Two blogs I follow have posts up on old Chicago movie theaters. They’re worth checking out.

Inside Stories from a Hollywood Outlier


In addition to the theaters mentioned in these blogs, I also remember, not for their architectural significance, but for the movies they screened, the Davis, Edens, Old Orchard, Lincoln Village, 400 (was that the name–on Sheridan?), Varsity, Sunset Drive-in on McCormick, and Village.

Did I forget any?

Credits: Photo of Chicago Theatre marquee courtesy of Marshall Rosenthal.


5 Responses to Convergence

  1. Ilene Ciccone February 17, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    The Davis–if you are talking about the theater up on Lincoln between Wilson and Lawrence, is still up and running–now showing first run movies…

  2. Richard February 17, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Did you foreget any? Don’t get me started.

    How about the old Century and the Parkway (also at Diversey and Clark). How about the Gateway (way west on Lawrence – I think I saw the Exorcist there.) Also, the Loop theater downtown next to Chicago theater. And don’t forget the Playboy.

  3. Dave February 18, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    You may have missed a few biggies –
    The Nortown ( Devon and Western). I go back to the film West Side Story. In addition, the gem of the far north side, the Granada ( Devon and Sheridan). I saw mid to late 50s John Wayne Western flicks at that grand palace.
    You are correct, the theater on Sheridan was the 400 and remains in operation today.
    The website Cinema Treasures has excellent detail on theaters both locally and across the country.

  4. frances728 February 18, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    The Nortown was my first neighborhood theater, before Lincoln Village Theater opened. I too remember seeing West Side Story at the Nortown but in the late 60s, so they must have occasionally run older films or maybe it was re-released nationwide. The starry ceiling …

  5. Neal Goldberg November 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    I now live only a few blocks from the 400, after a number of name changes, and about as close to where the Granada, where I saw a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis double feature, used to be. There was the Devon theatre on Broadway, which was torn down, the Bryn Mawr, on Bryn Mawr at the “El”, now a church of some religion, and the Howard, on Howard at the “El”, also being used for another purpose.

    My barber, back about 40-50 years ago was right next to the Nortown, and of course there is the sad tale of the Uptown theatre, one of the grandest of the grand, but now decaying.

    I guess I’m not sure what your intent was, but I can name a bunch of former downtown theatres, if you want.

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