Uptown Chicago Resources


Uptown Theatre Chicago: New North Side Theater Completed, Turn on Big Sign

From Chicago Daily Tribune, August 16, 1925

The Balaban and Katz Uptown Theatre opened in 1925. Image courtesy CRCC collection.

The Balaban and Katz Uptown Theatre opened in 1925. Image courtesy CRCC collection.

Hundreds of thousands of incandescent lamps in the new Balaban & Katz Uptown theater, Broadway at Lawrence, were switched on simultaneously for the first time last night. The radiance of the huge electric signs on the theater, which will be opened to the public Tuesday at noon, was reported to be visible over most of the north side.

All construction work and decorating of the new amusement palace will be completed this afternoon and a final corrective inspection will be held tomorrow. The architecture is of the old Spanish type and illumination has been effectively used to enhance the “castle of dreams” idea.

One of the revolutionary features introduced in the Uptown is the removal of the orchestra and the organ from the pit to a disappearing stage. Nathaniel Finston will be the orchestra director for the opening week and Jesse Crawford the organist. Special rooms have been set aside for a radio broadcasting station, a nursery and a children’s play space, in addition to the usual retiring rooms.

In celebration of the opening, the Central Uptown Chicago association is sponsoring a pageant, which will last all week. Parades in which decorated floats will be exhibited are scheduled for Thursday and Friday nights.


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