Lakeside Theatre

4730 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Opened with Harry Mestayer in “The House of a Thousand Candles” on September 4, 1915. It was built and operated by the Ascher Brothers circuit (two years later taken over by the Lubliner & Trinz circuit) in the once-fashionable Uptown neighborhood. The Lakeside Theatre was located on N. Sheridan Road at Lakeside Place, not far from Lincoln Park. Originally, the theatre sat well over 1,000. On September 20, 1933 it was taken over by the Balaban & Katz Corp and they operated it as a discount house.

The Lakeside Theatre closed around late-1966 or the beginning of 1967, and was acquired by the Dance Center of Columbia College in 1970.

Thirty years later Columbia College vacated the building for a larger, new home in the South Loop. The former Lakeside today houses a youth center.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

CompassRose on March 2, 2011 at 7:50 am

Photos of the Lakeside from 1936: Lakeside Theater.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on July 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

All 5 photos of the Lakeside as a functioning movie house were taken in 1961. I worked there as an assistant manager when I was an art student in Chicago.

KenC on July 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Thanks for those great photos of the Lakeside, Jon. Love that triple feature! The auditorium- more beautiful than I recall. Most unusual thing about the Lakeside- the location of the mens room. Literally just a few steps away from the exit doors and the sidewalk.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on August 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Thank you Ken. Glad you like the photos. Truth be told, I probably spent more hours at the Lakeside than I did in class.

DavidDymond on August 15, 2013 at 3:55 am

Nice photographs Jon. I love the one of the candy lady with the old-fashioned BUTTER MAT!! Those old fashioned BUTTER SERVERS had a bowl that would rotate and lights that were animated and would flash on and off. That picture is a real beauty. You were very lucky to work at a place like that! I too worked at Famous Players Jon, maybe you remember my name! Cheers!

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on August 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Dave, yes I do remember you. Bye the way, I’m still in touch with Don Beelik who was a theatre manager at Famous. If I’m not mistaken, you knew Don. I still have fond memories of working at the Lakeside and it helped prepare me for running the Roxy theatre in Toronto a few years later. And as much as I enjoyed working at the Lakeside, I really loved seeing movies at the massive Uptown theatre which was located just a few blocks away from us. What an astounding theatre! I can’t believe that it’s still sitting there abandoned and slowly disintegrating… one of the most spectacular theatres ever built.

DavidZornig on February 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Lakeside Theatre 1936 IDOT photo added.

DavidZornig on April 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Early `60’s photo added to Photos Section, credit Uptown Historical Society. Via their below Facebook page.

rivest266 on August 13, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Reopened by Balaban & Katz on September 20th, 1933 as a discount theater. Grand opening ad posted.

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