6134 W. Cermak Road,
12 people favorited this theater
Olympic Theater (Official)
Previously operated by: Nokimos Theaters
Functions: Concerts, Live Performances, Movies (Classic)
Styles: French Renaissance, Neo-Classical
Previous Names: Concordia Theatre, Olympic Theatre
News About This Theater
- May 24, 2007 — Olympic Theatre restoration
The Olympic Theatre is a moderate-sized theatre housed within a larger building. The façade is in an understated Neo-Classical style and the interior is reminiscent of French Renaissance. It opened in 1927, originally as a ballroom. On November 19, 1937 it was converted into a movie house playing Alice Faye in “You Can’t Have Everything” & Pat O'Brien in “San Quentin”. It remained as a movie theatre until closing in 1993, after falling in disrepair.
The Olympic Theatre briefly reopened in 1994 as a venue for a live theatre production, but closed again in less than a year, sitting vacant for a handful of years.
For a couple years in the early-2000’s, the theatre was renamed the Concordia Theatre and hosted mainly acts catering to the Latino community.
Now under new management, the theatre has returned to its original name, the Olympic Theater, and reopened on March 8, 2008. The theatre now hosts concerts, comedy shows, pageants, plays and other live entertainment. The Olympic Theater has undergone renovations including state of the art audio and visual components. It was closed in 2021 (possibly a casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic). It was announced in January 2023 that it will reopen May 7, 2023 screening Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” and continues with more classic movies and live concerts.
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Recent comments (view all 37 comments)
As stated on my other posts I am so glad I found this site!!! I have enjoyed reading all and I mean all the post about several of the theaters that I have looked up.
I grew up in the area near the Olympic theater in the 80â€™s and 90â€™s and I cant tell you how many 2nd showings of movies I saw here too many to count. I know I saw Predator there for sure. I remember the place being hot the AC there wasnâ€™t the best compared to the other big name theaters in the area. I remember going to this theater once with my friend and his dad and for what ever reason he made us sit under the balcony for the movie and it was annoying because there was a small light hanging from the ceiling under the balcony that never went offâ€¦ who can get into a movie when there is light on in the theater.
In the mid 90â€™s the Olympic stopped showing movies and was turned into a venue for live performances. I remember one of my teachers at the high school being very excited for this to happen as she remembered the theater form its heyday and was glad that the wrecking ball didnâ€™t find its way there.
The first performance to happen there was called the Metropolis. As part of the high school theater department we got to take a tour of the Olympic it was amazing what the then owner and his crew did to the place. They cleaned everything from top to bottom as best they could with the budget they had. There was a lot of fresh paint and the ceiling had started to be cleaned and restored along with the mural around the proscenium. Kind of state of the art for the time but the orchestra was housed in one of the dressing rooms and there was a video monitor at the foot of the stage that the cast would use to see the conductor give musical direction. The lighting system was very rock and roll looking. It was flown above the house seats and the spotlight operator would climb a wire rope ladder shortly before doors opened to the top of the lighting truss and operate from there. Again a budget thing the director/owner was doing a lot with little. The PA (or sound system) was installed by my old boss and it was very rock n roll stacks and racks were on the deck (stage) and dressed with some fabric but not as you would expect for a theater. As part of the class trip we took we got to search a storage room in the lower level where a few dozen beautiful canvas backdrops were stored. We sorted through them for â€œkeepersâ€ for the high school production of Bye Bye Birdie. Man that was a great time
The actual production of Metropolis was great a real high caliber performance.
I heard the financial issues caused the operation to fold and a judge but a lockout on the place which I guessed caused my old boss to lose his audio gearâ€¦ but what ever like say its what I heard.
I am glad to see the Olympic is open again for live performance. Whish I would have had the capital to make it happen years ago. As dumb as it sounds the Olympic has one thing in its favor parking not lot of its own per say but a lot on the street and in the old â€œLâ€ strip.
The rumor is that old owner prior to 1994 lived in the theater as some of the techs working the renovation and production of the Olympic found a shower rigged up in the slop skink in the upstairs area
Does anyone recall Laura Branigan doing a show there back in the 80s?
I recall going to see E.T. back in the 80s and being allowed to go in on my own and I was a preteen.
Back in the 70s my dad took me to see Live and let die and they wouldnt allow me in.
“LIVE AND LET DIE” was PG can’t understand why they would not let you see it.
From the 1980s a close up of the Olympic Theatre sign in Cicero.
My mom was a pretty happening woman, culture-wise, during the two years we lived in Chicago in the ‘60s. On the Monday morning of our spring break away from school in 1968, she said she had a surprise for us: the matinee of a movie that had just opened at the Olympic Theatre in Cicero called 2001: A Space Odyssey. We filed into the car for the short hop over from Oak Park, and she let us off at the curb before going off shopping. I’m talking about me and six brothers, all of whom were under 18; I’m surprised the theater management let our little ensemble in. Once inside, though, we found that the grand hall was deserted, so where did we decide to sit? In the balcony, of course! The viewing of cinematic masterpiece at the Olympic remains one of the greatest experiences of my life. The film was so crisp looking and the sound was pretty glorious for the time. Seeing 2001 at the Olympic, I feel, established it as my favorite movie of all time. I’ve viewed it many times since, including a remastered 70-millimeter print at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, Calif back in 1995. All pale in comparison to my remembrances of being at the Olympic on that one Monday in April 1968. I tell my wife that I’m overdue for a visit back to Chicago, with or without her. When I go, I’ll definitely swing by the Olympic. As for my memories, if only there was some time machine I could step into…
Beautiful building.It’s nice to see this building is still being kept up. I grew up in Cicero and I can remember mom attending beauty school in the building next to the theater. Back then it was safe to leave the kids in the car and we knew once mom went inside we were free to roam the area and that we did playing hide and seek crossing the street to go to the bank and get free candy. All the fun we had and we managed to get back into the car before mom got out of class. It was a treat for us to go see a movie here Never by ourselves it was always a family event.
This venue has been closed at least since last year.
2017 Urban Remains link and John Mallin link both with photos that somehow did not get shared here.
The website is showing events, including classic films, beginning May 7 2023 forward. Looks like it’s re-opening.
Facebook link with 43 photos.