Tiffin Theatre

4045 W. North Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60639

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Tiffin Theater

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Located on North Avenue near Pulaski Road, the Tiffin Theatre opened on October 30, 1922 (replacing an earlier and smaller theater of the same name) and operated until 1988. The Tiffin’s orignal 2 manual Wurlitzer theater organ was later replaced by a 3/15 Wurlitzer organ.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 120 comments)

CraginSpring on January 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

May I add a comment about the Tiffin Theatre and the area surrounding it. I don’t remember the Tiffin but heard many stories about it from my Father who grew up on Spaulding & North ave. His oldest brother use to work at the Tiffin so I was told of many of days my Dad would spend at the Tiffin. I though know the area well. Jimmy’s Hot Dog stand had the roof cave in around 1984 from an explosion from the next door Com Ed building. Jimmy’s was closed for awhile then rebuilt into a brick building. Grand & Kolmar ave use to be the Pepsi General bottler building for many years. They shut down the old building in 1996 and moved to 51st street just east of Ashland Ave. This area really flourished with industry at one time. Schwinn, Helene Curtis, Continental Can etc. Does anybody remember the Lions Ballroom which was on North ave just west of Grand? It was a beautiful building and held many music bands from the Big Band era. It was quite a popular place for dancing and music. It was a shame that it was destroyed and Kentucky Fried Chicken took its place and the fast food restaurant is now gone.

Across Kostner Ave. in the former Jewel Parking lot was a old one door firehouse which is gone also.

Scrabble on January 17, 2013 at 6:36 am

Thanks for sharing. I remember the Lions Ballroom well as my brother had his wedding reception there. Also, we had many hot dogs at Jimmy’s hot dog stand and I can still picture the workers behind the counter. Do you remember “Pickin Chicken” near Grand and North Avenues (every Wednesday they had all you could eat — very good). I graduated from Nobel School at Kamerling and Karlov. My family had to leave the area for safety reasons around 1981.

GFeret on April 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

i believe it was spelled LYONS not LIONS btw. i’d bowl there, they had lanes in their lower level, and alternate with Pulaski Bowl a couple blocks east. was the Schwinn bicycle factory on Kostner or Austin? i think they closed mid-‘80s. i maybe confusing Schwinn with the location of the old Zenith factory, or not

Artista on April 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hi GFeret the Schwinn factory was at Kildare ave. and Wabansia ave. (in-between Kildare and Kostner of course) My oldest brother had his first part time summer job there back in the mid ‘70s

GFeret on April 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm

OK. i’m trying to picture it as you say, perhaps they had an employee side door entrance @ kostner. it seems to me both schwinn & zenith plants had direct access to the bloomingdale line freight tracks there. in the mid ‘70s i played in the proverbial garage band (except it was in a basement) at the drummers home on tripp st which’s right there. all a stones throw from the original location of GUY’s pizzeria on armitage, great stuff it was

Artista on April 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm

My apologies If my memory has faded on its exact location. I found out that the address was 1856 N. Kostner Ave. http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiski/sets/72157628410700907/detail/ I seem to remember the days in which i played in Greenbaum park, Wabansia and Kildare, and from the park you could view the side of the Schwinn factory and its factory doors with trucks. AS I look at Google maps I see that viewing the park from the sky,,it is shaped somewhat like a 7 which would have taken the park further west past Kildare. Was the park in that pattern back then? I dont remember -LOL.At any rate,,YES it was on Kostner..check out the link to those photographs..

GFeret on May 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

when they were manufacturing on Kostner Schwinn had their own unique way of forming the head on bicycle frames from one sheet metal piece, avoiding certain welding operations. it had its pros and cons, but looking back on it, mostly cons. its discontinuation maybe the only good thing to come out of closing the kostner plant

ajlego on November 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm

The Schwinn factory was in the the 1700 block on Kildare across from Wabansia Park. It wasn’t on Kostner. The Tiffin is where I went to the movies when I was kid. I’ve many happy memories of it and several in the back row.

GFeret on December 30, 2014 at 7:49 am

on Kildare (by Wabansia) there’s Greenebaum Park and I don’t know of any chicago park called Wabasia per se. Up to the early ‘80s i’d see the Schwinn bicycle factory bldg—there was a company emblem over the door there—on the west side of Kostner driving by (no reason to regularly drive on residential street Kildare)

kenchm on March 30, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Loved the tiffin saw the dc5 there grew up at kedvale and thomas nobel class of 66

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