Chestnut Station Theaters

830 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60610

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Chestnut Station Demolition Front Elevation

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Chestnut Station Theaters opened in December 1983 by Cineplex Odeon inside what had previously been a US post office building designed in Art Deco style in the 30s. The six-screen movie house was located on Clark Street at Chestnut Street in the Near North neighborhood.

During the early 90s, the theater gained notoriety when a young woman was shot and killed in front of the theater, and the theater was known throughout the 90s of notorious for gang activity and the quality of films went down. During the mid-to-late 90s, the Chestnut Station was one of a couple Chicago venues which hosted film festivals, including the Chicago Latino Film Festival and the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. It was closed in 1999.

The former theater was demolished in 2003 to make way for a planned Jewish community center which never came to fruition, and the property remains a vacant lot today.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 34 comments)

DavidZornig on November 7, 2008 at 8:39 pm

I happened to catch an e-mail the other day from the new Alderman’s office.
It stated that the proposed project at Chesnut & Clark, a 370 foot, 28 story, 49 unit condo building with 83 parking spots, has been scaled back to a two story building.

There is currently a two or three story building on the S/E corner, but it can’t possibly have the amount of land to accomodate that size building.

So it must be refering to the former site of the Chestnut Station Theaters. Which has remained empty since it was demolished.

P.S. I do remember the Miami Vice color scheme inside the theater lobby. It actually knid of fit with the building’s low profile.

DavidZornig on November 7, 2008 at 8:52 pm

P.S. The small S/E corner building previously housed Audio Consultants.
An Evanston based, high end audio and later home theater showroom.

Down Clark St. at Chicago Avenue is a massive building that has has empty storefronts on the Clark elevation for over 15 years. On the top it appears to have some type of huge ballroom space or something.
Would be neat to check out someday.

Broan on November 7, 2008 at 9:37 pm

I believe it’s a recital hall or something at the top. No idea what they use it for now.

DavidZornig on November 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Wow. I remember those scaffolds going up, and getting scared that it was all doomed. I always thought a higher end thrift store would do well on that Clark Street side. Much like the one that got booted from S/W corner of Erie & Clark, then sat empty ever since.
Thanks for the link.

MPol on December 15, 2008 at 11:49 pm

What a horrible way for both a human being and a theatre to go down!

DavidZornig on April 15, 2009 at 12:14 am

Reactivate Notification Status.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on August 18, 2009 at 11:55 am

The Jewish center was never built, and the land remains vacant.

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

This opened on December 12th, 1983. Grand opening ad uploaded.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on June 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I notice that the vacant lot on the sw corner of Clark and Chestnut has a new agent offering it for sale. It was the site of a post office and later the Chestnut Station Theater.

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