Lakeside Theatre

4730 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Opened in 1915 for the Ascher Brothers circuit (two years later taken over by the Lubliner & Trinz circuit) in the once-fashionable Uptown neighborhood, the Lakeside was located on Sheridan Road at Lakeside Place, not far from Lincoln Park. Originally, the theater sat well over 1000.

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 18 comments)

DavidZornig on May 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

Took me a while to track this theater down. I attended a dance show here that a friend’s sister performed in around 1986.
They performed “Businessman’s Lunch”, which included a famous typewriter themed dance routine.
I asked the school about the theatre’s history then, but had completely forgotten about it until now. I recall the stage as being quite wide. And the seating was nothing like an old theater. I believe we sat on platorms that had been built at different levels. Like a theater in the round would be. But the stage was still along the back, West wall as I recall.
I do not recall anything else about the interior.

CompassRose on March 1, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Photos of the Lakeside from 1936: Lakeside Theater.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on July 16, 2011 at 11:01 am

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 12:35 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 1:12 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 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm

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 10:10 am

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 7:48 am

Lakeside Theatre 1936 IDOT photo added.

DavidZornig on April 23, 2016 at 1:53 pm

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

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