Harding Theatre

2724 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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Showing 19 comments

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on January 7, 2016 at 4:15 pm

The Harding had its grand opening on Monday, October 12th, 1925. I’ve posted an ad in the Photos Section.

RickB on May 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

I love the 3 Little Pigs getting top billing over the feature!

DavidZornig on April 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Added 1933 Photo courtesy of the Northwest Side Of Chicago Facebook page.

Trolleyguy on September 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

That would be the Main Theater at 4815 W Armitage, which is already listed on CT.

kenny1950 on September 9, 2012 at 5:39 am

To Brian Krefft,There was a small movie theater on Armitage on the south side of the street a half a block west of Cicero. I’m not sure but I think the name was The Avondale. Do you have any information on this location or theater by that name?

matthew1964 on July 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm

OMG,,i use to hang around there all the time i loved miwaukee ave as a child ,,and as a teen ,, in the parking area behind the stores as mentioned by rso 1000,, i use to hold make out sessions in the parking area ,during the 1980,s i had a conversion van,, i never knew that was once a theater ,,i hate to see all the beautiful movie palaces disapeer ,,this one was tore down around the time i was born,,i wish i could have seen it,,matt

GFeret on May 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

there’re 2 fine 8x10 B&W HARDING THEATRE photos i stumbled across over the Memorial Day wknd thanks to my wife Claire’s help, in the files of the so-called Chicago History Museum, or as anyone with a proper sense of history would say Chicago Historical Society (history per se does not get remodeled). One image’s from 1961, the other just prior to demolition in 1963, both from out in front of the bldg on Milwaukee Ave showing the full vertical sign & marquee. The 1961 shows marquee lettering advertising a food catering operation, which tells me even by that year films had ceased.

With any luck and proper overtures too at least one of those images will lead-off this CT Theatre listing before long

CharmaineZoe on May 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Vintage photograph of the Harding’s projection room in 1928 showing it’s bank of Motiograph projectors http://flic.kr/p/9GmG8u

0123456789 on July 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

The stores the belonged to the Harding Theatre and the building are still standing except for the auditorium, and the lobby.

AndyS on December 20, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Hi, I’m an officer with Logan Square Preservation. I was doing research on the Harding because the site is up for redevelopment. I noticed quite a few people posting here were former residents of the neighborhood and wondered if any of you had historic photos of the area, especially the Harding Theater, surrounding buildings, Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square itself or the boulevards. Our organization would pay or high-quality copies. Please contact me if you have a moment, and thanks.

johncordell on July 28, 2007 at 4:53 pm

My father owned a print shop at 2628 N. Milwaukee from 1947-1954. I was an unruly child, so my parents couldn’t get a babysitter. Since my mother helped at my dad’s shop on Monday and Thursday evenings, and all day on Saturday, they took my brother and I to work with them. My brother and I would often go to the Harding Theatre at 2724 N. Milwaukee. Also, very often to the Logan Theatre (still operating), on the same block as his shop. One of the biggest thrills I had going to the Harding, was to see HOUSE OF WAX in 3D. When Roy Roberts threw a chair at the beginning during the fire scene, I remember turning around. It sounded like it crashed in back of the auditorium. HOUSE OF WAX was also in stereo sound. These were really great times. I lived in the Humboldt Park area, and quite often would go to the Crystal and Queen Theatres on North Avenue. The Crystal closed in 1965, and the Queen closed in 1952.
John Cordell

princessdonna on August 6, 2006 at 4:54 am

My grandfather owned the icecream shop next to the Harding Theater.
It was originally called “Pellegrini’s”…Daniel, did your family go
there in the early 40’s? My mom used to go there before my dad
and her got married. He worked for his father there “soda jerk"
is what they would call the kids that worked in high school.
I am looking for pictures of the restaurant….it’s sorta hard,
since everyone has passed except mom. She has some beautiful
stories to tell about that era….the theaters were so
reasonable….and it was the thing to do after a date…go and
eat. did anyone else remember going there?

Kenny4504 on January 11, 2006 at 10:14 pm

To Brian Krefft, You made notice of the Tower theater, a sister of The Congress and The Harding. Where was The Tower located?

rso1000 on January 10, 2006 at 9:31 pm

I believe it was originally a Grocerland Chain and now its a Mexican grocery store

rso1000 on January 10, 2006 at 9:30 pm

Correction to Kenny comment above… feb 6 2005.

If you look at Brians link of the photo of the Harding construction, you’ll see the Harding stood where the Grocery now sits.

The stores just to the left of the Harding were gutted after demolition to allow auto access to the rear parking area where the main auditorium was.

To the right of the picture, a used car lot is where the Walgreens building was located.

Daniel on October 28, 2005 at 9:29 pm

Next door to Logan Square’s magnificent Harding Theater on Chicago’s Milwaukee Avenue, near Spaulding, stood a restaurant called the Harding Waffle House. It was a charming, sit-down ice cream restaurant, serving hot waffles topped with a scoop of ice cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar, with ice cream sundaes or malts to wash down the treat. As a family, in the late 1940s, we traveled there from West Town by streetcar after Sunday Mass, dressed as if we were on our way to the Chicago Theater in the Loop. I want to die and come back to a Sunday matinee at the Harding Theater and a plate of ice cream-topped waffles at the Harding Waffle House—but not at this very moment.

Kenny4504 on February 6, 2005 at 7:03 pm

After the Harding Theater closed in the sixties, the front of the theater was torn down and rebuilt. When the work was done, it opened as a Walgreens Drug store. When Walgreens closed the store, it was shuttered for a few years. It is now a Peal Vision Store. It stands at the intersection of Spaulding & Milwaukee on the Southwest corner. If you look closely from the intersection towards the middle to the rear of the building, you’ll see the old Harding Theater!As a child, I went to this theater often. The inside of the theater made you feel like you were in one of the “Downtown Theaters”. It was beutifull inside!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 20, 2005 at 5:28 am

What is now located on this site?

mkmarshall on January 18, 2002 at 10:19 pm

According to the following site, http://www.congresstheater.com/history.html, under “History and Description”, the Harding was demolished. No date was given on its demise.