Elmwood Theater

431 Harrison Street,
Oak Park, IL 60304

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This small Oak Park movie house opened in 1915. It was located on Harrison Street, near Gunderson Avenue.

The Elmwood Theater operated until the early-1950’s, when the property was acquired (along with many of its neighbors)to make way for the Congress Expressway (renamed the Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway in 1964). The theater was demolished about 1954.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

0123456789 on July 9, 2010 at 9:16 am

I have family living there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm

The description says that the Elmwood Theatre was near Gunderson Avenue, which is three blocks east of the location at which Google Maps placed its pin icon. It might not be Google’s fault this time. The address of the theater might have been in the 400 block of Harrison Street, not the 600 block.

Although the following item was in the February 27 issue of Construction News in 1915, not 1913 when the Elmwood is supposed to have opened, I think it could be about the Elmwood Theatre:

“Motion Picture Theatre- 2 stores & 6 flats, $35,000, Oak Park, Ill., Elmwood & Harrison. Mason, W. Pillinger, 118 N. La Salle St. Carpt., Diegley & Campbell, 139 N. Clark St. Archt. Frank O. DeMoney, 19 S. La Salle St. Owner, C. H. Kessler, 725 S. Elmwood Av. Pressed brk. & terra cotta trim, 2 stys. & bsm., 100x125. Excavating.”
Elmwood Avenue is one block east of Gunderson Avenue. As for the 1915 construction date, if there was an Elmwood Theatre as early as 1913, it’s possible that the house opened as a small storefront operation and moved to new quarters two years later.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm

The correct address for the Elmwood Theatre is 431 Harrison Street, as listed in the local telephone directory in 1916. Advertisements for the theater from the period gave its location as Harrison Street and Gunderson Avenue.

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