Uptown Chicago Resources


Historic Theatres & Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz

Historic Theatres of Balaban and Katz: Admiral Theatre

Vintage photo of the Admiral Theatre showing an upright marquee. Image courtesy of The Admiral Theatre, an adult theatre and gentleman’s club; used with permission.

Historic Theatres of Balaban and Katz: Admiral Theatre

The Admiral Theatre as seen in an early advertisement for Marr & Colton organs. Note the different marquee. Image courtesy Peter Haskell and American Theatre Organ Society Pine Tree Chapter, which has a collection of vintage theatre organ advertisements. Used with permission.

Historic Theatres of Balaban and Katz: Admiral Theatre

The Admiral Theatre. © Bruce Sharp. Visit Lost Palaces: A Gallery of Old Movie Theatres for more of his work. Image courtesy of www.Mekong.net; used with permission.

The Admiral Theatre — A Brief History

Located at 3940 W. Lawrence, the Admiral Theatre opened in 1927 as a vaudeville house. It was designed by Gallup and Joy and aquired by the Balaban and Katz circuit.

The Admiral closed sometime in the late 1950s, and remained shuttered for many years until opening in 1969 as an all-cartoon venue. Unable to draw the crowds necessary to remain open, the Admiral closed again.

In the early 1970s, the Admiral was opened as an adult movie house. After receiving a facelift in the 1980s, the Admiral continues to thrive as an adult venue and gentlemen’s club. While the interior has been drastically altered, the facade is in remarkably good shape.


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