Academy Theatre

16 S. Halsted Street,
Chicago, IL 60661

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Corbis

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Academy, which opened in 1878 as the Academy of Music, seated 962 in 1945 but originally sat 2,450. It was located on Halsted Street, near Madison Street and Academy Place. This Near West Side neighborhood theater lasted at least through the 1940’s before closing. It was demolished long ago.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Broan
Broan on November 12, 2005 at 8:09 am

There was apparently an early mural of Alfonso Iannelli’s here. Chicago Tribune, 4/7/1916 p20

Broan
Broan on August 19, 2006 at 3:16 pm

A corbis caption claims: “Photo shows the old Academy of Music, 16 South Halsted street, which was the first theater in the world to be lighted electrically, causing temporary chaos among the actors, who refused to go on, behind the bright footlights, not being properly "made up' properly.” It was built in 1878 and Oscar Cobb was architect. Originally held 2,450 seats.

Broan
Broan on November 30, 2006 at 9:51 am

Unfortunately linking to corbis doesn’t seem to work. You’d have to search for VV7531

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 5, 2007 at 10:58 am

The Academy of Music in Chicago is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. E.P. Simpson was Mgr. and it had 2,450 seats. There was an orchestra floor and 2 balconies, and ticket prices ranged from 10 cents to 50 cents. The proscenium opening was 30 feet wide X 33 feet high, and the stage was 32 feet deep. The theatre was on the ground floor and there were 10 in the house orchestra.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 7, 2009 at 9:35 pm

This June 1930 item in the Chicago Tribune calls the theater the Bijou Academy:

Harry Parker, a chauffeur, was sentenced to twenty days in the county jail for contempt yesterday by Judge Hayes in the Superior court for giving perjured testimony. Parker was a witness in the $50,000 damage suit brought against the Bijou Academy theater, 16 South Halsted street.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 7, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Hmmm. I wonder if this place is where that Catholic Charities Thrift Store was until just recently. Just North of Dugan’s and across from Walgreens.

The thrift store building had very high tin ceilings, and a massive freight elevator in the rear. The 2nd floor was divided up kind of strangely too.

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