5238 S. Harper Avenue,
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Known as the Harper Theater when it opened on May 24, 1915, this 1,201-seat theater was originally part of the Schoenstadt circuit and was designed by architects Z. E. Smith and Horatio R. Wilson. It once contained a Kimball organ. In the late-1930’s it was remodeled by architect Mark D. Kalischer.
It later become known as the Hyde Park 1 & 2 and still later was increased to four screens. After Schoenstadt, the theater was operated by Kohlberg Theatres, M & R Theatres, Sony Theatres, and finally the Meridian chain. The Hyde Park Theatres closed in spring of 2002.
The theater was renovated in 2011-2012 and reopened on January 18, 2013 under its original Harper Theater name. It still has four screens, but has been completely renovated inside, as well as given a new marquee and vertical sign. The theatre is owned by the University of Chicago, and is operated by the New 400 Theaters, which also manages the New 400 Theaters in Rogers Park. The reopening of the Harper Theater brings movies back to the Hyde Park area for the first time in over a decade.
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