Ogden Theatre

1619 W. 63rd Street,
Chicago, IL 60636

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The Hippodrome Theatre opened in 1912 in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side, and was built for the Ascher Brothers circuit. It was located near the intersection of 63rd Street and Ashland Avenue, not far from Ogden Park. Both movies and vaudeville acts were featured in its early years. Renamed Atlas Theatre in 1918, in 1920 it became the West Englewood Theatre. In the mid-1920’s, Bob Hope worked at the West Englewood Theatre, appearing as an emcee.

In 1936, Warner Brothers, which ran the theater from the 1930’s into the 1950’s, had the theater completely remodeled in Art Moderne style by the firm of Pereira & Pereira. After a brief closure, it reopened, renamed the Ogden Theatre, with movies only.

It remained in operation until 1961, and was demolished in the summer of 1962.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Englewood
Englewood on August 14, 2007 at 12:20 pm

CORRECTION—Second Line in hed should read:

to Be Entirely Remodeled

Edward Jurich
Edward Jurich on October 11, 2007 at 1:15 am

I watched the theater being torn down while I was in high school (Lindblom). The building was not built to be torn down. It took them months to get it down. The iron ball would take a swing at the auditorium wall and a few bricks would fall off.

dukeofdorwood
dukeofdorwood on March 7, 2008 at 1:35 pm

I grew up going there-25 cartoons on Saturday afternoons-first time I saw scantily clad (for then) ladies at movies with my parents.

KenC
KenC on September 23, 2008 at 11:38 pm

From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings dated Wednesday Oct. 9, 1957: OGDEN 1619 W. 63rd TOMORROW ON STAGE DR. JEKYL’S WEIRD SHOW MONSTERS RUN LOOSE IN THE AUDIENCE…GHOSTS SIT BY YOU…SEE JAMES DEAN MATERALIZED BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES…WE DARE YOU TO SEE IT. FREE PERFUME TO THE GIRLS. FREE 2 FOR 1 PASS FOR a FUTURE MOVIE. I was a kid clear across town at the time- but would have loved to be in Englewood that day. And James Dean??? Turns out “THE JAMES DEAN STORY” was playing that week at the nearby Southtown and many other neighborhood theatres,along with “SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS”.

Englewood
Englewood on October 22, 2008 at 8:08 pm

I believe this theater was known (even before it was the West Englewood) as the Hippodrome in 1910.

Englewood
Englewood on October 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm

The first day of the demolition of the Ogden Theater was Friday, July 27, 1962, by the State Wrecking Company, 3415 So. Kedzie Avenue.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 16, 2009 at 12:51 am

Here is a January 1915 ad from the Suburbanite Economist:
http://tinyurl.com/r83pb6

justinterested
justinterested on September 19, 2011 at 12:14 am

Spent many a Saturday afternoon at the Ogden in 1940, only needed 5 cents for the movie, and 5 cents for pop corn.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 7:42 am

The principals of Pereira & Pereira, the firm that did the 1936 remodeling of the West Englewood Theatre, were William Pereira and Hal Pereira. Percival Pereira was an older architect who was never a member of this firm.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm

The 1915 ad linked by kencmcintyre says that the Marlowe Hippodrome Theatre was at 63rd Street and Stewart Avenue. The Hippodrome at 63rd and Ashland (or Marshfield) was a different house. I found a 1915 reference to a business at 1621 63rd in the Hippodrome Building, which would put it pretty close to the corner of Marshfield.

The West Englewood/Ogden must have been the proposed theater in this item from The American Contractor of October 4, 1919:

“ $600,000. Marshfield av., S., 6301-11. Brk. Theater: Owners Ascher Bros., Consumers bldg. Mas. Reidenour & Erickson, 535 E. 47th. Archt. H. L. Newhouse.”
6301-11 Marshfield would be at the southeast corner of Marshfield and 63rd. Items in the same journal later that year indicate that contracts had been let and construction was underway before the end of 1919. An item in the August 28, 1920, issue of the Forest Park Review said that Ascher Bros. new Englewood Theatre at 63rd and Marshfield was expected to open by January 1, so by that time the project would have taken more than a year to complete.

I’m not sure if the old Hippodrome was just extensively rebuilt or was demolished for Ascher Bros. West Englewood Theatre. One possibility would be that Ascher Bros. acquired several lots along Marshfield Avenue behind the Hippodrome and built an entirely new auditorium there, cutting a new lobby through the existing building to 63rd Street.

Ascher Bros. had opened the Columbus Theatre on Ashland just off 63rd in 1915, but it was only half the size of the Ogden. Most likely they found business too brisk for the smaller house and built this theater to replace it. The Columbus was closed in 1926.

In 1927, the West Englewood Theatre was one of three south side houses that Ascher Bros. sold to the National Theatres Corporation, according to an item in the March 1 issue of Suburbanite Economist. The others were the Colony, at 50th and Kedzie, and the Highland, at 70th and Ashland.

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