Lincoln Hall

2424 N. Lincoln Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60614

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Lincoln Hall/3 Penny Cinema, Chicago, IL

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Directly across Lincoln Avenue from the much more famous Biograph Theatre, where John Dillinger was killed, sits the 3 Penny Cinema, which has been around just as long.

Opened in 1912 as a nickelodeon called the Lincoln Theatre, it became the Fullerton Theatre from 1914 to 1916. The building afterward was converted into a garage and machine shop. It was reopened in the late-1930’s as the Crest Theatre. The 3 Penny Cinema is often remembered with dubious fame as the site of the Chicago premiere of “Deep Throat”. Among its other historical highlights was hosting the FBI sharpshooters on its roof who sought to prevent Dilinger’s escape from the Biograph Theatre.

Though neither ornate or a palace by any means of the imagination, the theater was one of Chicago’s more popular movie houses. The decor was minimal, but the exterior still retained an antique ticket booth and fragments of its original Neo-Classical facade.

The auditorium, which once housed about 500, was divided into two screens during the 1970’s with one seating about 230 and the other seating 120.

The 3 Penny Cinema also featured foreign, classic, and independent films.

The 3 Penny Cinema was unfortuntely closed in June of 2006 by the city of Chicago due to its owners non-payment of amusement taxes, ending the movie-going experience on this stretch of Lincoln Avenue dating back to the early decades of the 20th century. The Biograph Theatre closed in 2004 and is has since been transformed into a live theatre venue owned by the Victory Gardens theatrical company.

The former 3 Penny Theatre re-opened as a concert venue named Lincoln Hall on October 16, 2009.

Contributed by John L. Roe, Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 44 comments)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 20, 2009 at 5:07 am

Scaffolds are now down. The front of building’s first floor is still covered up during whatever remodling is ongoing. However there are new Marvin windows installed on the second floor overlooking Lincoln Ave. Shouldn’t be much longer.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on June 30, 2009 at 8:17 am

Here’s one of my pictures of the 3 Penny from June 8, 2008:

View link

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

If I remember correctly, they had the 3 Penny outfitted to look like a hotel for the filming of “Public Enemies. They hung a retro distressed neon HOTEL sign over the doorways in DarkRefrain’s above picture.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on July 27, 2009 at 11:03 am

Here’s one of my picture of the 3 Penny from last week:

View link

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 27, 2009 at 11:57 am

Shaping up nicely. Good to see they tore off that ugly wood facade.
Must be big money into it by now.

Broan
Broan on September 6, 2009 at 8:30 pm

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Looks like the lost the proscenium and terrazzo somewhere along the way, too bad. Otherwise it looks like an awesome venue

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on September 14, 2009 at 8:10 am

The 3 Penny Cinema is now called Lincoln Hall. Here’s the link to their website:

http://www.lincolnhallchicago.com/

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 7, 2009 at 1:16 am

Another article about the former 3 Penney’s conversion to a concert venue:
View link

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on January 31, 2010 at 1:58 am

A recent article about events, including free movie showings (probably video or digital projection) at Lincoln Hall, including a picture of the exterior as it is now:
View link

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Crest renovations described in this 1939 trade article: Boxoffice

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