Uptown Chicago Resources

Historic Theatres & Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz

Historic Theatres of Balaban and Katz: Howard Theatre

The Howard Theatre. Image courtesy HAARGIS.

The Howard Theatre — A Brief History

Like the Uptown Theatre, the neo-classical Howard Theatre, located at 1621 W. Howard Street in Rogers Park, Chicago, was a northside neighborhood theatre. It was designed by Henry L. Newhouse of Newhouse & Berhnam and opened its doors in 1917. It was purchased by Balaban & Katz sometime after that.

The Howard was a very popular theatre and showed first-run films all the way up to its close in the 1970s. After twenty years of neglect, the audiorium of the theatre was demolished. The lobby was converted into a community room and the meeting rooms above the lobby were made into housing with a mix of small units subsidized through tax credits as well as larger market-rate condo units. Street-level commercial space was restored, as was the ornate terra cotta and brick facade.

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