1635 W. Belmont Avenue,
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Architects: Walter W. Ahlschlager
Styles: Spanish Baroque
The Belmont Theater was one of the more popular North Side Chicago movie houses, as it was surrounded by a bustling retail hub and located close to public transportation near the intersection of W. Belmont Avenue, Ashland Avenue and N. Lincoln Avenue in the Lake View neighborhood.
The Belmont Theater opened on September 13, 1926 with Thomas Meighan in “Tin Gods” plus on the stage Art Khan in “Hello Spain”. Built for the Lubliner & Trinz circuit it was taken over by the Balaban & Katz chain in May of 1930. The Belmont Theater was designed by W.W. Ahlschlager, who was also the architect of the Roxy Theatre and Beacon Theatre in New York City. This 3,200-plus seat palace was equipped with a Wurlitzer 4 manual, 20 ranks organ which was opened by organist Preston H. Sellers Jr. Originally a venue for both live entertainment and movies, it later turned to movies only.
In the mid-1960’s, the movie house was converted into a bowling alley, which it remained until closing in the mid-1980’s.
In 1996, with the revival of the Lakeview neighborhood in full swing, a mixed condominium and retail complex was built on the site of the Belmont Theater, which was demolished except for its Spanish Baroque style terra-cotta facade.
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