Avaloe Theater

2811 W. Diversey Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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The Green Hornet Strikes Again! Promo Card 1941

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The Maplewood Theater opened by 1912, in the Maplewood neighborhood of Chicago, and was located on Diversey Avenue between California Avenue and Mozart Street. It could originally seat 299.

The Maplewood was partially demolished and rebuilt as the larger Avaloe Theater in 1927 which continued to operate until 1953. It was demolished and a gas station was built on the site, which has now also been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

RicoNance on December 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Oscar Brotman was the owner of the Avaloe in the 40’s and 50’s; I went to Brentano School with his daughter Barbara from 1945 thru 1952. They always impressed me as a nice Jewish family with all the latest material benefits and treated me as one of the family (at least in comparison with the non-Jewish second-generation white immigrant families of the neighborhood). I used to get a kick out of Oscar’s father, an old guy with a Yiddish accent who took tickets at the door. If I bought popcorn inside the theatre he did not say anything, but if I brought in a bag of that really delicious butter popcorn from the store next door he would always say, “Don’t get any on the floor.” Those were the days before the expressway when Fairfield went all the way to Diversey. I also remember that the Avaloe was one of the first businesses around that had a big “Air Conditioned” sign on it with icicles in the summer. My love of movies, especially Westerns, was solidified by the incessant movies they showed: a double-feature with brand-new movies plus newsreel and cartoons every Saturday plus brand-new fare on Sunday. They played over and over so if you came in during one feature you could stay for the next run. Good way to get rid of your kids for the weekend too. Those were the days.

RicoNance on December 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Excuse me; Oscar’s daughter was Roberta, not Barbara (confused her with another childhood flame).

rso1000 on January 20, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Well.. it took me a year and a half, but I found them.



rso1000 on January 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm

btw – big thanks to BWCHICAGO for assisting me in telling me how to post these tickets and share them with all of you.

GFeret on March 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm

not much of an entry here I know….

the AVALOE for me gets lumped together in my memory with others of its kind—the SYMPHONY on Chicago, the CROWN on Division, the BELL on Armitage, the MARS on Milwaukee. All are theatres in my part of town that I never actually attended, but in my youth can recall them still standing in shuttered state, marquees near collapsing usually, waiting for the demolition ball to put them out of their misery. These waits curiously lasted several years and saddened me, my young eyes and mind longing for the possibility and asking my Mom or Dad “when will they be showing films again there?”, as we’d drive by on some visit or shopping trip. I kept zealous watch of the Sun-Times theatre listings, and all the neighborhood theatres who changed their bill at least twice weekly and I wanted more. More open theatres meant more opportunities to catch the grade-Z sub-run double & triple features, mainly science-fiction & horror, that I ate up.

Now driving on Diversey myself at California stands a Walgreens and its parking lot, on the old AVALOE site, as may’ve been mentioned above already.

LouisRugani on April 28, 2010 at 12:04 am

Minor Terrorism Worried Chicago Police Wednesday
CHICAGO, Sept. 30 1931.â€"(IP)â€"An outburst of minor terrorism, marked
by three bombings, a stench bomb in a theatre, and the smashing of windows in five stores, gave police additional mysteries to clear up today.
The bombs exploded at Erhardt & Sons Paint shop, Arthur M. Gelden’s painting and decorating shop, and an Oak Park apartment building where George J. Erhardt Jr., one of the owners of the Erhardt & Sons shop, resides.
The stench bomb was set off in the Avaloe movie theatre, while the window smashings were at five Consumers' Sanitary Coffee and Butter stores. The bombs caused considerable damage.

karenwjacobsen on July 22, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Am just about to list on ebay approximately 30 promotional cards for the Avaloe Theater. They must have been printed up weekly to announce the movies of the week and other promotionals and give-aways. Anyone around interested in them before?

JimandBobJohnsen on December 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

My fondest memories were having the bus pick up my brother and I every Saturday in the projects(Diversey and Damen) to go to the movies. My mother made us popcorn and the westerns were our favorite movie.
posted by jimandbob on December 26, 2010

RiisPark on March 13, 2013 at 12:56 am

Anyone have a photo of the Avaloe?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2014 at 10:37 pm

The “Chicago” column of the October 7, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News had this brief item about the Maplewood Theatre. The impending name change was not mentioned:

“I. Brotman plans to reopen the Maplewood Theatre, 2811 Diversey on November 1st. This house has been practically rebuilt, and offers the neighborhood a de luxe, up-to-date theatre of thirteen hundred seats. Mr. Brotman also owns and operates the Clybourn Theatre.”
There might have been some delay in completing the project, or the name might have been changed to the Avaloe some time after the house had reopened, as the opening of the Avaloe Theatre was mentioned in the March 23, 1928, issue of The Film Daily.

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