Howard Theater

1621 W. Howard Street,
Chicago, IL 60626

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Howard Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Howard Theater opened in 1917, designed by Henry L. Newhouse, whose other Chicago theaters included the Metropolitan Theater and Atlantic Theater.

It was acquired by the Balaban & Katz chain not long after it had opened. Notable was its ornate Neo-Classical style facade, complete with sculpted masks of comedy and tragedy, and the theater’s name inscribed above the arch-shaped window over the marquee.

The Howard Theater continued to show first run films until it was shuttered around Thanksgiving 1975. In 1999, the long-vacant Howard Theater’s auditorium was razed but its beautiful facade and outer lobby were saved and integrated into the apartments and retail structure which was built on the site of the Howard Theater.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Opt out?… I’m there! Guess I let my WebTV run my life. Open the pod bay doors HAL.
Ironically I couldn’t post to CT until late last year, even though I’d signed up in 2004…Tech-NO-logy!

Thanks for all the clarifications & insight.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 12, 2009 at 6:44 am

Reactivate notification status.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on June 30, 2009 at 7:53 am

Here’s a picture I took of the Howard on June 24, 2008:

View link

0123456789
0123456789 on September 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm

There was a balcony there, a few years after being abandoned the grand chandalier fell down as well as the whole balcony. The rest of the building is standing except the auditorium, and lobby.

CompassRose
CompassRose on February 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

View of the Howard from 1955: Howard 1955

RickB
RickB on November 9, 2014 at 6:02 pm

From the Chicago Tribune of April 27, 1978, a story on the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to renovate the theater building.

If you didn’t know that the Tribune had its archives online like that, neither did I until a few days ago. Who knows what treasures lie within?

RickB
RickB on November 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm

A little more poking around on the archives site reveals on the FAQ page that it will only be free while it is in beta status, so visit while you can.

RickB
RickB on November 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm

The Howard disappears from the Tribune’s listings around Thanksgiving of 1975, with the last features that I found being a four-walled Sunn Classic double bill of The Outer Space Connection and Toklat. From the advertising style it looks like this was a Brotman & Sherman house in its later years, although the ads for the last couple weeks are generic listings separated from the Brotman & Sherman group.

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