Linden Theater

743 W. 63rd Street,
Chicago, IL 60621

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Englewood
Englewood on November 12, 2008 at 9:23 am

Shedding a bit of light on the start of the Linden …

One thing, real quick, in the early days of Englewood, i.e., pre-Fire of 1871 and possibly pre-Civil War, what would become the intersection of 63d and Halsted was known as Linden Grove.

OK, that’s out of the way.
From the Englewood Times, Fri., April 30, 1909, small item on the front page:

“ANOTHER THEATER
"The old frame structure, built originally as the Linden theater on 63rd St., just east of Halsted, on the south side of the street, is being torn down, and it is said another theater will be built on the grounds. The new owner, Tom Gaynor, wants it to yield some revenue, as he does not intend to build on the corner for five years, and it was impossible to rebuild the old structure to comply with the fire ordinance.”

Hopefully, more to come [at some point]. Also, Tom Gaynor, at the time, also owned most of the properties at the intersections of 63rd and Cottage Grove Ave.,63rd and Ashland Ave., as well as most of 63rd and Halsted St.

calvin
calvin on September 18, 2007 at 6:00 am

What I remember about the Linden was making it a point not to sit close to the walls, or under anything (I don’t remember a balcony) and keeping our feet off the floor as much as possible. And most of all I remember the crackling sound and white streaks in most of their films. And who could forget the basement restroom?

Englewood
Englewood on September 13, 2007 at 11:10 am

Re: The posting I had above … it can be taken back even further, to March 25, 1895:

Thirty-first Ward, Linden Theater, Sixty-third and Halsted streets—-Speakers: G.B. Swift, C.G. Neely, Adam Wolf, Roy O. West, James R.B. Van Cleave, and others.

(These were speakers from a Republican convention.)

Englewood
Englewood on September 13, 2007 at 6:38 am

It appears that the Linden Theater probably was built before 1910. I have a Chicago Tribune article about a Republican convention (probably a state convention) in April 1900, that lists as its meetings:

CARTER MEETINGS FOR TONIGHT

6922 Wentworth avenue. Speakers Judge Carter, W. Clyde Jones, Western Starr.
Hesperian hall, Sixty-ninth street and Ashland avenue. Speakers, Judge Carter, Dewitt C. Jones, John A. Henry
Linden Theater, Sixty-third and Halsted streets. Speakers Judge Carter, General George Hunt, McKenzie Cleland.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on August 27, 2007 at 4:51 am

The new Kennedy-King college which is part of the Chicago Junior college system now stands on the site of the old Linden.

Englewood
Englewood on July 31, 2007 at 5:36 pm

From the Chicago Tribune, Thursday, April 22, 1948

MATE DIES IN MOVIE
AS WIFE IS FETED
AT BIRTHDAY PARTY

The body of Simeon Wilson, 63, a railway enginer who died in a neighborhood theater while his wife was the guest of honor at a surprise party on her 64th birthday in their home at 6533 Peoria Street, was identified yesterday in the county morgue by his son, Newel.
Wilson had taken Tuesday off from his duties with the Chicago Belt railroad and helped his wife observe her birthday. When members of her club arrived in the evening for a surprise party he went to the Linden Theater, 743 W. 63rd Street. His body was found slumped in a seat when the theater closed. His identity was traced thru his railway locker key.
Surviving also is another son, Herbert.

Broan
Broan on February 4, 2007 at 9:49 am

Known as the Winchester as of 1914

Broan
Broan on November 27, 2006 at 11:24 am

Built 1910, closed 1957, burned and demolished 1961. Manager claimed Bob Hope had once performed there.

KenC
KenC on November 8, 2005 at 4:05 pm

In “IMAGES of AMERICA- CHICAGO’S ENGLEWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD” by Maria Lettiere Roberts, there is a pic of the Linden theatre- in the 1930s- on page 58. A sign on the sidewalk, near the curb, says ADULTS 15 cents. On the very next page is a shot of the lobby of the Southtown theatre. It is AMAZING!

CharlesZirino
CharlesZirino on October 4, 2005 at 3:09 pm

Yikes Gerry, where do you get all this old stuff? here is what I remember about the Linden.Very small theatre,Lots of triple features mostly B westerns.seemed like forty coats of paint on everything. The weirdest washroom setup I ever seen. Cartoon shows on Saturday.small pamplets showing coming attractions for what seemed like the next twenty years.Cliff hanger serials.The haunting zither theme from The Third Man movie playing out front as you walked by. the music from the Jolson Story playing out front.Sticky floors and a horrendous odor kind of like a combination of pop corn, soda,candy and urinal cakes all mixed together God it was wonderfull!
Chuckie Z.

Englewood
Englewood on March 25, 2005 at 7:35 am

Here is an old picture postcard of one corner of 63rd & Halsted. Just to the left of Whelan’s Drugs is the Linden Theater. No year is stated but it appears to be from the 30s or 40s.

View link

Englewood
Englewood on January 12, 2005 at 4:26 pm

Anybody have the date as to when the Linden opened? And when it ceased being a theater? Or it’s demolishment?

Englewood
Englewood on January 8, 2005 at 1:21 pm

Of all the theaters in the Englewood shopping district in the 50s, it was the only one our mother forbade us to go in: 1) It had a reputation for being incredibly dirty, and 2) They showed dirty movies. I did go in once, to see a Superman movie, and found #1 to be quite true. As for #2, I never heard of any of the movies they advertised on their posters but those posters did, indeed, tend to be racy (for the 1950s). They usually had triple features and admission was cheaper than the other nearby theaters.