Parkway Theatre

11053 S. Michigan Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60628

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PARKWAY Theatre; Chicago, Illinois.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Not to be confused with the Parkway Theatre on the North Side of Chicago, this theatre was located in the Roseland neighborhood on the east side of South Michigan Avenue between 110th and 111th Streets (note that the larger State Theatre – where I ushered as a kid was on the West side of Michigan Avenue near 110th).

A great old theatre, albeit not in the class of the nearby State, which had a large balcony, vaulted ceiling, retractable Wurlitzer organ under the stage and catacombed dressing rooms behind the stage from the vaudeville days.

I remember seeing “White Christmas” at the Parkway in 1954. I moved from Chicago and don’t know the current status of the building, but I believe the Parkway shut down sometime in the 1960’s, leaving the State, the Roseland and the Normal as Roseland/West Pullman’s three main theatres.

Contributed by Gary Axelson

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

datoad
datoad on January 8, 2005 at 4:03 am

I grew up in Roseland 2 blocks from the State and Parkway theaters. I still remember the little window next to the Parkway where a handicapped vendor would sell popcorn and peanuts. There was also a soda shop right next door. Alas, they are all gone now, along with the Roseland and Normal theaters (Normal burnt down sometime in the 70’s. The entire area has noe become a terrible ghetto.

Broan
Broan on March 13, 2005 at 2:13 pm

A currency exchange now occupies the site.

dougbruton
dougbruton on August 25, 2005 at 12:11 pm

The Roseland, Parkway and State were the theaters I frequented the most as a young boy in the 1940’s. The thing I remember most about the Parkway, was a neighbor of mine worked there as an Usher..his name was Ronnie Stromberg…Ronnie would let all of his friends in for free, but because I was younger, he would not let mein free. However, Ronnie got caught and fired…I was secretly glad. After he left, I could use the old, I am going in to get my non-existant brother.
So sad that these theaters have left the scene and that the kids of this era will never know the thrill of going to Saturday matinees, 5 cent popcorn and drinks…
Doug Bruton Denison, Texas

KenC
KenC on July 9, 2007 at 5:16 pm

In the book “CHICAGO- GROWTH OF A METROPOLIS” by Harold M. Mayer, there is a small photo of 111th- Michigan from 1934. The Parkway theatre is there; on the marquee: Gary Cooper in “OPERATOR 13”. Also, in the background, you can see the vertical sign of the State theatre. It’s on page 348. On page 347, there are pics of the Paradise and Marbro theatres (1929) and the Tivoli theatre (1924).

Broan
Broan on January 13, 2009 at 4:13 am

The 2009 CTA calendar features that image for August: View link

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm

FYI. 1936 Parkway exterior photo in Sunday 02/22/09 Chicago Tribune Magazine. When I pulled the link though, the photo wasn’t included with the caption.

1bobbieh
1bobbieh on April 4, 2009 at 8:00 am

I grew up on 108th and Eggleston and used to frequent the State Theater on Saturday afternoons for the shoot em up shows. After coming out in the sunshine on the way home facing the sun I would end up with the most ferce headaches. But the next week would go back again. I remember that in some candy bars there would be a coupon for a free one. Also ice cream cones would have a paper coupon in the bottom of the cone.
My next door buddy was an usher at the Roseland. (Frank Sink) I don’t remember getting in free though.
I used to ride my bike down to Lake Calumet to fish. But never caught anything of value.
I remember “Pete’s Dock"
I used to go to Gately’s Peoples Store and watch the donut machine. The store moved to Tinley Park later on.
Some years back we took a bus ride into Chicago to see the Frank Loyd Wright homes. We finished up see the old Pullman works and "Bum Town”. Finished going west on 111th street all the way to Vincenes. What a difference from what I remember.
We as teenagers would go to the “O” next to the Parkway and have a Coke and French Fries. The Mocombo was at the corner.This has been fun remembering some of the old times.
Bob Hendry

geitz
geitz on June 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm

My older sister lived on 108th & Eggleston, she and her new husband moved there to be near our house. I used to walk to her house and visit. We lived on 106th near Wentworth. Their name was Boersma. My brother and other sister went to all the “shows” up the Ave. which was of course Michigan Ave. Dad took us to Lake Calumet beach to swim and picnic, I just couldn’t wait when I heard we were going. Unfortunately we lost one of our friends that drowned in Calumet, they said it was a undertow which I still hear that it is there. Not sure. I would of loved that bus ride even though it wasn’t the same as we remembered it. The People’s store to me was “ Christmas” Santa", and yes the donut machine and the tube that disappeared into LaLa Land. I loved to see the cartoons on the weekend, mom would take us to see the Disney Classic’s during the week. It seems like we were always up the ave. somewhere. I also remember the streetcar that would take us downtown. What wonderful memories.

As I always say" Not Forgotten"

geitz
geitz on June 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I am new to all the web sights on Roseland and everyday I find something new. I cannot tell everyone how much I enjoy reading and looking at all the old pictures. I never knew that there was a websight like this until one day I seen some old pictures in the Tribune and contacted John. He led me to all these wonderful memories. There is so much to read and I just seen the pictures that BWChicago sent of the 2009 CTA Calendar, WOW! I lived in Roseland most of my young life, but then moved away in Dec.1953. I was devasted. I was going to graduate from Kohn school that following June. I missed my friends I grew up with and of course all the sights and sounds of Roseland.
Keep in touch.

opus1100
opus1100 on June 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

The Roseland State did not have a WurliTzer Theatre Pipe organ, but instead a M.P. Moller organ of 3 manuals and 12 ranks. Moller primarily built organs for churches but did build theatre instruments which were awesome in their own right. The nearby Parkway Theatre did have a smaller Wurlitzer of 2 manuals and six ranks which is still in existance in a private residence. The Moller organ still in the theatre and playable in the 1950s and sounded great in that theatre. It did not survive as a complete instrument and was broken up for parts when removed in the 60s

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