Howard Theater

1621 W. Howard Street,
Chicago, IL 60626

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

CompassRose on February 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm

View of the Howard from 1955: Howard 1955

0123456789 on September 12, 2010 at 1:46 am

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.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on June 30, 2009 at 3:53 pm

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

View link

DavidZornig on April 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Reactivate notification status.

DavidZornig on February 19, 2009 at 9:50 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.

Broan on February 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

The way to link directly to the pertinent page of the Tribune album would be to right click the link to that page number and “copy link location”. Pages in the tribune’s photo galleries do not require registration. Additionally, the email issue David describes is not accurate; you can in fact opt out of any emailing. LM is probably right; these photos should probably link to the Tribune’s own pages instead of being copied.

DavidZornig on February 19, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Oh, I see. Thanks Lost Memory. And thanks for the second of the previous links. I never knew of the Norshore Theatre, ad posted over there.

kencmcintyre on February 19, 2009 at 9:22 pm

If you’re interested in other Chicago photos besides just the theaters the Tribune has a pretty extensive collection here:

DavidZornig on February 19, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Wow, that second link took me right to a theater & pic I’d never heard of, the Norshore. Also on Howard Street. I learn something new everytime I visit CT. The larger link did go right to the Tribune site for me. But I’m then again I’m eternally signed in. Maybe I’ll try from another address.
But I agree with you that my original speculation appears wrong.

Your first link on the word “Here”, doesn’t signify that it’s from the Tribune. I’m not sure what the difference is between that and Ken Mc’s link. Am I missing something?

DavidZornig on February 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm

I know the question wasn’t for me. But it’s possible the photo had to be lifted out of the Tribune site, and re-posted in order to be seen by others.

I’ve tried to forward various Tribune articles to friends via their site in the past. And the Tribune site hides any attached story links until the addressee on the receiving end, registers & logs-in etc. to the Tribune’s liking.
Then they send you advertising updates that you can’t stop unless you un-register. You also then can’t access “their” news unless you re-register.
Unlike CT where one can browse freely without ever registering.
You’d think a newspaper that is openly on the ropes in a dying format, would make ease of access to itself a priority.
I’m not sure what CT’s policy is, but are photos OK if the proper credit is given for the source?

kencmcintyre on February 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Here is an undated photo from the archives of the Chicago Tribune:

DavidZornig on August 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I remember seeing “Little Big Man” with Dustin Hoffman at the Howard Theatre. It was around Christmas maybe 1971 or `72. When we went in it was sunny. When we came out, it was already dark and snowing profusely. After leaving the Howard we visited the then Rogers Park home of Chicago Artist Tom Skomski.
He was working on an exhibition that included plastic replicas of human arms.
After having just seen Custer’s massacre during the movie, my nightmares would now be complete.

tombrueggemann on March 15, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I lived in Evanston from the mid60s to mid70s – the Howard was the theatre I went to when films a little less prestigious than the ones B&K played in my city played there. It was just across the border from Evanston, and you felt immediately that you were in the big city.

This was a real working class theatre – no pretense, by this time moldy and a bit smelly, but it had a nice large screen and provided a real movie experience.

kencmcintyre on August 30, 2007 at 1:16 am

In 1963, Balaban & Katz operated these theaters in Chicago, besides the Howard: Berwyn, Central Park, Century, Chicago, Congress, Gateway, Granada, Luna, Morboro (Marbro?), Maryland, Nortown, Portage, Riviera, Roosevelt, State-Lake, Terminal, Tivoli, United Artists, Uptown and Will Rogers. The information is from the motion picture almanac of that year.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 9, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Here is a fascinating photo set showing the theatre’s interior during the last years it stood empty. It was in far better shape than I would have ever guessed from looking at the outside:

My attitude up until this point has been that the building was put out of its misery. Now I wonder if something couldn’t have been done with that old auditorium.

Broan on August 20, 2006 at 7:22 pm

Here is an early postcard view

Broan on June 17, 2006 at 6:21 pm

Here is a profile from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s HAARGIS system. It includes a small picture.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 20, 2005 at 5:38 pm

It is always a shame to see a theatre demolished. But, it’s a good thing they took this one down. I was worried that the auditorium was going to fall over onto the elevated railway. The roof was torn off in a storm, and the walls had decayed to the point where you could see into the attic from the Howard Street railway station. Plus, people you wouldn’t want to meet (without weapons at least) were hanging around in there.

Broan on July 16, 2005 at 3:29 pm

Did anyone notice the gallery link on the page Bryan Posted in february? There are some cool historical views, like one from the 60s and an original rendering showing what it would have looked like with its extensive stud lighting, now all removed, working, as well as its original marquee and domes (the two-dome style seems to have been very popular around 1917). Also shows the lobby, which I think is a shoe store now. Not sure if the decoration is still there. Does anyone know what was originally above the lobby? The original plans indicate empty space.

mistertom on July 16, 2005 at 4:29 am

Took the train down to the Howard to see the first run of Apocalypse Now! What a memorable place to see that film. (The horror…)

RickB on March 2, 2005 at 5:14 pm

Wow. It almost looks too clean. :–)

Broan on January 19, 2005 at 5:44 am Here is a photo from the el station showing the side of the Howard circa 1997