Holly Theatre

1500 W. Fullerton Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60614

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Showing 22 comments

fotzenputz
fotzenputz on June 17, 2013 at 8:08 am

Hi Matt. Please send an email to . Thanks.

mnickerson66
mnickerson66 on June 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Hi Fotzenputz, Matt Nickerson here. I’m doing a book on the history of the Lake View neighborhood and some old-timers were recalling the Holly fondly. The book is one of the Images of America series, the brown paperbacks on community history. I’m finishing my research in a week and would love to include a picture of the Holly. Do you have rights to one?

Thanks in advance. I’m at 312-927-9739 or of course this email address.

Lmcolby
Lmcolby on August 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I lived on the 2400 block of Janssen and recall roaming thru the theater as they demolished it and taking home a giant concrete slab with a rose on it. Since I was born in 1955 I know I wasn’t 4 years old when I did that! So the date of 1959 has to an error!

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Open 1926-January 1 1957

Called Hollywood 1926-1945, Holly 1945-demolished.

1950 had Allied Buying and Booking Service.

Demolished mid 1960’s?

More photos and info are always welcome.

Mighty WurliTizer Theater Pipe Organ

The photo of the interior of theater shows the organ pipe chambers to the sides of the stage above the emergenency exits. The organ was shipped to the theater from North Tonawanda, New York on April 2, 1926. It was Opus 1309 a 3/8 Manuals/Ranks Keyboards/Sets of Pipes. Besides the pipes, it had Cathedral Chimes, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Sleigh Bells, Chrysoglott, Bass Drumm, Kettle Drum, Crash Cymbal, Cymbal, Snare Drum, Tom Tom, Castanets, Tambourine, Chinese Block, Triangle, Auto Horn, Fire Gong, Steamboat Whistle, Horse Hoofs, Surf, Bird, Machine Gun, Siren and Door Bell.

Must have been great fun to play, but no longer needed when sound was put on film!

In February 1932 the organ went to the United Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota and later to a private owner in Bismarck, North Dakota. In 1969 it went to a private owner in Lemon Grove, California and was still playable. Anyone know what’s happened to it in the last 42 years?

“Gee Dad it was a WurliTizer!”

Manteno, Illinois
MP 47 on the IC/CN Main Line of Mid-America

fotzenputz
fotzenputz on March 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Thanks Buckcheri. What other memories of the theatre can you share? I posted two photos.

buckcheri
buckcheri on March 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I was living at 2426 N. Greenview 1941/43, 1/2blk from the Holly. Went to Prescott school & Christoper House. Helped sweep the aisles for free shows. Still remember at 77yrs

pose
pose on August 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I just have a general question. Why is this theater listed only as “closed,” when it is obviously “demolished” as well? Is there a link to a place that explains how theaters are categorized?

shill66
shill66 on May 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

David Zornig: coincidentally, the manager of that picture framing shop where your grandfather’s cycle shop was, is now married to one of the grandsons of the Holly owner Harold Hill. Small world!

Anyway, if you have a Chicago Public Library card, you should be able to access this link, which is to a Chicago Tribune article about the plans to build the theater:
View link

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on March 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

I believe the HOLLY lasted a bit longer than 1959, as I recall being in a car passing the HOLLY one Saturday night in the mid-‘60s and seeing that demolition had begun; the HOLLY’s marquee was on the sidewalk.

ginnym
ginnym on March 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I lived at the Holly, 1506 W.Fullerton, most of my life, was living there during some of my high school years which was the early 60’s, which means the Holly was still standing after 1957. Just want to get the facts straight. Also, Florence Miller Crawford was a very loving woman who took care of most of her grandchildren and certainly never abused any of them. There was not one child who had to clean the place up all alone. How sad that would have been for the poor little girl. I remember sweeping the stairs and I loved helping the rest of my family clean up. I only wish that Florence was still around to tell her stories.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Good story jyi.

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on March 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

(Janesville WI Gazette, February 19, 1957)

Body of Man Found in Abandoned Theater
CHICAGO IL â€" A plumber summoned to clear a stopped-up catch basin in an abandoned movie house Monday found the body of a man wedged in a pump duct. The body of a small man clad only in shorts was not identified immediately . Chief of Detectives Patrick Deeley said the victim appeared to have been dead several weeks. Jack J. Manzella, 60, a plumber, found the body in the basement sump of the Holly Theater which closed Jan. 1. The cause of death was not apparent, Derley said.

fotzenputz
fotzenputz on February 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm

JYI—Thanks for sharing some of your memories. My grandfather owned the theater. Any chance you have some photographs of the property? Also if you don’t mind, what was your grandmother’s name?

Jabo
Jabo on April 19, 2009 at 10:49 am

Thanks David. I got it.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 19, 2009 at 7:41 am

Did you click on the word “here”?
The link still works for me, and I only have a WebTV server.
QuillHill is only an e-mail address.
The link is above that in the word “here”.

Jabo
Jabo on April 19, 2009 at 6:16 am

I could not activate to view a picture of the hollywood theatre posted by heinrich f on 11/2/2008.

Are there any other sources available to view this photo. Does anyone else have photo’s of this theatre?

It would be nice to see it again. I used to go to the Holly in the 40’s and 50’s.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Reactivate Notifcation Status.

fotzenputz
fotzenputz on November 2, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Sorry, I didn’t realise the link on the message from 11 Mar 2007 had stopped working. It is active now if you care to take a look. The image is from a prospectus of stock in the theatre.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 31, 2008 at 5:51 pm

My grandfather had a motorcycle shop called G.I. Cycle & Sales after returning from WWII, located at 1461 W. Fullerton. He sold & serviced Harley Davidsons.
My mother said he used the money from his G.I. bill to reopen/move his shop from Armitage & California, to across the street from the Holly Theatre.

A couple years ago she & I went back through that area, and stopped in at a picture framing store where his shop once stood. Which would have put the Holly Theatre we thought about where the big tennis club is on the North side of Fullerton. But I guess the Walgreen’s lot is correct.
If anyone has a fresh link to any pictures of the Holly, maybe they could repost them.

fotzenputz
fotzenputz on March 11, 2007 at 6:02 am

A picture of the theatre can be seen here. Please send any further information to

Broan
Broan on March 28, 2006 at 7:29 pm

Although announced as a $500,000 project, the Hollywood theater looked much cheaper, with a simple front and an Italian garden atmospheric interior. Owners were Hill & Haverkamp. The architects were K(arl).M. Vitzthum and John J. Burns. In addition to the nearby Fullerton State Bank building at Southport avenue, they built what is now the Elco theater in Indiana, 50+ banks, the old Depaul 64 E. Lake campus, a number of skyscrapers, the landmark One North Lasalle building, the Sheboygan County Courthouse, and the Old Republic building, as well as contributing to Cook County Hospital, Great Lakes Naval Training Center and Comiskey. The name was shortened to Holly by 1946, it disappeared from listings after July, 1955, and it is now the site of a Walgreens parking lot.

fotzenputz
fotzenputz on December 20, 2004 at 8:11 am

I would like to hear from any one who knows any thing about the Hollywood Theatre in Chicago. Please email me at Thanks.