Forest Theatre

7526 Madison Street,
Forest Park, IL 60130

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FOREST PARK (FOREST) Theatre; Forest Park, Illinois.

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The Forest Park Theatre opened in 1920 at Madison Street and Des Plaines Avenue for the Ascher Brothers circuit. This 1,500-seat theatre was designed by architect Henry L. Newhouse and originally featured both vaudeville as well as movies before turning to movies exclusively. The ‘Park’ portion of the theatre’s name was dropped around the 1930’s. In 1937 it was rebuilt with 1,100-seats to the plans of architect Roy B. Blass. The Forest Theatre operated at least into the 1960’s, if not later. The theatre has since been razed.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on January 9, 2005 at 12:16 pm

This was a nice place to take a date in the 50’s. Clean and comfortable. Now, a McDonald’s stands on the spot.

Broan
Broan on November 28, 2005 at 11:32 am

Henry L. Newhouse was announced as architect in the Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1919, pE23

ctheatrics
ctheatrics on March 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I am looking for photos, drawings, ground plans, remembrances etc. of the Henry L. Newhouse Forest Theatre 7526 Madison street, Forest Park, Illinois. I am located in NYC. Thank you.
Craig Jacobs

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 10, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Here is a May 1956 ad from the Forest Park Review:
http://tinyurl.com/qdneum

dsadowski
dsadowski on July 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

The latest display ad I have found for the Forest Theater in the Chicago Tribune archives is dated February 16, 1961. They were running a double feature of “7 Hills To Rome” and “Houseboat.” So this is probably about when they closed. My mother says she went to see a movie there with my Dad when they lived in the area in the early 1950s. I currently live about a block away from where the theater was (there is a McDonald’s there now).

Moviebuffwcs
Moviebuffwcs on May 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I’m positive the theater was torn down in the summer of 1963. I remember driving by with my mom on Des Plaines Ave. seeing the seats all exposed during the demolition. My family went there quite often, I particularly remember seeing “The Ten Commandments” there when the a/c wasn’t working. We felt like we were there in the desert with Moses.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm

This was opened on August 28th, 1920 by the Ascher Brothers. I uploaded its grand opening ad here.

Khnemu
Khnemu on July 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm

From The Film Daily of August 19, 1937:

JACK MILLER TO BE ACTIVE IN FOUR ILLINOIS THEATERS

Chicago — Back in the film business, Jack Miller will be active in the operation of the Plaisance, the Lido and the Savoy theaters in Chicago and the Forest at Forest Park. He reports that the Forest theater will be completely rebuilt from plans by the architect Roy Blass, with work starting at once. The house will have 1,100 new General Seat Co. deluxe seats, new rest rooms and a complete new interior.

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