of 55th Street between Cottage Grove and Ellis was razed to make way for the then-new Stagg Field.

larryfield on September 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

The Frolic Theater was located on the south side of 55th immediately west of the corner of Ellis Ave and 55th Street. It was a little ragged but you could see a double feature for 15 cents. The movies were third run most of the time. At the corner was the Frolic Drufstore owned by Leo Spector It had a soda fountain and a few booths. One block south was the stands of Stagg Field of the University of Chicago. The first self sustained nuclear reaction took place there under the direction of the brilliant physicist Enrico Fermi. He would often stop in the drugstore for a coffe or coke. I did meet him once.

justinterested on September 19, 2011 at 12:54 am

I worked at the Frolic for about 6 months, in the early mid 50’s,

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