Grand Theater

3433 W. North Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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Grand Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This Humboldt Park neighborhood theater located on North Avenue at St. Louis Avenue originally had a Style E Wurlitzer theater organ. It opened in 1913.

In the mid-1960s the theater went by the name of the Grand International for a brief time, showing Polish and Czech-language films. By 1968, it was renamed the Grand Playhouse, screening adult movies. When the Grand closed in the mid-70s, it was showing Spanish-language films. The theater was demolished in the early 1980s.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

cathyro
cathyro on September 9, 2006 at 6:28 pm

Is this the same Grand Theater that Barry Manilow performed in, in 1976 along with Leo Sayer?

cathyro
cathyro on September 9, 2006 at 6:55 pm

Correction…looks like Barry Manilow performed at a Grand Theater in Chicago in 1972, not 1976. How sad to think that theaters that had such vibrant histories are allowed to decay and be demolished!

DeanHickstein
DeanHickstein on November 13, 2006 at 9:11 pm

When was the Grand demolished? I lived on Avers and North from 1970 thru 1989 and I don’t remember it.

GFeret
GFeret on December 19, 2006 at 6:45 pm

GRAND theatre demolished around ‘81 – empty lot now still. Last saw SON OF BLOB there (w/ Larry Hagman) in early '70s, and they went X-rated mid-late in the decade. Very typical of small neighborhood operations I’d say, with a druggist/soda-shop 1 door east. In the early '60s my Dad painted custom posters for their management and I got a free 1/week pass as a result.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 4:55 am

Phone number in 1960 was BElmnt 5-9000.

KenC
KenC on December 8, 2008 at 4:19 am

For at least a short period of time (mid to late 1966),this theatre was advertised as the GRAND INTERNATIONAL. From the Chicago Sun Times movie directory dated Saturday, May 21,1966:GRAND INTERNATIONAL-HU 9-3343 OPEN 12:30 Exclusive Polish Double Feature “DOORSTEP TO HELL” plus “ANTEK POLICMAJSTER”. On Friday, October 28, 1966, “EMPEROR and GOLEN” plus CZECH BALLET was playing; from the newspaper ad:Hilarious Czech Comedy with Jan VeRech In Color -Czech Dialogue- English Sub-Titles. By mid 1968, this theatre was called the GRAND PLAYHOUSE. Once again from the Sun Times- Friday, August 30, 1968: “TURN ME ON” “HOT NIGHTS ON CAMPUS”. Quite a history for this little neighborhood theatre.

Scrabble
Scrabble on March 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for the picture of the Grand Theatre, and that’s exactly how I remember it, being so small. I believe there was a shoe store just west of the theatre and a soda show just east of it where they had the most delicous lime rickeys.

To enjoy a photo gallery of magnificient theaters, go to: chicagotribune.com/chicagotheaters

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

GFeret
GFeret on April 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm

if ever there was a photo of dear old GRAND Theatre in its dying days that black & white one is it. of course i remember the ‘soda shop’ immdiately to its east with the delicious lime rickey drinks, it was run by the family of one of my grammar school classmates, and they sold buttered popcorn that was so over-drenched with topping that’d always oil stain my clothes yet i couldn’t resist

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