Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Illinois icon-chevron-right Chicago icon-chevron-right A map of Chicago's movie palaces, past and present

A map of Chicago's movie palaces, past and present

It must be said that where many a great movie palace once stood there are now parking lots and fast-food chains. But they're not all gone.
 (Photograph: Eric Lynxwiler)
Photograph: Eric LynxwilerOriental Theater
 (Photograph: Ted Nigrelli)
Photograph: Ted NigrelliMajestic
 (Photograph: Christopher Buoscio)
Photograph: Christopher Buoscio
 (Photograph: Bruce Cutter)
Photograph: Bruce CutterBelmont Theater
 (Photograph: Jon Cutrell)
Photograph: Jon CutrellGranada Theater
 (Photograph: Rachel Freundt)
Photograph: Rachel FreundtGermania Theater
 (Photograph: Mark Susina)
Photograph: Mark SusinaState Lake Theater
 (Photograph: BW Chicago)
Photograph: BW ChicagoRiviera Theater
 (Photograph: Kymberly Janisch)
Photograph: Kymberly JanischApollo Theater
 (Photograph: Serge Lubomundrov)
Photograph: Serge Lubomundrov
 (Photograph: BW Chicago)
Photograph: BW ChicagoDrury Lane Parkway Theater
 (Photograph: BWChicago)
Photograph: BWChicagoRiviera Theater
 (Photograph: BW Chicago)
Photograph: BW ChicagoRiviera Theater
 (Photograph: BW Chicago)
Photograph: BW ChicagoRiviera Theater
 (Photograph: BWChicago Flickr)
Photograph: BWChicago FlickrRiviera Theater
 (Photograph: BWChicago Flickr)
Photograph: BWChicago FlickrRiviera Theater
 (Photograph: 2BWChicago Flickr)
Photograph: 2BWChicago FlickrRiviera Theater
 (Photograph: Bruce Cutter)
Photograph: Bruce CutterHyde Park Theater
By Shawn T Flemming |

Many famed Chicago movie palaces live on in new forms, while of some, only a facade remains. Some still show movies. Use this handy map to locate and study up on the former movie palace in your 'hood. Or find an excuse to venture forth.

View Chicago Movie Palaces, past and present in a larger map


Jefferson Park
Gateway Theatre, 5216 W Lawrence Ave (current home Polish Cultural Center, built 1930)

Covent Gardens Theatre, 2653 N Clark St (Facade only, Covent Hotel was part of the original Covent Garden Theatre complex)
Drury Lane Theater, 2738 N Clark St (original door is the only remaining evidence of the theater, gutted, multi-use, location of yoga studio today)

Lincoln Park
Biograph Theatre, 2433 N Lincoln Ave (Renamed the Victory Gardens Theater in 2006; site of John Dillinger shooting, built 1914)

Logan Square
Congress Theater, 2135 N Milwaukee Ave (Landmark status, current use as a concert venue and condos/apts, built 1926)

Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph St (renamed the Ford Theater for Performing Arts in1998, National Register of Historic Places 1978, built 1926)
State-Lake Theatre: (facade only, gutted and renovated into studios and offices, current home to ABC affiliate WLS-TV, built  1919)
Chicago Theater, 175 N State St (renovated and used for live performances, special events, built 1921)
Majestic Theatre, 22 W Monroe St (location of the Shubert Theatre from 1945–2005, reopened as the Bank of America Theatre in 2008, built 1906)
New Palace Theatre, 151 W Randolph St. (reopened as the Cadillac Palace Theater in 1999, Broadway stage productions, built 1926)

Old Town
Germania Theatre, 1548–50 N Clark St., facade only, served as a theater from 1967–2007, built 1916)

Wicker Park
Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division St (live performances, built 1918)

Admiral, 3940 W Lawrence Ave (original home to vaudeville acts and motion pictures, current location of strip club, built 1927)
Riviera Theatre, 4746 N Racine Ave, (facade and interior renovations, concert venue, built 1918)

South Shore
Regal Theater, 1645 E 79th St (live music venue, original name Avalon Theatre, built 1927)

Iris Theatre, 5747 W. Chicago Ave (was later used as a banquet hall, built 1912)

Varsity Theater, 1710 Sherman Ave (facade only, mixed-use retail)

Belmont Cragin
BelPark Theatre, 3231 N Cicero Ave (original home to theater acts then movies, current location of a bingo hall, built 1927)
Marshall Square Theatre, 2875 W Cermak Rd (restored in 1990s, live music venue, renamed Apollo 2000, built 1917)

Pickwick, 5 S Prospect Ave, Park Ridge (Open since 1928 and still operating).
Tivoli Theater, 5021 Highland Ave, Downers Grove

For more on Chicago movie palaces, visit or the Balaban and Katz page at Compass Rose.

Photos: TOC Flickr galleries of historic movie palaces

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