Joy Theatre

9225 S. Commercial Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60617

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban, H & E

Architects: Franz Roy

Previous Names: Pete's Theatre, South Chicago Theatre, International Theatre

Nearby Theaters

JOY Theatre; Chicago, Illinois.

This theater was opened in 1908, by Peter Lopina, as Pete’s Theatre and closed in 1910. Five years later, it reopened as the South Chicago Theatre, but closed again after two years. In 1923, the theater reopened as the International. In 1936, it was renamed the Joy Theatre. The theater closed for good in 1947, having last been part of the H & E Balaban chain.

The theater was located in the South Chicago neighborhood on Commercial Avenue between 92nd Street and South Chicago Avenue.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

cheri76 on February 1, 2006 at 6:15 am

Peter Lopina was my grandfather’s brother. He was known by locals as “two-for-nickel” Pete because he would allow two children to shuffle into the theatre for a single nickel. The first kid would pay his five cents and Pete would hurry the second kid through by patting him on the back. I have some great photos of him in front of the theatre that I can scan and post if anyone is interested.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 25, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Opened in 1908 as Pete’s Theatre it was closed in 1910. It re-opened in 1915 as the South Chicago Theatre and this lasted until 1917. In 1923 it re-opened again, this time known as the International Theatre and it was re-named Joy Theatre in 1936. It finally closed in 1947.

LouRugani on June 5, 2013 at 12:58 am

The architect was Franz Roy, whose office was nearby at 9046 S. Commercial Avenue. He designed a number of area buildings.

Sarbi on September 3, 2023 at 11:50 pm

Hey cheri76. I If you’re still out there please post your photos. I’m putting together a post about this theater and The Wonderland across the street for the South Chicago Historical Society Facebook page and having your photos would be great. Also, do you know the history of the theatres? The info on this page is not correct according to info I’ve found.

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