Elba Theatre

3115 S. Indiana Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60616

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Elba Theatre

The Delphi Theatre was opened in 1912 by O.C. Hammond, who, along with his sons, operated a small chain of theatres on the South Side, including the Phoenix Theatre, the Fountain Theatre, the Pickford Theatre and their largest and best-known house, the Vendome Theatre.

The Hammonds' theatres were a place where African-Americans, pouring into the South Side of Chicago from the South during this time, could be entertained in comfort and class, which they were not able to enjoy at the majority of the theatres in the area which catered to white audiences and often treated African-Americans poorly or denied them admittance entirely.

The Delphi Theatre was located on S. Indiana Avenue at E. 31st Street, across from Dunbar Park. The Delphi Theatre was renamed Elba Theatre by 1920 and continued to operate at least through the 1930’s. In 1952 it was converted into a bowling alley. It has been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Khnemu on October 21, 2016 at 5:56 am

According to the Chicago Tribune of February 3, 1952, the former theater was converted into a bowling alley.


Abe Drucker, Chicago attorney, will join Chicago’s bowling family on June 1. Drucker has purchased the Elba theater and is remodeling the building for a 12 alley plant. The theater was previously the site of tenpin recreation.

Khnemu on October 26, 2016 at 5:47 pm

This was actually opened as the Delphi Theater, and later renamed the Elba. It had already received the new name by 1920.

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