Unique Theatre

376 S. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60604

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This small Loop theater sat about 300, and was situated just north on State Street of the much-larger Rialto Theatre, between Van Buren and Adams Streets. It was located across the street from the large, ornate Rothschild Department Store (later housing the Davis Store, then Goldblatt’s Department Store, and today the Loop campus of DePaul University).

The Unique opened in 1919, and was part of the Jones, Linick, Schaefer circuit, which also included the Orpheum, the Randolph and the Bijou Dream, among others. The Unique had a fairly short life-span, closing during the 30s.

The former theater, along with the neighboring Rialto Theatre, was demolished in the late 70s and is today a small patch of parkland in the middle of the South Loop, just across Van Buren Street from the Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago’s main public library.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Broan on February 27, 2005 at 10:03 pm

Jazz Age Chicago’s early theatres index shows this at 276 S State; however, that’s on the northeast corner of State and Jackson, which doesn’t jibe with the description. Their description of the theatre, however, does agree with the description here.

CHICTH74 on June 13, 2006 at 7:24 pm

I offten wondered what was on that spot, a lot of people use that CTA station i think the park is dedacated to the Pritzer famley.
It would be nice to see aomething marking the face that the for mentioned theatres were on this spot.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on April 29, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Judging from the park’s location, the original address would be 376 S State.

So I’m guessing Jazz Age Chicago was off by one digit.

DavidZornig on November 30, 2008 at 6:02 pm

For the record there is a movie theatre in the lower level of the Harold Washington Library. They often ran free films for the public during Summer months. Marx Bros. films, etc. Sometimes lectures with films.

I think the back of the old Binyon’s restaurant on Plymouth court faces the park. Now renovated with a rooftop cafe I beleive.

TLSLOEWS on May 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

Any photos of this “Unique” theatre?

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