Beverly Theatre

1543 W. 95th Street,
Chicago, IL 60635

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Architect pamphlet, page 1

The Beverly Theatre was located on 95th Street in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago and opened on June 4, 1935. Adjoining the movie house was an ice cream parlor, called the Bon Bon.

Operated originally by James Coston, who was head of Warner Brothers Midwest, it was part of the Warner Bros. circuit up until the early-1950’s, when the Costons took it over completely, along with other former Warner houses (the Jeffery and Rhodes Theatres). The family continued to run the theater until its closure.

The Beverly Theatre dubbed itself the “Home of the Single Feature” in an age when most other theaters were showing double features plus added shorts. The theatre had a curved screen, four-track magnetic surround sound and was one of the few theatres to have “Perspecta Sound” installed for the screening of Disney’s “Fantasia” in 1940. During the mid-1960’s, the theatre had a 56 week-long run of “The Sound of Music”. It was closed in September 1976, still drawing full houses, with a double feature of “Mother Jugs and Speed” and “Sparkle” being the last films shown at the Beverly Theatre.

The former theatre has housed a church for many years now.

Many thanks to Nick Coston for his valuable information on this theatre!

Contributed by Nick Coston, Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 73 comments)

lynnrxgal on June 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

My grandmother was Ethel Nortman Henricks and her father, Fred Nortman, owned several theaters on the south side (Fecher and Nortman). Ed Schell also was a theater owner and was Fred Nortman’s brother-in-law. We had free passes to the Beverly Theater when I was growing up because the Costans were associates/friends. Does anyone remember the Nortman/Fecher theaters?

Genx66 on June 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Thank you for posting pictures of the Beverly Theater. I well remember my Dad taking me there as a child in the early 70s to see the classic Disney films that ran on Saturday afternoons. I saw my first features there as well and if I was lucky I might get something from the hobby shop next door.

I have great memories of those early days in Chicago and the Beverly was part of that. A beautiful venue that the State Street venues at the time could not match and would outshine today’s multiplexes.

Thank you for hosting such a fine establishment. It was very appreciated and sorely missed from the day it closed.

Zol87 on August 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm

The building is now the Third Baptist Church of Chicago. The Zip code should be 60643 and the Google street view map needs to be updated

DBuckley on September 19, 2012 at 2:24 am

During a screening of the desert epic “Lawrence of Arabia" in 1962, during intermission, the Beverly blocked the water fountains on each side of the lobby with lemonade stands.

cath61 on February 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Confused…why is this listed under Rapp and Rapp Architects?

Broan on February 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm

As noted in earlier comments, Mason Rapp of Rapp & Rapp did remodeling work in the 1950s.

MissTee11 on May 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I use to live down the street from the theater, I remember seeing King Kong when it was playing, and after it became a church, I attended the Sunday School services provided. It was walking distance from me. Now living in MN, I look at these photos and I realize that this is a part of me and my family history

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 7, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Boxoffice of July 27, 1935, said that the Beverly Theatre was designed by architects Ronald F. Perry and Helmuth Bartsch. >This web page about Helmut [sic] Bartsch has seven photos of the Beverly Theatre (and also four apparently unrelated photos mistakenly labeled as depicting the Beverly Theatre.)

Helmuth Bartsch was an associate of Holabird & Root or its successor firms from 1928 through 1965. Ronald Perry was not mentioned in an exhaustive list of the Holabird & Root’s associates, so he must have been an independent architect.

Songb33 on September 27, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I remember seeing Mary Poppins there and then going next door to the Toy/Hobby Shop and wanting a Mary Poppins umbrella, I didn’t get it…but, I did get one several years ago when I saw it on stage at the Oriental. Childhood dreams can come true!

DavidZornig on March 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm

1935 photo added courtesy of J.J. Sedelmaier.

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