Round Up Theater

2858-60 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60618

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Showing 1 - 25 of 27 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2018 at 4:03 am

The records of the American Terra Cotta Company contain a number of projects combining theaters and stores and designed for a partnership called Kusel & Harris. So far all of them I’ve come across list the architect of the projects only as Harris.

I don’t know if it was the same Harris who was having the projects built or not (quite a few architects did go into the theater development business), but the architect in question was most likely Ralph C Harris, who is known to have designed a number of Chicago theaters in the 1910s.

One of the projects was for a store at Milwaukee Avenue and Wolfram Street, which was the location of the Round Up. This theater was thus probably of Ralph C. Harris’s design.

GFeret on February 7, 2018 at 12:27 pm

great, we have here photos of all three named theatre incarnations—ROSE, then DALE, then ROUND-UP. The last seemed to give up and close about the same time as its very nearby milwaukee ave neighbor theatre the NITA. The early 50’s consumed a lot and 1953 seems to me to be the statistical closure peak year. Television was officially taking over and there was no longer a commercial need for so much movie screen city address saturation

Rob on June 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

Abt was super helpful, but interestingly the photo they had was a heavily photoshopped variant of the one above, covering up both Round-Up signs. Must’ve been used as part of a promotional piece… If only I could track down Kenny1950, he must know.

Broan on June 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

You could see if Abt has a better copy.

Rob on June 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

Thanks for the tip, Broan! So far, I found this 1936 photo of the New Dale on the Theatre Historical Society’s site:

The Chicago History Museum also has a 1917 photo of the Rose.

Unfortunately, due to restrictions on photo permissions, these photos can’t all live in the same place!

Broan on June 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

Theatre Historical Society in Elmhurst, if anywhere

Rob on June 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

Does anyone know where I can find the original photo posted here for this theatre? I’d like to get a higher-resolution scan for a neighborhood history book I’m co-authoring.

DocHolliday on June 1, 2012 at 7:44 am

In 1950 when I went to the Roundup as a kid we would go there in cowboy attire and check our capguns at the desk where they would all be hung on a pegboard with a claim check. Then we could see the movies but not be able to shoot our guns during them. Very cute. Everything else was cowboy also. A veritable boy’s fantasyland. Addio, Colonello and Addio, Roundup.

kenny1950 on February 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Click on the photo tab. I have loaded a picture of the Round Up Theater.

Broan on January 19, 2010 at 9:47 am

I’m sorry to report that I did take a number of photos inside the Dale a couple years ago, but lost them to a hard drive crash. It was in pretty poor shape but the upper lobby was fairly intact, sealed off since the 30s, the proscenium was there, and parts of the walls and ceilings in the auditorium. The worst section was the hall to the auditorium, which was down to bare brick.

GFeret on August 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm

ooh – why do you even say such a thing SSB about the UPTOWN (yes I know not the right place for this). You see I drove by it yesterday expecting to see some sign of change or progress since ownership and policy question resolved a few months back. And you know what I saw? A lotta nothin'.

123james on August 18, 2009 at 1:59 pm

another one bites the dust——-ipray this doesn’t happen to the uptown with crew and wrecking ball sneaking in the middle of the night——and when morning comes——A TRUE CLASSIC THEATER IS GONE FOREVER———

GFeret on June 9, 2009 at 6:37 am

ROUND-UP (DALE) status as of yesterday – GONE.

As alluded to in the post directly above it was demolished last week.

Everybody hurry over to get your souvenier bricks, so you can mark and display next to your LUNA and PALACE Theatre bricks.

The owner should’ve posted to this site, if he had the sensitivity much less the guts, so one of us could’ve gone inside as a representative and final photographer.

Rob on June 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I just walked down Milwaukee past Wolfram today, and noticed the old Round Up building in the process of being demolished. There’s nothing left but the rear entranceway and a pile of rubble…

This was much to my surprise, as the last I’d heard (last Fall) a local organization was planning to buy the place and convert it to a community theatre.

GFeret on February 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm

BWChicago: as you can see on the flyer that old photo’s printed side-by-side with the Glenview one dated 2009, and as such even if the intent is to express ABT’s age by printing 1936 over the old picture, you’ll agree most people will presume the vintage date/photo represent eachother actually.

Broan on February 4, 2009 at 10:01 am

Abt is indicating that they were founded there in 1936, not that the photo is from 1936.

GFeret on February 4, 2009 at 7:37 am

Excuse me for appending my own entry above:

ABT claims this old photo dates to 1936 (?). Does that make sense given the film actually playing the ROUND-UP? And storefront advertising in the window of the old ABT store says “January Trade-In RoundUp”, a tie-in with their nextdoor neighbor also visible in the photo.

GFeret on February 4, 2009 at 7:04 am

Referencing the preceeding ROUND-UP / DALE entry by Mr. R. Smolen:

Right now no need for me nor anyone else in this area (ABT has quite a huge database of old customers) to drive out to Glenview to see this theatre photo, because it appears re-printed right on the face of a mass-mailed flyer advertising ABT’s 73 yr. customer appreciation day sale this weekend (sorry for the unavoidable plug). And it’s clear enough to make-out now-playing film THE FAR FRONTIER (Roy Rogers 1949 – imdb) dating the image for us and in keeping with the new Westerns policy stated in the data at CT page top. Other ABT customers around here remember their 2 other store locations both in Morton Grove (the earlier of the 2 right across the street from the old Morton Grove multiplex on Dempster Ave), previous to Glenview. No endorsement intended whatsoever.

rso1000 on July 12, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Take a ride to ABT in Glenview. Until the 1960s ABT was located on the corner of Wolfram and Milwaukee (next to the Lobby). ABT has a photo of the old store and the DAlE — now renamed the ROUNDUP.
Looks like a publicity photo for the theatre because theres a cowboy on a horse and lots of kids. I’m sure they will make a copy if you ask them.

Broan on April 10, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Mpalmer: the Theatre Historical Society of America in Elmhurst has a photo of the exterior before its facade was altered (as the Rose); the above shows the facade as the Dale which is more or less the same facade it has now except better-kept. I have not come across any photos of the auditorium. If it’s at all possible for me to see or photograph the former auditorium space, please send me an email. You can find my address by clicking on my name right below this message.

macpal4141 on April 10, 2008 at 11:42 am

My office is currently listing this building for sale, and I am working hard with the current owner to keep the building standing. I am a big advocate for preserving historic architecture. I am trying to look for some pictures of the theater in its hay day (when it was The Rose, The New Dale, or The Round Up). I would like to use some photos for marketing and to hopefully persuade the current owner that it still has potential. If anyone has any old photos of this building I would love to see some.

GFeret on January 7, 2008 at 10:16 am

The DALE auditorium exterior is most evident even today—just turn onto Wolfram St (WB) from Milwaukee Ave and it’ll hit you like the brick wall it still is, complete w/ emergency exits that haven’t been cracked in 50+ yrs. It’s obviously ‘heythisisanoldtheaterbuilding’ time.

Never saw a film there myself, as they probably showed their final flick just after I made my debut. My Dad told me he knew this as the DALE most commonly, after being changed from the ROUND-UP. Directly across the street (Milwaukee) from DALE was the NITA, but I swear you can’t recognize the NITA now as a (former) theatre from what’s left of the old bldg—too much alteration.

Broan on November 18, 2007 at 2:23 pm

The famous local store Abt Electronics had its start in the corner store here from 1936 to the mid 70s. Perhaps a little ironic – it started as a theater, and now Abt is one of the leading home theatre companies.

Broan on November 15, 2007 at 9:26 pm

It was renamed the (New) Dale when it reopened November 20, 1936. It adopted a western policy under H&E Balaban in 1949 as the Round Up, like the Julian. By 1957 it had become a furniture store. A photo of it just after becoming the Dale is posted at

Broan on November 15, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Zacatecas restaurant remains open, but the building is now up for sale.