Montclare Theatre

7133 W. Grand Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60707

Unfavorite 9 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Indiana-Illinois Theaters

Architects: William P. Whitney

Nearby Theaters

Monclare Theatre Lobby Flier Inside

Opened March 1, 1929, in the neighborhood of the same name, the Montclare Theatre sat about 1,200, and was for decades a first-run theatre until it was shuttered in 1985.

After closing, the former theatre fell into serious disrepair, its owner turning a deaf ear to demands to either fix it up or demolish it. It was used by gangs and was set ablaze several times.

By the mid-1990s, a concerned citizen’s group began to petition the city to seize the property, condemn and tear it down, which it finally did in December of 1996.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 46 comments)

DavidZornig on August 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm

My relatives talked of regularly going to The Montclare. They lived in River Grove at various times in the 30's &50’s.
The Montclare used to give away china plates & glassware in the `30’s. Somewhere I have a lobby flyer from that era, with the give-a-way of the week. I too saw the Hefner piece and thought it funny, that the famous bunny cuffs may have originated via his time at The Montclare. That alone should have saved the place. Whoever owned it at that time and let them in, should have pitched something to him.
What’s 1 Mil to Hef? Come on!

Of course the Grand Geneva in Wisconsin started as a Playboy Club. So they’d long ago liquidated any dead weight.

As with so many others, too bad this place is gone.

Trolleyguy on February 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Activate notification status.

TLSLOEWS on February 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

What a great vertical on the Montclare.

Kidjim25 on August 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Hi everyone. My grandfather and great uncle were the two optometrist’s in the shop next to the Montclare. I was wondering if there were any photos of the montclare that had a full shot of the optometric shop and the theater. If there is I’d really appreciate it! Thanks James Binder

DavidZornig on January 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

FYI. I added 2 photos of a Montclare lobby flier from 1936.

Trolleyguy on September 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

Interesting thing about the lobby flier display boxes. They spelled the theater’s name as “Montclair” cast in metal on the top. Wonder if anybody saved one of them?

rivest266 on November 13, 2016 at 7:22 am

The Mont Clair theatre opened on March 1st, 1929. Grand opening ad in photo section.

dsadowski on March 6, 2017 at 2:34 am

I remember the optometrist on the corner very well. I got my first pair of eyeglasses ever there. As I recall, it was called Gutierrez Optical, and the two optometrists were Binder & Binder. They had a hand-held stereopticon viewer in their waiting room that you could use to look at old stereo postcards, offering a 3-D view.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.