20th Century Theatre

3538 W. Roosevelt Road,
Chicago, IL 60624

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

| Street View

The 20th Century Theatre opened in 1913 in the Lawndale neighborhood on Roosevelt Road (then still called 12th Street) near Central Park Avenue. It was across the street from the Central Park Theatre, which opened in 1917 and is considered to be the Balaban & Katz chain’s first true “movie palace”.

In its final years in operation, the 20th Century Theatre was part of the Cooper-Kirsch Theaters chain and the Allied circuit. The theater closed in 1958 and was converted into retail use. It has since been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm

The church is located at the old Central Park Theatre.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 19, 2008 at 9:02 pm

I think that is a mistaken assumption. The liquor store doesn’t look like an old 750 seat theatre to me.

kencmcintyre on December 19, 2008 at 9:11 pm

The building to the left is a church.

Broan on December 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm

http://www.historicaerials.com/?poi=3379 – If you switch to the 1938 aerial, you can see the old auditorium was to the rear of the lot, running parallel to the street. It is gone.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 19, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Looks like it was directly across from the Central Park, which would mean the liquor store was built on the west end of the theatre property after demolition. To my eye the theatre complex also looks like it was directly next door to the vintage building still found directly west of the liquor store.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 19, 2008 at 10:48 pm

On a side-note, I still can’t believe that entire Sears complex directly to the north has been demolished.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 19, 2008 at 11:13 pm

More on the Sears complex:

View link

Many patrons of the Central Park and 20th Century must have worked there and lived nearby. This is the concept that made the neighborhood movie palace a success. It was pretty sharp marketing. Imagine working in a drab industrial setting and being able to walk down the street and hang out in a “palace”.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 21, 2008 at 7:18 pm

On October 29, 1929, the 20th Century was advertised in the Chicago Tribune as one of the “Essaness Talkie Theatres,” with an address given of 3538 W. Roosevelt Road. It was showing William Boyd in “The Flying Fool,” day-and-date with the circuit’s Knickerbocker and Lakeside Theatres.

KenC on December 27, 2008 at 4:34 pm

From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings-Friday May 17, 1957: 20th CENTURY 3530 W. Roosevelt Road CHA-CHA-CHA vs. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL “Cha-Cha-Cha Boom!” ALSO IN C'SCOPE! “Gun for a Coward”.

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