Normal Theatre

452 W. 119th Street,
Chicago, IL 60628

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Normal Theatre, Chicago

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This Art Moderne style movie house opened on March 21, 1936. The theatre was located in the West Pullman/Roseland neighboorhood, on 119th Street, at the intersection of Normal Avenue. The Normal operated through the 1980’s, but unfortunately has since been torn down and is today just a vacant lot.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

dougbruton on August 25, 2005 at 7:04 pm

I lived at 23 East 118th Street, just a few blocks from the Normal Theater. At one time I lived even closer on Perry Ave, across the street from Scanlan School. I recall attending the Normal Theater several times, although my favorite movie house was the Roseland Theater on Michigan Ave. I do remember watching a first run viewing of Disney’s Song of the South at the Normal. I moved from Chicago to Texas in 1945 and didn’t return until the 1970’s…what a sad experience. I went by all of the old movie house locations, including the Normal and found them either closed or torn down. The Normal was still there although it was closed. I have a photo from that trip and I will attempt to put it on this site soon.
Doug Bruton Denison, Texas

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 25, 2005 at 7:17 pm

Photographed it in the late 80’s. Last movie still on the marquee. Think it was Fort Apache: the Bonx. But don’t quote me. Wasn’t very big. Maybe 800 seats. Photos I took now are part of the THS archive.

dougbruton on August 25, 2005 at 7:57 pm

I took a photo of the Normal in the 1980’s and it has the same title on the Marquee..Fort Apache, the Bronx. Don’t know hyow to post the photo..
Doug Bruton

dougbruton on October 9, 2006 at 5:56 pm

The Normal was a nice neighborhood theater and I remember standing in line for about an hour to see Song of the South. Funny, that film has been withdrawn by Disney as racial. I thought it was a beautiful story, maybe I’m missing something. I took a picture of the Normal in 1990, it was closed and in very bad condition. Brought tears to my eyes. The Normal, Roseland, State, Parkway, Ridge and Verdi were the theaters I grew up with and still remember the first film I ever saw in 1942 at the Roseland…Boots & Saddles starring Gene Autry.
Doug Bruton Denison, Tx

Nataliejoy on October 10, 2006 at 10:10 am

Yes the last movie listed on the Normal marquee was Fort Apache, the Bronx, prior to it being torn down. The last movies I saw there were:
Cornbread, Earl & Me
It’s Alive and Adios Amigos (a double feature).

I also seem to remember seeing The Omen there. I remember the theater being a nice alternative to going downtown.

dougbruton on October 10, 2006 at 10:24 am

I took a picture of the Normal back around 1990…it was in bad condition and Fort Apache, the Bronx was still on the marquee. Great neighborhood theater and wonderful memories

MIKEC on November 21, 2006 at 12:21 pm



kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Listed at 456 W. 119 in the 1954 yellow pages. Phone number was COmodor 4-9132.

Trolleyguy on July 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I’ve uploaded a 1953 photo of the theatre.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on February 5, 2013 at 12:55 am

Trolleyguy; what is the 36 Broadway/Devon trolley car doing at 119th Street on the South Side?

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