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Nortown Theater (photo credit Cinema Treasures user dallasmovietheaters)

Nortown Theater

Chicago, Illinois, United States

First Opened: 4th April 1931 (91 years ago)

Atmospheric Style: Undersea

Architect: John E.O. Pridmore

Status: Demolished

Address: 6320 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659 Link opens in new window


Overview

Built by Publix-Balaban & Katz, and opened in April 1931 with Nancy Carroll in “Stolen Heaven” and Laurel & Hardy in “Chickens Come Home”.

The Nortown Theater was an atmospheric style theatre which was known for it striking seaside theme sea horse, mermaid, and zodiac motifs. It was designed by architect James E.O. Pridmore. The Nortown Theater was located in the West Ridge neighborhood of Chicago on N. Western Avenue near W. Rosemont Avenue. It featured a 3-manual 15-rank Wurlitzer theatre organ which was opened by organist Eddie House ‘Chicago’s Premier Singing Organist’.

The theatre closed in 1990 after an unsuccessful triplexing in 1984 and was afterward used as a community center, and still later as a church.

The theatre was demolished in June-August 2007. A great deal of the theater’s decorative terra-cotta and plaster was salvaged before the building was torn down. Condominiums and two small cinemas, along with retail space, were planned to replace the Nortown Theater. However these fell through and in January 2016 it was announced a Wendy’s restaurant would be built on the site.

Information sourced from Cinema Treasures Link opens in new window.

Further Reading

Online

Historic Photos & Documents
Auditorium at opening in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user <i>dallasmovietheaters</i> (JPG)
Auditorium at opening in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user dallasmovietheaters (JPG)
Auditorium Sidewall at opening in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user <i>dallasmovietheaters</i> (JPG)
Auditorium Sidewall at opening in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user dallasmovietheaters (JPG)
Undersea-themed organ grilled as photographed at the opening of the theatre in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user <i>dallasmovietheaters</i> (JPG)
Undersea-themed organ grilled as photographed at the opening of the theatre in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user dallasmovietheaters (JPG)
Lounge photographed in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user <i>dallasmovietheaters</i> (JPG)
Lounge photographed in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user dallasmovietheaters (JPG)
Auditorium ceiling featuring signs of the Zodiac, as photographed in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user <i>dallasmovietheaters</i> (JPG)
Auditorium ceiling featuring signs of the Zodiac, as photographed in 1931, courtesy Cinema Treasures user dallasmovietheaters (JPG)
Exterior in the 1930s, courtesy <i>Rick Lindy</i> (JPG)
Exterior in the 1930s, courtesy Rick Lindy (JPG)
Files displayed in this section may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media.

Photos of the Nortown Theater

Photo credits are noted where data was available at the time of inclusion. Photos displayed here may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media and contact us Contact Us with any concerns.

Pre-Demolition Photos

The theatre was demolished in June-August 2007.

All photos are from August 2006 and are courtesy of Cinema Treasures user mp775 Link opens in new window.

Nortown Theater: Auditorium
Auditorium
Nortown Theater: Balcony
Balcony
Nortown Theater: Lobby
Lobby


Photographs copyright © 2002-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos unless otherwise noted.

Text copyright © 2017-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.

For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here Contact Us.





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