Plaza Theatre

308 W. North Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60610

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Plaza Theater 308 W North Avenue

The Plaza Theatre was one of the early theatres of the Jones, Linick & Schaefer circuit (which included such houses as the Orpheum Theatre, Bijou Dream Theatre, Rialto Theatre and Randolph Theatre), and originally opened in 1909. The Plaza Theatre, located on W. North Avenue near N. Orleans Street, in the Old Town neighbhorhood, could seat close to 1,200.

During the 1940’s and into the 1950’s, the Plaza Theatre was part of the Essaness circuit. During the 1950’s and 1960’s the theatre was known as the New Plaza Theatre and later, the Plaza Art Theatre. The theatre remained in operation at least through the 1960’s before closing, showing soft-core adult films in its later years.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I think Ogden at one time ran past North all the way to Clark St. Someone once told me that you can spot the former path pretty easily by looking at an aerial photograph.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Sure enough, if you look at Google Maps you can see where it ran up to Armitage. I wonder when and why they decided to build the neighborhood over it.

Darrel Wood
Darrel Wood on January 5, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Ogden north of North Avenue was removed in 1967 as part of an urban renewal project for Lincoln Park.
A very detailed description of Ogden can be read on the awesome site Forgotten Chicago:

CompassRose on February 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Exterior of Plaza on North Avenue, Chicago, circa 1964: Plaza.

KenC on February 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Thanks for the pic, Compass. I remember the huge vertical sign ;had forgotten what the marquee was like. What was playing that day- HOLLYWOOD NUDIST REPORT and ADOLESCENT SHAME?? And the sidewalk sign by the curb states FREE PARKING…? Just want to make one correction- if the pic is from 1964, the Plaza was not close to demolition. I have the Sun Times movie listings from May 8, 1968- the Plaza was still open, showing AGONY OF LOVE plus THE NAKED CAPER.It may have been in operation til 1969 or even to 1970. Anyway, thanks again for posting.

KenC on February 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Just noticed- on May 8, 1968, the nearby TOWN theatre on Armitage had ON STAGE IN PERSON TURA SATANA (star of Faster Pussycat). I heard Tura passed away recently. Met her at the Music Box not long ago….. RIP.

yrrab1 on December 20, 2016 at 1:36 am

the plaza was reopened as an art theatr

yrrab1 on December 20, 2016 at 1:51 am

theater in 1962. it became an adult house in 1962.nthe playmates sold popcorn and posed for photos in the lobby. the dancer were hired for the stage shows. one of the playmates wore a topless swimsuit on north avenue beach as a publicity stunt on June 20, 1964. at one time the plaza, kim, oak and town (now the park west) were all operated by the same owners. I believe that they still own the park west. a tragic homicide occurred there after hours around 1968 and 1969.

DavidZornig on July 21, 2017 at 8:31 am

50 years ago today. July 21, 1967 Tribune movie page with an ad for the Plaza.

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