Kimbark Theatre

6240 S. Kimbark Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60637

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Showing 19 comments

christian701 on February 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Sorry I just saw the posting that the Kimbark was demolished in 2016, Disregard my question.

christian701 on February 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm

The Lex theater was right on 63rd st. while the Kimbark was on 62nd. They were both managed by the same couple that Popcorn girl talked about. Our family lived on 63rd and Dorchester in the 1950’s and my sister worked at both theaters as the candy/popcorn girl. What year was the Kimbark demolished? The photos posted did not give the year.

WayOutWardell on February 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

Demolition complete 2/1/16.

snowball1 on December 6, 2015 at 11:03 am

This theater was a sanctified church for as long as I can remember. It sat next door to my grandfather’s laundrymat just across the alley. I have a great picture that I would love to download if someone could tell me how to do it. This is another piece of my childhood I’m sad to see go!

WayOutWardell on December 4, 2015 at 11:00 am

Demolition permit issued 12/1, construction fencing erected around the building 12/3.
There may be segments of the facade that will be salvaged.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm

The real estate section of the November 15, 1913, issue of The Chicago Tribune had an item saying that the new Kimbark Theatre, opened only a few months previously, had been sold by William and Fred Bartholomae to H. T. Loper, operator of the Lyric Theatre in Springfield, Illinois.

WayOutWardell on July 10, 2010 at 5:43 pm

As of 7/7/10, there is a for-rent sign on the exterior.

KenC on January 5, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Thanks for your post, popcorn girl. The Jewish couple you mentioned-by any chance was their last name Fisher? (Fischer)? Did they have a son? At any rate, in the early to mid 60s I passed by the Lex on foot and by CTA(the Jackson Park ‘B’ train). My memories are few- I think the boxoffice of the Lex faced West on a slight angle and was connected to the front doors. Am I correct? Since you mentioned working at the Lex at times, could you go to the Lex page and share some of your memories of the theatre…the display ads,the auditorium, the lobby-whatever comes to mind. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated! THANKS. ~Ken

popcorngirl on December 3, 2008 at 9:42 am

I was born in the Woodlawn neighborhood in 1940. When we were kids our mother would give us a quarter to go to the Kimbark theater. It cost 20 cents admission and that would leave us a nickel for candy. The usual Saturday morning movie was a western and a few cartoons. As a teenager from 1953 to 1955 I worked at the Kimbark in the concession stand selling popcorn and candy. The Kimbark and the Lex were both owned by a Jewish couple who lived in the South Shore neighborhood. (Unfortunately I don’t remember their name) The wife mainly managed the Lex and hired a manager for the Kimbark. When they were shorthanded they sometimes had me work at the Lex. Around 1956 there was an influx of Puerto Rican immigrants into the area which accounts for the Spanish speaking movies.

WayOutWardell on September 1, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Update: the deteriorating south wall of the building has been repaired and tuckpointed somewhat. Signs of pending reuse, perhaps?

WayOutWardell on April 1, 2008 at 9:25 pm

It’s still there as of this writing, but the winter was pretty rough on the south wall. There are only a few building left in Woodlawn that give any indication that 63rd Street was once a bright-light district; it would be a shame to lose it.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I agree. I’ve always liked the facade. The location is also unusual, at least for Chicago.

Broan on January 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm

No, it doesn’t. It’s a neat facade though, and a very odd location – you rarely see a theater of this size that’s not on a major commercial street. I can only think of a couple other theaters that are in similar locations.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 28, 2008 at 9:55 am

In Brian’s Oct 6, 2007 post, the roof looks like it might not be in the greatest of shape.

Broan on October 17, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Actually, it IS still standing. This is strange, because the property seemingly received a demolition permit in July 2006 and a permit to build a 4 ½ story building on the site. But I drove by today and there it was. So it is still standing, who knows for how long.

Broan on October 6, 2007 at 11:44 pm

Are we sure it was demolished? Aerial photos sure look like it’s still standing. I’m not sure this link will work, but it’s worth a shot. Microsoft Live Photo

Broan on October 6, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Architects were Grossman & Proskauer.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 9, 2006 at 12:09 pm

Photographed the building around 1990. It looked to be in respectable shape at the time: no holes in the roof, facade and exterior brick sidewalls in good repair. The church’s sign was still out front at the time although it is hard to say if they were still holding services. Nothing flashy about this theatre. It was a simple but attractive design, which I think you would call classical (though I am not really up on my theatre design categories).

KenC on August 13, 2006 at 6:50 pm

The Kimbark theatre, like the nearby Lex, played mostly triple features with a 4 change a week policy. It was open at least through June 1960. I’m pretty sure it closed soon thereafter(whereas the Lex lasted into the early ‘70s). There must have been a sizeable Hispanic population in Hyde Park and/or Woodlawn in the late 50s- early 60s. From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings, Tuesday June 14,1960: KIMBARK &63rd Op. 12:30 Spanish Films! “UN MUNDO NUEVO” Rene Cardena & Manelin y Shillasky “LAS Nenas Del 7”. The other days of the week were devoted to Hollywood B films…westerns, action, horror. Also, because of the ad displays, the Lex and Kimbark had to be owned by the same company