3518 S. Halsted Street,
24 people favorited this theater
Previously operated by: Lasker & Sons
Architects: Meyer O. Nathan
News About This Theater
Built on the site of the Monogram Theatre (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures).
Located on S. Halstead Street at W. 35th Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood, the Ramova Theatre opened in September 1929 with John Boles in “The Desert Song”. It was equipped with a Western Electric sound system. It was a “sister” to the Music Box Theatre in Lake View, which was opened that same year. The architect of the Ramova Theatre was Meyer O. Nathan.
Like the smaller Music Box Theatre, which seats about half as many as the 1,500-seat Ramova Theatre, both were designed in Atmospheric style inside, their auditoriums built to resemble Spanish-courtyards. On the deep blue ceiling of the Ramova Theatre, “stars” glittered before each movie, and through the archways along the side walls were scenes of the Spanish countryside. Like the Music Box’s lobby, the blue sky with stars motif also continued into the ceiling. Faux-marble and gilded plasterwork were also in abundance, even more so than at the Music Box Theatre.
By the 1950’s, the Ramova Theater was no longer a first run house, but began to show second-run features.
The theatre was closed in April 1985 with “Police Academy 2”, and has since sat vacant, but very much intact, a reminder of the neighborhood’s past and a viable and eminently restorable venue for Bridgeport’s future.
Now owned by the city, in April 2021 it was announced that a renovation of the theatre was planned to convert into a community arts center. There will be a 200-seat small theatre space in the former balcony and the main floor would serve as a larger performance space. Costing $30 million, and with planning permission and a $6.64 million tax increment financing approved, restoration work was due to commence in October 2021 with a planned spring-2023 reopening. The plans also include a Brewhouse and restaurant and new project reopening should be in 2024.
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.