Erie Theatre

641 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60610

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Erie Theatre

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This River North neighborhood theater, located on N. Clark Street at Erie Street, sat just over 600. The Erie Theatre was opened by 1909. It was later known as the Town Talkie, seems to have closed by the 1940’s. It was converted into the French Casino, a burlesque theatre. By 1960 it had become a legitimate playhouse named Encore Theater.

A Walgreen’s has since been constructed on the site of the former theatre.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Khnemu on October 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

This theater has a brief mention in an article in the Chicago Tribune dated November 18, 1909, talks about a fundraiser being held at the Erie featuring 35 acts sponsored by the Actors' Union.

Khnemu on October 22, 2016 at 10:43 am

The original Red Star Inn, the famed German restaurant which later moved to Clark St. and North Ave., and survived for decades at that location, was either located on the site of the Erie Theater, or more likely was converted into the Erie Theater around 1908/1909. The Erie Theater disappears from the movie listings in the Tribune by 1916. I actually cannot find any listings in the Tribune for something called “Town Talkie” at this location at any time. The next time this address appears is in the mid-40s as the home of the French Casino, a burlesque house. By 1960, it became the Encore Theater, a legit playhouse. The latest article I could find for this venue was in 1963.

Broan on October 22, 2016 at 10:57 am

The Erie suffered fires in 1912 and 1925. The Erie Amusement Company in 1911 also owned the Huron at 703 N Clark and the Republic at 3916 N Lincoln. The Erie was known as the Town Talkie at least from 1932-1938.

Check out as you research these theaters, you can find a lot of stuff the Tribune might have missed.

Broan on October 22, 2016 at 11:16 am

A 1925 Tribune article on the fire which started in the basement notes that the building was a north side landmark, serving as Brand’s Hall, a dance hall, going back to 1877. A lithograph of Brand’s Hall (not the corner building, but next to it) is at

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