Grand Theatre

3110 S. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60616

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Additional Info

Architects: Henry L. Ottenheimer, William Reichert, Isaac S. Stern

Firms: Ottenheimer, Stern & Reichert

Nearby Theaters

GRAND Theatre (South State St.); Chicago, Illinois.

The Grand Theatre opened in 1911 at S. State Street near W. 31st Street, with seating for about 500. The theatre replaced an older and smaller Grand Theatre a few doors down the street, which, upon the opening of the new Grand Theatre was renamed Phoenix Theatre and became a movie house.

The new Grand Theatre was one of the premier entertainment venues of the South Side for years after its opening, becoming the place where Jazz was introduced to Chicago, starting in 1915 with the Original Creole Orchestra. Later, legendary African-American entertainers such as Bessie Smith, William ‘Bojangles’ Robinson and Ethel Waters made appearances at the Grand Theatre.

After the much larger and modern Vendome Theatre opened across S. State Street in 1919, the slow decline of the Grand Theatre began. By the end of the 1920’s, the Regal Theatre and Met Theatre nearby had even surpassed the Vendome Theatre in popularity, and the Grand Theatre was relegated to showing movies. During the 1940’s, the Grand Theatre was only sporadically open. It was shuttered in 1952.

The Grand Theatre was demolished in 1959 to make way for an expansion of the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

kencmcintyre on March 25, 2006 at 6:13 pm

Here is the text of an ad from The Freeman, an African-American newspaper, circa 1917:

The Stroll Amusement Company

Devoted to High Class

Change of Program Monday & Thursday
Matinee Sundays and Holidays

3110-12 State St. Tel: Douglas 500

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 2, 2018 at 7:11 pm

According to the notice in the “Building Permits” column of the January 15, 1910, issue of The Economist, the theater that was to be built at 3110-3112 State Street had been designed by the architectural firm of Ottenheimer, Stern & Reichert.

Henry L. Ottenheimer studied in Paris and apprenticed under Louis Sullivan. His partners were Isaac S. Stern and William Reichert.

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