1543 W. 95th Street,
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Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.
Architects: Ronald F. Perry, Mason Gerardi Rapp
Firms: Holabird & Root, Rapp & Rapp
Styles: Art Deco
The Beverly Theatre was located on 95th Street in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago and opened on June 4, 1935 with Al Jolson in “Go Into Your Dance”. 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 theatre until its closure.
The Beverly Theatre dubbed itself the “Home of the Single Feature” in an age when most other theatres 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!
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Recent comments (view all 75 comments)
The building is now the Third Baptist Church of Chicago. http://www.flickr.com/photos/zol87/4796931252/ http://www.movie-theatre.org/usa/il/chicago/IL%20Chicago%20City.pdf The Zip code should be 60643 and the Google street view map needs to be updated
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.
Confused…why is this listed under Rapp and Rapp Architects?
As noted in earlier comments, Mason Rapp of Rapp & Rapp did remodeling work in the 1950s.
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
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.
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!
1935 photo added courtesy of J.J. Sedelmaier.
Links to the Getty Images photos of the Beverly Theatre.
Grand opening ad posted.