Pearl Theatre

1820 1st Street,
Highland Park, IL 60035

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The Pearl Theatre was an early movie house in downtown Highland Park on 1st Street between Central Avenue and Laurel Avenue, opposite the railway station. It opened in August 1917 and closed in 1931 as a silent movie theatre. It was reopened around 1937 and closed in 1942.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Hugh
Hugh on September 7, 2007 at 5:18 pm

The Pearl Theater was located on First Street, between Laurel and Central. Opposite the train station. I remember that our familily went to a double-feature there in the mid 1940s.

I was told at the time that it was owned by Mr. Pearl, who also owned the Alcyon (now the Highland Park.) And that the zoning laws said there could be no more than two theaters in town. Each time someone would consider opening a second one, Mr. Pearl would open the Pearl for aa short run, until the crisis was over. I believe it was torn down in the 1950s or 60s, and I think a car dealer was put in its place.

Hugh Spencer

Broan
Broan on November 23, 2016 at 8:27 am

William Pearl operated the Highland Park theater from ~1910-1917 (no CT listing). The Pearl opened in August 1917, architect William D. Mann, and seated about 700.

It did reopen about 1937-1942, showing talkies.

Broan
Broan on November 23, 2016 at 9:17 am

The Pearl seated 720. The 1912 Sanborn map shows a small nickelodeon on the second floor of a building at 15 (Later 515) Central. The 1918 Sanborn Maps show the Pearl open, the 515 Central theater closed, and another, vacant theater next door seating 448 at 519 Central (this being the Highland Park). Between 1918-1924, a stage was added to the Pearl.

So, the Alcyon was actually the fourth theater in HP.

Broan
Broan on November 23, 2016 at 9:18 am

There’s also some indication that the Ravinia Theater showed movies for a time.

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