1952 E. 71st Street,
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Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.
Architects: William Phillip Doerr
The Jeffery Theater, constructed in 1923 in the heart of the South Shore neighborhood’s then-bustling commercial center, E. 71st Street between E. Euclid Avenue and S. Jeffery Boulevard, was opened a year later as a vaudeville and movie house for the Cooney Brothers circuit.
The Neo-Classical style theater could seat just under 1,800, and was designed by architect William P. Doerr (who also designed the Neo-Georgian style East Park Towers in Hyde Park). It had a tall vertical marquee which rose over the façade of the theater, and could be seen up and down E. 71st Street.
The Jeffery Theater was operated by Warner Brothers in the 1930’s and 1940’s, under a movies-only policy from then on. It was later run by the Coston family, which also operated such South Side houses as the Beverly Theater and the Hamilton Theater.
The Jeffery Theater, a long-time South Shore landmark, was demolished during the late-1990’s, except for its façade and lobby area, which now houses a bank. A drive-up is now located where the auditorium formerly stood. In September 2017 plans were proposed to demolish the remainder of the building to build a Cinegrill on the site. In August 2020 a demolition permit was released for the façade and lobby of the Jeffrey Theatre and the Spencer Arms Hotel.
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