2811 W. Diversey Avenue,
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Firms: Grossman & Proskauer
Previous Names: Maplewood Theatre
The Maplewood Theatre opened by 1912, in the Maplewood neighborhood of Chicago, and was located on W. Diversey Avenue between N. California Avenue & N. Mozart Street. It could originally seat 299.
The Maplewood Theatre was partially demolished and rebuilt as the larger Avaloe Theatre in 1927 which continued to operate until it closed on June 14, 1953 with Marjorie Main & Percy Kilbride in “Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation” & Rosalind Russell in “Never Wave at a WAC”. It was demolished and a gas station was built on the site, which has now also been demolished for a Walgreens.
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Recent comments (view all 23 comments)
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.
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.
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?
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
Anyone have a photo of the Avaloe?
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: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.
Just found this website and am excited by RicoNance’s comment at the top. Born in 1944, I grew up near Schubert and Rockwell, now buried under the highway. With friends I remember going to the Avaloe in the late ‘40’s, early '50’s with a quarter. It cost 17 cents to get in, 6 cents for a Holloway sucker, and 2 cents for peanuts. Perfect! And I knew the Brotmans as Harris Brotman, who I believe was the son of the owner, was a good friend of mine. We went to YMCA camp together the summer of 1956. If you read this, Harris, or if any of you know what happened to him, please let me know. I’m Jordan Epstein in Portland, Oregon and I’m in the phone book. Great memories.
I. Brotman mentioned above must have been Oscar Brotman’s father. Oscar later ran the Loop, Cinema Art, Carnegie and other theatres.
Closed on June 14, 1953 with “Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation” and “Never Wave at a WAC.” Owner Isaac Brotman said vandals and hoodlums forced him to close the theatre.
Since tiny url no longer works… I have added a picture of TWO (2) Tickets that I found during demolition in the 1960’s … to the photos page