Milda Theatre

3140 S. Halsted Street,
Chicago, IL 60616

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Milda Theater 1928-Photo Courtesy of the Metroplitan Water Reclemation District of Greater Chicago

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Milda Theatre was opened in 1914 by Antanas Olsaukas, a prominent businessman in the then-primarily Lithuanian Bridgeport neighborhood. It stood on Halsted Street between 31st Street and 32nd Street. The theatre operated at least into the 1960’s as a movie house, and saw occasional other uses afterward for at least another decade, including live stage theatre in 1973.

A strip mall replaced the theatre in the 1980’s, which in turn was recently replaced by a police station.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on August 23, 2006 at 1:04 am

Was the Milda on the lot whare the doughnut shop was on the corner of 31st And Halsted?

Broan
Broan on November 27, 2006 at 10:58 pm

In 1973 the First Run Comedy Theater staged a series of plays at the Milda.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 28, 2006 at 12:17 am

This is from the Ethnic History of Bridgeport. Last paragraph mentions this theater:

“Antanas Olsauskas (or Olszewski, pronounced Olshevski) was the prime force in developing the Lithuanian "downtown” in Bridgeport. Polish and Lithuanian immigrants came to Chicago with all but no business experience (even though some had come as exiles and were educated).

There was a cultural bias against such pursuits. Thus leaders such as Olsauskas had to overcome not only the difficulties of the business world, but also popular resistance to the very notion. Olsauskas founded the first Lithuanian bank in Chicago in 1896. He was followed by another Bridgeport leader, Jonas Tananevicius (or Tananevicze), who established a second bank in 1898 at 3244 south Morgan street.

Tananevicius also ran an insurance agency, travel bureau, and publishing outfit. Olsauskas operated a clothing store, the Milda cinema, a travel bureau, an auto agency, a contracting firm, a book store, a publishing company, and the newspaper Lietuva (Lithuania). As a contractor, he was responsible for building most of the commercial structures that were built on Halsted street between Thirty-first and Thirty-fifth streets from about the late 1890s to World War I.

okcray
okcray on August 17, 2008 at 10:17 am

The Milda was actually further down the block from the intersection of 31st and Halsted. David’s Restaurant and Governor’s Table were at the corner location for years before being destroyed by a fire sometime in the 1980s. The Dunkin Donuts mini strip mall was built there not long after that, but that’s also gone. A new police station is being built on that location (taking up most of the block).

mfs3757
mfs3757 on November 8, 2009 at 4:13 am

I’m writing a book about the history of Bridgeport for Arcadia Publishing that will be published mid 2010.

Please contact me if you have any of the Wallace or any Bridgeport theaters. I have some of the Ramova, Milda and The Eagle, but would like to see any and all pictures that you have and are willing to share of all of the 12-13 theaters of Bridgeport’s past.

On a really sad note, Nancy of Nancy’s Best Little Hair House passed away his past week. The Wallace theater building has been for sale for the last few months too.

Look forward to hearing from you.
Maureen-

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 29, 2010 at 8:07 am

Relative the comment of Aug 17, 2008. If the city is having such intensive budget problems that the Mayor had to lease out the parking meters, how is it that so many massive new police stations are being built around the city?

This has nothing to do with theatres, I realize. But I wonder if anyone has insight that I am missing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 29, 2010 at 10:37 am

I found the Milda Theatre mentioned in Boxoffice as recently as the issue of October 23, 1961, so it was apparently still in operation at that time. Here’s the whole one-line item: “John Semadalis, owenr of the Romova and Milda theatres, returned from a visit to Greece.”

Boxoffice frequently misspelled the name of the Ramova Theatre, but it’s interesting that as far back as the 1930s, the Milda and Ramova were frequently mentioned together, and were apparently for much of their history under the same ownership.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on September 5, 2013 at 5:32 am

I just added a November 28th 1923 photo of the Milda Theater, courtesy of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

projects
projects on November 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

To Joe Vogel. the milda theater was open well into the late 70’s. i lived in the projects that was located behind the theater.sometimes the rear door was left open and we would climb the fence and go in onto the stage. no one would be inside early on saturdays. but sadly i know who burnt the stage area down it was an accident. i refused to go in with that bunch.and that night it caught fire..i watched from my bedroom window. SAD very sad.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater