Chestnut Station Theaters

830 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60610

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

RickB
RickB on November 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Site to be redeveloped with row houses. DNAInfo story here. The story doesn’t mention the theater, but the picture matches the street view.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on July 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm

The site is still vacant. It is a valuable piece of land, and new buildings are going up around it.

mo4040
mo4040 on July 17, 2014 at 3:27 am

From 1987 to 1991, I went to a lot of movies with my girlfriend (once or twice a week, every week…anyone remember $3 Tuesdays?). Chestnut station was an alright place. I stopped going to the movies frequently after 1991 , when we broke-up, so I missed the decline of this Cinema.

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on June 26, 2012 at 2:27 am

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.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

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

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on August 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm

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

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 15, 2009 at 6:14 am

Reactivate Notification Status.

MPol
MPol on December 16, 2008 at 5:49 am

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

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 8, 2008 at 3:46 am

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.

Broan
Broan on November 8, 2008 at 3:37 am

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

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 8, 2008 at 2:52 am

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.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 8, 2008 at 2:39 am

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
DavidZornig on November 6, 2008 at 4:44 am

I just wanted to add that the Salvation Army had a massive headquarters building kitty corner from Chestnut Station and across from the Newberry Theatre.
It literally took up the entire block as does the condo building that replaced it. Bordering Dearborn, Chestnut, Clark & Delaware Streets. (Tooker Place was an actual street name for the alley that runs Eastbound from Dearborn between Chestnut & Delaware. Next to the Hazelton Rehab. Facility)

A small parking lot was on the Clark Street side. My father attempted projecting giant still photos on the Dearborn side marble like walls from our living room picture window at 863 N. Dearborn. He had a unique overhead projector from his days at a short lived creative agency called Image Makers. On Wabash across from Medinah Temple.

The condo building that replaced the Salvation Army was being built around 1994/95. There was a huge debate about it's prosposed new height. Experts were tapped to discuss the potential loss of sunlight on the park. Washington Square/Bughouse is also obviously famous for the soap box oratories in the20’s. And again for the dog leash
flare-ups where Ald. Natarus got in a disagreement with a cop and supposedly he was transferred.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 6, 2008 at 4:22 am

I stand corrected. Thanks Bryan.
That would put the actual Newberry Theatre across from the park. Which really didn’t need any more night life action than it had in the late 60's &70’s.
The city ultimately removed the run down covered structure in the center of the park, where the fountain is now.

Even with the CPD 18th District only a block away, Bughouse was a hotbed of vagrants, drugs & illicit activity back then. All across from my grade school.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 6, 2008 at 3:12 am

Even though I lived only 2 blocks away in the `90’s, I only saw a few things at Chestnut Station. “Dangerous Minds” was the last.

We did use it as our Post Office though prior to that. As we lived at 863 N. Dearborn in 1969 & `70. Fittingly that is now Hazelton.

The address of Chestnut Station is correct. However that of the Newberry Theatre on it’s link I believe is off by one block.
The Newberry was later called the Image Theatre and was still a gay porno house when it closed. It was South of Chicago Avenue, not North. Next to Stop & Drink.
I can find no listing for The Image Theatre on Cinema Treasures. So I assume they are one in the same. Just a block off.

In the block North of Chestnut Station on Clark across from Washington (Bughouse) Square, was a rather large auto dealer, Jocke Buick. Which took up most of the block. It had a rotating colored, pointy spire. Next to that was a small manufacturing building which only came down a few years back.

And then the massive Henrotin Hospital on the corner of Clark & Oak. That was there until 1985 or so, torn down and replaced by townhomes. This is why I think the Newberry was actually further South of Chicago Ave. There wasn’t really room for it in the 800+ block North on Clark St. There definately was an Image Theatre on Clark between Superior & Chicago. A guy we knew leased it to build a second Lamere Vipere. Famous punk bar on Halsted.
Since punk bar O'Banion’s was still at Erie & clark, this seemed a natural spot. However Natarus got alienated quick, and that was the end of Lamere 2.

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on October 8, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Here’s a mini article from the Chicago Tribune, 12/9/83

“Curtain rises for Chestnut Theatres' ‘return to opulence'
By Sid Smith

THE CHESTNUT Stations Theatres, latest entry in the sweepstakes for the trendy North Sider’s movie dollar, are scheduled to open at 5:15pm Friday with “Yentl” and “Sudden Impact”. Plans are for the theater complex, housed in an 80 year old post office at the corner of Clark and Chestnut streets, to have five screens operating and seat 1,300. For the first week, “Yentl” will occupy two screens and “Sudden Impact” two others. Next Friday, “To Be or Not to Be” and “Uncommon Valor” take over two of those screens; a fith is slated to open in January.

Essaness Theatres Corp, which owns the complex, spent $1.5 million restructuring the building’s interior to create what executive vice president Jack Belasco called “a return to opulence”. The building’s Art Deco exterior was scarcely altered.

THE FINISHED product is to include chandeliers bought at auction from a defunct movie palace in San Francisco, silver colored wall tiles imported from Belgium and a pink-and-green Art Deco carpet. Attendants behind a sleek black counter will dispense the traditional vending items; a direct line for calling cabs will be in the lobby. One of the theater’s five comfortably large screens can handle 70MM film, and the other four are for 35MM pictures. Admission will be $5."

There was no picture with the article, and I got this from the microfilm department at HW library center.

Broan
Broan on September 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Here is a picture from the Lincoln Village. I assume it was a similar setup at Chestnut.

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on September 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Neon lights on a doorframe? Ha! That sounds like a nightclub.

I wonder if that place in Elmhurst would have interior pictures? Every time I look at an old Essaness/Cineplex Odeon ad, I get curious about this place.

Broan
Broan on August 22, 2008 at 8:01 pm

View link Here is an old article about thr Jewish Center.

korgsman
korgsman on May 26, 2008 at 8:47 pm

I attended the Chestnut Station theater only once. I don’t recall what movie I went in to see due to the fact that I asked for refund because of the distraction. Who in their right mind decorates the doorframe to an auditorium with neon lights? Very bright neon lights!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 6, 2006 at 4:23 pm

The Jewish Center mentioned above is under construction.

ewokpelts
ewokpelts on October 6, 2006 at 2:11 am

I saw Return of the Jedi: Special Edition here in 1997. I was working at 600 n. Michigan theatres at the time. Needless to say, I got in free with an employee pass.
It’s a shame this theatre didnt survive. The neighbor hood is WAY MORE upscale now. Sames goes for Burnham Plaza. Both could have survived as art houses. God knows we need them.

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on August 30, 2006 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for the description KenC. I have a fascination for theaters before my time. And I’m really interested in this place because I never been here. Although I walked past this place a few years ago, before it was torn down. That’s when my brother told me about seeing Predator here and his description of this place.

KenC
KenC on August 29, 2006 at 12:32 am

To CinemarkFan: The Chestnut Station did not have an escalator. After buying your ticket,you entered to the left. There were two concession stands, both facing Clark street. Only one was open; usually the one at the south end of the lobby. The lobby was more wide than deep. Between the concession stands was a somewhat narrow walkway (heading west) to auditoriums 1, 2,3 and 4. Two of them faced south; two of them faced north(toward Chestnut street). They were not very large…200, maybe 240 seats each. Your brother was correct about the colors and the zig zag stuff on the walls. I have no memory of the color of the seats, but I know they were comfortable. Auditorium 5 was on the second level. To get there, you had to use a narrow staircase at the north end of the lobby. Both washrooms were up there, too. There was a very small elevator near the stairs; I never saw it in use. Auditorium 5 was by far the smallest: 80 to 100 seats, tops.