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February 02, 2011


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This is great Billy, seeing all the movie theaters from Chicago. I still remember the 3 main movie theaters from my home town in Cuba. Visiting them was always a magic experience to me.

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This one is really great pics of movie theater of Chicago. I really like theaters. I am an actor. I really like these pics.

James Longley

These are very, very beautiful.


What a great collection. I liked each photograph more than the previous one. And how did you find those terrific photos of the Loop Theater? I had searched for one, for at least a few minutes.

Your roundup leaves out the whole big musical film experience--Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and Camelot are the ones I remember. They were dress-up events, at least in our family.


Oh man,thatnks for bringing back some memories! I saw The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin at the McVickers, and along with people yelling at the screen, there were pigeons flying around in front of it, and then landing at its' base and you could see their heads bobbing up and down as they strutted back and forth in front of the film. I also saw Willard at the Woods. And was lucky enough to see Abel Gance's 3 screen Napoleon , with the Coppola orchestra live, at the Chicago, thanks to my father taking me there.

Cynthia J. Simmons

I'am Cynthia J. Simmons 46 years old and I live in Rockford, Illinois. now with my husband and 19 year twin sons. I'am from and grew up in Chicago. I remember the downtown movie house and I will never forget them. When I was young in the early seventies my parents and I would spent every summer night going from one movie place to another seeing different movies.
I remember when I was 10 years old in 1975 and my parents took me to see the movie tommy at the State & Lake, that movie was very loud I could not sit to see all of the movie until it came to Broadway and Wilson on the north side at the Rivera Theater, at that theater they had turned down the sound on that movie and I was able to sit though all of Tommy.
I remember see lots of other movies downtown to scary pictures to walt disney. The last time I was at a movie house in downtown chicago was at the State & Lake and seen with some of my dad's friends before my dad died in 1983 was Trading Places with Eddie Murphy, the state & Lake was beganning to show its age. When I was sitting in my seat you could see though the hole at the edge of the seat down though the basement, I remember seeing a bruch of papers lying on the floor.
But I do miss all of that downtown chicago past entertainment and there will not be noting like that ever again. And great pictures I like looking at them again.
And you can always watch Turner Classic Movies (TCM) also but not as fun as watching on a big downtown chicago movie screen.

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The Clark was famous as the pioneer of revivial or repertory programming when it was managed by Bruce Trinz. It was a real mecca for movie lovers back in the days before the canonization of old American films was really in vogue. I remember seeing Gordon Hessler's 1971 "Murders In The Rue Morgue" there, or was it Roy del Ruth's 1954 "Phantoms of the Rue Morgue"? Something with murders and Paris and a vicious ape.

david syfczak

great stuff! if your interest is historic movie theatre's may i suggest theatre historical society of america at historic theatres .org.they have a museum & archive in elmhurst ill. the quarterly magazines & newsletters are worth the minimal membership costs.


I certainly enjoyed the memories that came to mind after seeing photo's of all the old theaters....while in high school 1958 I worked part time as an usherette at the McVickers...they were running South Pacific... Hal Pearl who played the organ at the Chicago Theater during intermission also became a sub in our music class for the day...that was quite special..
The movie "Cooley High" was the name of the high school on wells & division......
..originally called Lane tech and then Washburn trade school and eventually Cooley High...thanks for the memories

Christine M.Jones

How about the beautiful INDOOR pond,with fish and swans,at the
Southtown theater!!!

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