Howard Theatre

1621 W. Howard Street,
Chicago, IL 60626

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp.

Architects: Henry L. Newhouse

Firms: Newhouse & Bernham

Functions: Housing, Retail

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

Howard Terminal Yard, September 14, 1972, Photo credit Marty Bernard.

The Howard Theatre opened in 1917, designed by Henry L. Newhouse, whose other Chicago theatres included the Metropolitan Theatre and Atlantic Theatre. It was equipped with a Kimball 3 manual 9 ranks organ.

It was acquired by the Balaban & Katz chain not long after it had opened. Notable was its ornate Neo-Classical style façade, complete with sculpted masks of comedy and tragedy, and the theatre’s name inscribed above the arch-shaped window over the marquee.

The Howard Theatre continued to show first run films until it was shuttered around Thanksgiving 1975. In 1999, the long-vacant Howard Theatre’s auditorium was razed but its beautiful façade and outer lobby were saved and integrated into the apartments and retail structure which was built on the site of the Howard Theatre.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 38 comments)

RickB on November 16, 2014 at 8:43 pm

The Howard disappears from the Tribune’s listings around Thanksgiving of 1975, with the last features that I found being a four-walled Sunn Classic double bill of The Outer Space Connection and Toklat. From the advertising style it looks like this was a Brotman & Sherman house in its later years, although the ads for the last couple weeks are generic listings separated from the Brotman & Sherman group.

DavidZornig on May 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Howard blade sign photo added. Howard Terminal Yard, September 14, 1972, Photo credit Marty Bernard

DavidZornig on October 12, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Theater spelling should be changed to “Theatre” at the page top. It appears that way in the arch stonework and on the marquee.

Mid `70’s photo added, photo credit Saul Smaizys.

DavidZornig on January 27, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I added a few recent pics of the West elevation. Sadly all the old building perimeter light sockets have had blank plates installed over the boxes.

DavidZornig on June 22, 2017 at 12:22 pm

1970’s photo via Flickr, photo credit Mark Susina.

DavidZornig on March 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm

Mid `40s Flickr photo. Howard theatre in the background.

DavidZornig on June 4, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Incredible December 1929 photo added, with illuminated domes.

DavidZornig on September 21, 2020 at 10:35 pm

Howard Terminal Yard, September 14, 1972, Photo credit Marty Bernard. Howard Theatre far left. Companion photo to one in gallery with blade sign.

DavidZornig on March 26, 2021 at 1:08 pm

Northwestern Library Digital Collections photo. Will enlarge within link.

DavidZornig on May 31, 2022 at 9:48 pm

Howard Street Brewing Company uses the old Howard Theatre Building as it’s logo. They are located to the East in one of the storefronts in the Howard Theatre Building.

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.