Wilson Avenue Theater

1050 W. Wilson Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Related Websites

Double Door (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Jones, Linick & Schaefer

Architects: Henry L. Ottenheimer

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

Wilson Avenue Theater, Chicago, IL

The Wilson Avenue Theater opened July 19, 1909 as one of the first large venues in the Uptown neighborhood, showing two vaudeville performances nightly. It was designed by Henry L. Ottenheimer and built at a cost of $50,000 for the Jones, Linick, Shaefer circuit. The theater seated 600 on the main floor and 300 in the balcony. The interior was described as pretty, and in buff and gold, with a mural over the proscenium, while the opening night show was not such a pretty sight.

Acts from the American Music Hall in the Loop frequently performed there. In 1919 it was converted to a bank, Fidelity Bank. Later it was the Uptown State Bank, Federal Trust and Savings Bank, and then the Bank of Chicago. It was last named TCF Bank, with a mural on one side visible from the El and a trompe l'eoil mural on the other. The interior still looks like a cross between a theater and a bank.

In November 2018 plans were announced to convert the building into a live music venue Double Door, which has a 2022 planned opening.

Contributed by Brian Wolf

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 6, 2015 at 6:52 pm

1975 photo added, photo credit William Brubeck, courtesy of the UIC Collection.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 5, 2018 at 8:42 pm

Just posting this because it has the former Wilson Avenue Theater in an artist’s rendering of the proposed building next door. But the project seems to be borrowing the theater’s address.

https://chicago.curbed.com/2018/1/5/16846120/uptown-development-news-tod-construction

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 1, 2018 at 9:44 am

Double Door music venue to reopen in the former Wilson Theater.

https://www.uptownupdate.com/2018/12/double-door-coming-to-uptown-at-1050-w.html?fbclid=IwAR0thdD6KQCb0Ltkp5o9kKWAYG9OKTs8igjylhvDx3NEo0gdUXpGziNA-l8

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Another update, includes residential development next door.

https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/02/20/uptown-developers-give-city-new-designs-for-proposed-double-door-site-including-110-apartments-next-door/?mc_cid=bc06198237&mc_eid=173b7b99f7

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 4, 2020 at 12:06 am

New project coming to the West of the Wilson Theatre.

https://www.uptownupdate.com/2020/11/rendering-reveal-finalized-plans-for.html?fbclid=IwAR2HnLO58wsdsJqoig3HBqC1sLrkNvLgEK6MqJo3c5mogKRXiSvYK6FMWJI

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 14, 2020 at 7:36 pm

pdf of the project next door with elevation images etc.

https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/zlup/Planning_and_Policy/Agendas/cpc_materials/12_2020/1050%20Wilson%20DRAFT%20CPC.pdf

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 12, 2021 at 11:10 pm

Double Door is still happening. Photo links within article.

https://www.uptownupdate.com/2021/07/double-your-pleasure-double-your-fun.html?fbclid=IwAR0f1AT7CcQXnWL-86HuMf-a0uQ50pfmhz-wAg4-UToBrziCA96DpMrnW2c

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 6, 2021 at 11:49 am

Reopening early 2022. New official website for the Double Door.

https://www.doubledoor.com/?fbclid=IwAR2YQktyjZXfMKCnC3eeZSEw35sELtV7V4SBMIQVELayo4-4DroVb0iDAro

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 9, 2021 at 11:12 am

Update with video.

https://blockclubchicago.org/2021/11/09/double-door-plans-to-open-next-year-in-uptown-but-some-lucky-fans-have-been-getting-a-sneak-peek/?fbclid=IwAR1MiReefAlbNTgbkm-GeZbx1g8SUWl5UB7y9uacfkl-tHBXv2bwhFIl8Ms

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 19, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Posting because Wilson Avenue Theatre building is pictured next door.

https://chicagoyimby.com/2022/01/second-floor-takes-shape-at-4600-n-kenmore-avenue-in-uptown.html?fbclid=IwAR3z4A_sEeGGzu6CiK-SC_f_6R2_hrrGdmL4HvGDVXvYVwTuSh9I7qRkuzw

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