Pantheon Theatre

4642 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, IL 60640

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Pantheon Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Pantheon opened its doors in 1918 for the Lubliner & Trinz chain, located in the Uptown neighborhood on Sheridan Road at Eastwood Avenue. At the time it opened, it was said to have 3000 seats. It was the largest movie theater in the area until seven years later, when the nearby Uptown Theatre opened.

The theater cost over $750,000 to build, and was decorated in the style of the Italian Renaissance, complete with a double organ and a 30-piece orchestra.

Within a few years, the operation of the Pantheon was taken over by Essaness until, like so many other theaters in Chicago, it was added to the always-expanding Balaban and Katz chain.

By the 50s, the Uptown neighborhood was no longer the entertainment mecca it was from the 1910s through WWII, and the Pantheon’s fortunes rapidly declined, as did the rest of Uptown.

The Pantheon remained in operation into the early 60s. It was demolished in 1962 and was replaced by a parking lot.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Scott
Scott on March 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Have you ever seen picures of the interior of the Pantheon? I have never been able to locate any. Perhaps the Theatre Historical Society has some, or maybe the Chicago Historical Society.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 3, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Pretty sure I saw some years ago at THS. If my memory is correct they must still be there.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Phone number in 1954 was Longbch 1-9789. If the exchange was supposed to remind you of something familiar, so you would remember the number, I’m not sure how Long Beach would help someone in Chicago.

KenC
KenC on November 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Growing up on the north side of Chicago, I very much remember phone numbers starting with LO-1. Both the DeLuxe and Riviera theatres had that exchange. LO-1-5865 for the DeLuxe. These theatres, and many neighborhoods on the north side of the city, were very close to Lake Michigan, and a few very popular beaches…Foster and Montrose, to name two. Also, a very popular hotel- The Edgewater Beach – stood at Sheridan Rd. and Berwyn/ Balmoral for many years. Longbeach sounds pretty logical.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Fair enough. I was commenting with my biased west coast perspective.

KenC
KenC on December 15, 2008 at 8:13 pm

From the Chicago Sun Times movie directory dated May 2,1958: HORROR SHOW on our STAGE Complete show 2-4:30-7-9:30 Dr. Sims “HOUSE of the LIVING DEAD” “DRACULA” In Person BOWERY BOYS “SPOOK CHASERS” PLUS “ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY” . Open 1:30 Pantheon 4642 Sheridan FREE PERFUME TO ALL LADIES PLUS 2 for 1 FREE PASS -TO ALL FOR A FUTURE SHOW. I wish I was there that day.
Even though I went to the Pantheon a number of times in my grade school days, I have no memory of the inside with ONE exception-the area just inside the front doors to the ticket takers station. It was VERY wide and rather deep, with a considerable number of posters and lobby cards on the walls. Anyone who remembers just inside the Royal theatre on Milwaukee Ave. will know what the Pantheon was like- very similar. My first memory of the Pantheon: A triple feature -a Western (“Run of the Arrow”?) plus “WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE” plus “WAR OF THE WORLDS”. It was a Saturday afternoon; the auditorium was packed. Since the Pantheon was once a Balaban & Katz theatre, I’m guessing the seats were plush and red- just like the Uptown and Riviera theatres- but can’t be sure. Another memory: sometime in the late 50s, the theatre closed for a short time. When it reopened, there was a sign just outside the front doors in one of the poster cases facing north. It read: You are CORDIALLY invited to the NEW PANTHEON Theatre. The sign was large;it had red and/or black letters against a white background. Just inside the front doors at the south end of the theatre was a huge arrangement of flowers, presumably to welcome the new owners/operators. Outside, the Pantheon had a flush mounted marquee(like the Lakeside) but much larger. Each of the letters of the name had dozens of light bulbs; it was a unique sight when lit and moving. The name PANTHEON and the 4 line(and perhaps 5 line) marquee faced East. The box office (quite small) was connected to the front doors. On either side was a number of entrance doors-6, 7, 8? Before the ticket seller opened the box office, she was behind a bright red curtain. My last memory of the theatre is rather sad: riding my bike past the closed theatre in the early 60s,the front doors so dirty you couldn’t see inside, and pigeons nesting above the marquee in between the letters ,and the sidewalk below a mess. Even though the theatre remained closed for months, two posters remained on display outside:on the north end of the theatre, facing Sheridan Rd.,John Wayne in “BLOOD ALLEY”; on the south end…facing north(toward Leland Ave.)“ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN”.

cweisert
cweisert on April 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I worked there as an usher in the summer of 1951. The manager was Mr. Duckworth. Most of the time I was the only usher.

The pay was meager, but it was air conditioned. My hours surely violated labor laws, but I didn’t care.

We always showed double features, usually changing twice a week. After the last show I’d have to carry the incredibly heavy film canisters down from the projection booth to the outer lobby for pick-up. Fortunately, someone else got to carry the new film up the next day.

0123456789
0123456789 on September 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm

It was torn down, and closed because of the fire that was there. Here is a website to see this theatre. www.mekong.net Go all the way down click on photo sets, then clik om movie palaces, then there wil be a big thumbnail list of theatres, and there is the theatre.

KenC
KenC on October 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm

To Scott and LTS: there are a number of pics of the Pantheon at the Theatre Historical Society.Two great shots of the auditorium- one is facing the stage and screen; the other facing away from the stage, showing at least 4 auditorium doors, the main floor, and the balcony. Looks very ornate with lots of detail. Two nice shots of the exterior (circa 1918). There were trees just outside the theatre; I don’t remember any in the late 50s. Many movie posters on display; on the marquee: “ASHES OF LOVE”. A fantastic looking building.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 26, 2012 at 7:00 am

September 11th, 1918 grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater