Norshore Theatre

1749 W. Howard Street,
Chicago, IL 60626

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DavidZornig on March 7, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Circa 1950 photo added credit Yesterday’s Trails Historical Photos.

DavidZornig on September 24, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Mid `50’s photo added courtesy of Michael Murphyā€ˇ.

wineandroses2 on February 12, 2015 at 9:56 pm

I went to grammar school with Mary Ure. We went to the restaurant and then to the movie. I thought that was amazing. What more could an 8th grader want? Don’t know what relative she was of yours but we graduated from grammar school in 1945. Doris O'Connor Strickland

RickB on January 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm

The Norshore’s opening featured bathing beauties.

Johnure1 on December 7, 2014 at 7:48 am

RickB- I never answered your original question on “The Ship” restaurant. It was a steak & seafood restaurant.

RickB on December 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm

You really do run into interesting people when you have an interest in Chicago history! Thanks for posting, Mr. Ure.

Johnure1 on December 5, 2014 at 9:41 am


My grandfather Howard Ure Sr. owned “The Ship” restaurant. My great grandfather built and owned the Norshore Theatre and it was attached to the restaurant. The restaurant was originally called “The Grill” and after my grandfather bought it, he expanded the restaurant and added a package liquor store next to it some years later. He changed the name to Howard Ure’s “The Ship” restaurant. I believe the restaurant opened in 1926 or earlier. My dad Howard Ure Jr. whom is still alive and well, use to help out in the restaurant when he was a young boy. The actor Charlton Heston use to stop into The Ship, when he was going to Northwestern at the time. And you were correct, Howard Street was named after my grandfather by my great grandfather. Originally my great,great grandfather John C. Calder Ure had a farm and land which is part of Rogers park now today. He gave his son, my great grandfather a section of land to run his dairy farm which was the J.F. Ure dairy. My great grandfather then donated part of his land to the city to build roads and other means of transportation through Rogers Park and beyond. The city decided that he could name the road and he named it after his first born son Howard. Although he was originally going to call the street “Ure” street. He then thought that the Scottish last name would not be easy to pronounce, so it became Howard instead. Lots of great family history. I hope this info was helpful.

RickB on December 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

I wanted to find out what kind of buisness “The Ship” was. I learned that it was a restaurant, and that it was owned by a man involved in the development of the Norshore building. The big surprise was that he was the person for whom Howard Street was named, and he lived until 1984! This blog post tells his story.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

In response to earlier comments: The Norshore Building was not on the site of the bank or the Howard Bowl. It was in between these two. The Norshore was demolished and replaced with an office building while the bank and Howard Bowl remained. The bank, office building that replaced the Norshore and the Howard Bowl were all demolished for the development now situated there.

CSWalczak on July 13, 2012 at 12:25 am

This photo is similar to one posted previously but is in sharper focus.

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

June 17th, 1926 grand opening ad has been uploaded here.

DavidZornig on February 27, 2010 at 4:33 am

Oh, that’s too bad. It was a really nice daytime picture as I recall.
It showed the white ceramic tile work on the spires, etc.

Trolleyguy on April 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm

OK, David. Here ya go: View link

DavidZornig on April 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm

FYI. There’s a great b&w daytime shot of the Norshore, within that “American Classic Images” site where everyone’s pulling pictures from as of late.
It has a towering presence that must have been awe inspiring at the time.

I can’t post anything from my WebTV server except comments. So if anyone can do the honors, it would be appreciated.

DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Reactivate Notification Status.

DavidZornig on February 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Oh, I get it. It’s where the Howard Bowl ended up being built.
This theater came down, while I was just blocks away in the hospital after being born. Sorry I missed out on it’s beauty. This must be the closest two theatres were ever built next to the “L” tracks.

There is also a long time cab company in Evanston called Norshore. Their taxi’s used to line up directly across Howard Street from where this place stood. Waiting to take “L” patrons into Evanston where the “L” and buses couldn’t, and at night before the Evanston line ran 24 hours.
I found this page after checking Lost Memory’s most recent post to the Howard Theatre page. That post’s second link has a clearer picture of the above picture.

kencmcintyre on January 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm

I found the same photo on another site, Warren. Since it’s a little larger, I will post it here. You’re right about the marquee.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 30, 2007 at 8:10 pm

The story I have heard several times over is that the Norshore was demolished with light fixtures still installed. Apparently you could watch the chandeliers fall to the rubble and shatter.

seymourcox on July 16, 2007 at 5:54 pm

While drawing plans for the Norshore interior the brothers Rapp borrowed several design elements from their (1922) Akdar Theatre, Tulsa.

KenC on February 1, 2007 at 5:21 pm

In the book “IMAGES of AMERICA- ROGERS PARK” by Jacque Day Archer, there are some nice pics of the Norshore, in its early years,on pages 66 and 67. Also in the book: the Granada theatre on page 68 and 78, and the Adelphi on page 69.

DimitriusStrong on December 25, 2006 at 5:10 pm

This site when it was the “Howard Bowl” as well as the Howard “El” station was the gateway to what my friends and I effectionately referred to as “The Jungle”. I’m hoping the Gateway Plaza(Thats what that strip mall is called now right?) helped clean the area up at least alittle. Although a movie theater would’ve been nice to put in there. I actually remember when it was in development and how excited everyone was that there would be movie theater closer to the neighborhood instead of having to trek over to the Adelphi.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on August 28, 2006 at 8:29 am


It has been awhile since I was at the Village North. It was okay. The floors were clean, as were the rest rooms. The Village North gets significant walk-in trade from the community.

Once when I was there, circa 1997-1998, there was a petition being circulated protesting the proposed multi-plex. So, perhaps indirectly, Village Theatres won on that one.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 21, 2006 at 3:44 pm

My guess is that, with all the changes taking place in the business, potential investors are much less likely to embrace the idea of a theatre complex than they were ten years ago.

ONLY the Village North is right man. Last time I was there it was still called the 400 and was a single-screen dump. As a matter of fact I think they started to twin it and then ran out of money. So it was half torn apart. Has it improved at all under Village management?

Broan on August 20, 2006 at 8:13 am

Another sad irony is that the Gateway Plaza development there was supposed to contain multiplexes in two different iterations of the plan, but both fell through, leaving the Far North Side with only the Village North.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 20, 2006 at 5:46 am

A friend of mine’s father worked as an usher here when he was young. The story he related is that when B&K vacated the building they had to clean and repair it extensively per the terms of the lease. The idea was that the theatre had to be returned in the same condition it was received in. Then it was demolished not long after. Tragically humorous.

Another note: there was an office building constructed on the site. The bank was in an older building on the east end of the block. The office building, bank, and most everything else (including the very cool Howard Bowl) were demolished to make way for a multi-use plaza. In all fairness I think that the plaza is not a bad place at all.