Warrington Opera House
104 South Marion Street,
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Architects: E. E. Roberts
Previous Names: Warrington Theater
Opened in 1902 as the Warrington Opera House, this long-time Oak Park institution originally sat over 1500 in Edwardian opulence, and featured not only opera, but concerts and legitimate theater, as well.
Located in Oak Park’s original entertainment center, at Marion (then known as Wisconsin) and Lake Streets, the Warrington’s neighbors included the Oak Park Theatre (later the Lamar) and the very short-lived Playhouse (which was actually on South Boulevard, near Wisconsin Street).
The Warrington Building not only contained the theater itself, but nine stores, eleven apartments and twenty offices. It was designed by E.E. Roberts, known for his Prairie-style architecture, especially throughout the Village of Oak Park.
By the mid-20s, after featuring mainly vaudeville acts for more than a decade, the Warrington began screening movies and became the Warrington Theater.
After closing in the late 50s, it became the Mar-Lac Banquet Hall in the early 60s, and served in this capacity for another four decades, before closing at the end of 2001.
In November/December of 2004, the building was demolished and will be replaced by a condominium and retail complex.
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