Harvard Theatre

6312 S. Harvard Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60621

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Harvard Theater aprox 1949

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Harvard Theatre was located in the Englewood neighborhood, on Harvard Avenue near 63rd Street, not far from today’s Dan Ryan Expressway. It opened in 1914 and could seat about 720.

During the 1920’s, it was part of the Fecher & Nortman circuit, which also operated a handful of other theaters in the area around that time, such as the Lexington, Kimbark and Drexel.

The Harvard Theatre closed in sometime in the 1960’s and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

CharlesZirino
CharlesZirino on October 18, 2005 at 3:24 pm

Make that Vincent Price.WHOOPEE again!

Englewood
Englewood on July 31, 2007 at 5:32 pm

From the Chicago Sunday Tribune of August 31, 1947:

THEATER UNIT
IS LEASED FOR
TERM OF YEARS
Samuel Chernoff, who has been operating motion picture theaters in the Chicago area for the last 12 years, yesterday leased for a long term of years, the Harvard Theater building, 6312 S. Harvard Avenue. The building contains a 750-seat theater and five stores.
The lessors were Ivan Goode and Samuel Lerner. Irving S. Kaulin was attorney in the leasing transaction. Chernoff said he intended to install new lounges, winter and summer air conditioning, and new lobby and auditorium decorations before he begins operating the theater.

Englewood
Englewood on November 6, 2008 at 11:10 pm

From the Englewood Times of January 11, 1924

$25,000 Harvard Theater
Organ Being Installed

Within a few weeks the patrons of the Harvard theatre will have the pleasure of having one of the latest models of Robert Morton Organs. In speaking to Mr. Costen, the Harvard manager said:

“This organ will be equal to the best found anywhere in this country, as it combines all the merits of a unified organ, with its wonderful flexibility and ease of control. It is indeed an organ worthy of its cost, which totals over twenty thousand dollars.”

This organ should have been installed last November, but owning to the illness of Mr. Costen and other obstructions it has been delayed.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 15, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Here is a July 1915 ad from the Suburbanite Economist:
http://tinyurl.com/pvmyxy

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 16, 2009 at 6:48 am

Here is a March 1923 ad from the same source:
http://tinyurl.com/ppupfg

justinterested
justinterested on September 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm

it is wondered why someone would build such a small theatre such as the Harvard. Being so small, i am sure it was only meant to be a neighborhood theatre. I remember seeing it in the 30’s, my grandfather took me to that area on a visit to a hardware store. Of interest, there was an El station at 63rd and Harvard. The El at that time continued on to 64th and Halsted Street, where it ended, but at 63rd and Harvard at that time and through the war, the El line unhooked one car from the train and it took a spur line father south, ending at Loomis Boulevard, i cannot recall what the east/west street was. When a train from Halsted, came back to go downtown it would wait at 63rd for the spur train to be hooked on the back of the main line train and contunue to the loop. i rode that train many times as a young boy. The year my grandfather took me to that hardware store was 1935. If my memory serves me right, there was a White Castle or a Wimpy’s under the el tracks on 63rd.

RickB
RickB on September 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm

The El spur was called the Normal Park branch. Chicago-L.org tells its story here.

jphuf
jphuf on April 24, 2015 at 9:48 am

Here is a photo I found of the Harvard Theater. Taken from the Harvard EL Station on the Englewood route. https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/img802.jpg Hope this link works, if not I have the image on my hard drive. If there is a way to embed this photo, let me know.

dsadowski
dsadowski on April 28, 2015 at 12:30 am

Thanks for linking to the photo on my blog. As this was part of a “mystery photos” contest, you can also find the same picture here:

http://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/04/28/chicago-rapid-transit-mystery-photos-solved/

This version has descriptive information added to the caption.

boilerbob7
boilerbob7 on April 28, 2015 at 8:42 am

Living at 227 W. 61st Place (now the Dan Ryan expressway) I frequented the Harvard since it was the closest to my house. The sound of the “el” trains was barely noticed. The most memorable movie I saw there was “Tulsa” when an entire oil field exploded and burned. It was in color. When the neighborhood north of 63rd Street changed in the early fifties, many of the small “mom and pop” stores started getting constantly robbed, resulting in their closing.

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