Lil Theatre

7347 W. Madison Street,
Forest Park, IL 60130

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Lil in 1946

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This Forest Park movie house was located, like the larger Forest Theatre, on W. Madison Street. It seated 500 and was in operation from around the 1910’s into the 1940’s. The building now serves as the Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Trolleyguy on January 9, 2005 at 2:14 pm

The Lil had its auditorium converted into warehouse space for the liquor retailer next door. A friend of mine who worked at the store took me in back to show what remained, which wasn’t much.

dmueller on April 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Back in the mid 40s, my brother and I used to be taken to the Lil almost every Saturday afternoon. The theatre was filled with kids who got to watch, not only 2 full-length pictures (one always was a western) but also a continuing serial. So our parents had at least a 3 hour reprieve, and we had our enjoyment.

JABilmes on August 9, 2016 at 11:16 pm

I walked in the door of the ice cream parlor and could tell as I walked in that the movie had once been a theatre. There’s a lot of ornamentation/molding still intact on the walls and ceiling, and the projection booth windows are still visible. The ice cream parlor has been outfitted with a variety of wood pieces salvaged from other theatres etc. The employees are fairly well aware of the history, that they are working on a false floor over the original sloping floor. Surprised there isn’t more here on this building, which is a lot more intact than many gyms, pharmacies, etc. conversions, and strongly encourage theatre lovers to stop in, have some ice cream, and look over the site in person.

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