Uptown Theater

4816 North Broadway,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Uptown Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

One of the last great movie palaces in Chicago, this fabulous theater was built in the Uptown neighborhood in the north of Chicago in 1925. The Uptown Theater was the largest movie palace in Chicago, larger than any in the entertainment hub within the Chicago downtown known as ‘The Loop’, and according to the Theatre Historical Society of America list, was the 12th largest movie palace ever built in the U.S.A.

Changing times and the shift in population have not helped the Uptown Theater and although it was a destination for moviegoers for several decades, it was closed December 19, 1981. Additionally, the Uptown Theater has succumbed to water damage, vandalism and the wear and tear of time. Every year its exterior stands stoically facing the cold winter while its interior slowly erodes.

The Uptown Theater is one of the last truly great theaters without a certain future. The Uptown Theater must be saved before it is too late.

Recent comments (view all 446 comments)

LouRugani on May 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

WGN-TV’s ( www.wgntv.com/ ) live News at Nine (PM) on Tuesday May 14 will take its cameras inside the UPTOWN Theatre to see how it looks today. Then on Wednesday, May 15’s News at Nine reports on plans for a planned music district centered around the theatre. And then on May 15 at 10 pm, CLTV will broadcast a live half-hour special “Creating a Music District” with theatre owner Jerry Mickelson, Alderman James Cappleman and the Green Mill Lounge owner Dave Jemilo with host Randi Belisomo to discuss plans and take viewers' questions, which can be submitted in advance to the CLTV Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/cltvnews?ref=tn_tnmn ) or by phone to 877-358-CLTV. Follow the discussion on Twitter with @CLTVNews and use the hashtag #Uptown. All of the stories will be posted on www.wgntv.com and www.cltv.com.

JustinWhitfield on June 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm

One of my favourite theatres in the world…I wish we had a grand theatres like this one here in Australia…

If i had the money i would love to buy this theatre or one like this one, Like many others, just to bring her back to life.. And I know from the local TV station that’s this is what is about to happen to the Uptown.

I believe that people love these grand theatre because there is such an emotional connection and an experience that you can not get any where else in the world.

Walking through that grand foyer alone would be just the biggest wow factor let alone walking into the theatre itself to here your favourite band, movie etc.

Would love to be part of helping in the restoration of this grand theatre as I had a lot to do with the capital Theatre in Sydney Australia from the entire audio system it was an Honor to work there for two years, and from that I have had a massive passion for large theatres as it is my dream to own one, one day soon. And was honoured to be the sound engineer for the first opening it was amazing…

The funny thing is I am looking to move to the USA in the next year or two for business.

Would love to be part of the dream is their anything that I can do here in Australia as i know there looking to raise $80- $100 million

Your biggest fan

Justin Whitfield

paullewis on March 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Like Justin Whitfield I wish I had a substantial amount of money to donate towards the restoration of what has to be one of the top 5 or 6 Movie Palaces of all time. In Australia they have managed to save the Melbourne Regent (auditorium although not as large, based on the much lamented Capitol/New York, my all time favourite) The Sydney State with one of the finest lobbies anywhere and of course the wonderful Capitol in Sydney. The loss of the Brisbane Regent was a disgrace, arguably the finest overall in the country.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 6, 2014 at 1:26 am

There’s been some talk of locating a George Lucas museum here. So far it doesn’t seem too serious.


Trolleyguy on June 28, 2014 at 9:19 pm

The new “Transformers” movie prominently features the Uptown at the beginning of the film. The only thing is, that it has been moved to a small town in Texas. There are shots in the lobby and auditorium, as well as the projection room.

whtesoxfan56 on November 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm

So are all the Transformers(2014? I’ve lost count of the # of Transformers movies Bay has done, since I don’t care about them for the most part, since calling it quits to this series after Transformers 2) Uptown Theater scenes, only at the beginning of the film, and there aren’t any later in the plot? Interesting to know, since I’d still like to catch this movie on cable at some point, and just watch the Uptown Theater scenes outta minor curiosity.

moviefanaticfan on January 11, 2015 at 9:32 am

Here is a video link


LuisV on January 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Until recently, arguably, the two most magnificent of the world’s remaining unrenovated theaters were the Uptown in Chicago and the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn. That title now belongs to the Uptown alone! The Loew’s Kings $95MM restoration and expansion has been completed! Here is a great link to some incredible photographs of the fully restored masterpiece by Rapp & Rapp. FREE Tours to the public will be offered on Saturday, February 7th from 12:00 – 4:00 PM! I can’t wait to see it for myself! The first event, a sold out performance by Diana Ross, is on February 3rd!!!!! I hope this gives fans of the Uptown in Chicago some hope! http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/01/26/behold_brooklyns_magnificently_restored_kings_theatre.php#more

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

It ought to be mentioned in the introduction that the Uptown was the largest movie/vaudeville theatre in Chicago, and the 12th largest in the USA, according to records kept by Theatre Historical Society of America. And in Chicago, the Uptown was larger than any such in the entertainment hub known as “The Loop.”

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 7, 2016 at 9:00 am

The Uptown Theatre had its grand opening on August 18th, 1925, a date that was somehow not included with the ad posted in the Photos Section.

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