ISIS Theatre, Chicago: was it ever built?

posted by LouisRugani on September 10, 2010 at 7:40 am

(Southtown Economist, October 6, 1926)

Ada and 69th Sts. Site Brought $48,000 from Movie Palace Building Corporation

There is probably no district in Chicago so thlckly populated as the immediate neighborhood of 69th and Ada sts. that lacks amusement facilities as does the community in whioh the Isis Theater and building Corporation will erect its $750,000, 1,800 seat theater and office building.
When completed, the new theater, on the southeast corner of 69th and Ada sts. will be operated by the Isis interests or turned over to one of the large theater corporations now operating in Chicago, according to W. J. McDonnell, who represented both parties in the transfer of the property. The site was purchased for a reported price of $8,000.
Z. Erol Smith has been secured as the architect to draw plans for the theater and the 15 apartments, seven stores and four offices which will occupy the building.
The theater, both as to exterlor and interior finish, has been designed in the Egyptian style, following closely the original model of the temple to the Goddess Isis on the island of Philae, above the first cataract of the Nile. The temple was first built by Nekhinehf, the last of the native Egyptian kings, about the year 350 B. C. The Roman emperor Justinian I closed its altars in the sixth century A. D.
(Artist’s rendering included in article.)

Comments (1)

CSWalczak on September 10, 2010 at 11:18 am

I certainly cannot say for sure, but I think it probably was not built; if it was, it probably opened under a different name, and at a different location and there does not seem to be any real trace of it today. Aerial photos of W. 69th and S. Ada do show a large building that had retail on the first floor and two floors of apartments above on the NE corner, but nothing about it appears to suggests to me that a theater was ever part of it. The other corners today don’t suggest anything either that would indicate that a theater was once there, though the NW corner has a building not of the 1920s on it and also a considerable amount of vacant space.

The Park Theater in the Humboldt Park was born as the Isis, but if its entry here on CT is accurate, the name change occurred before 1920, so Isis might have been an available name. Most of the theaters in this general area of Chicago were around 63rd and Halsted.

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