Rhodes Theatre

544 E. 79th Street,
Chicago, IL 60619

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Brotman & Sherman Theaters, Stanley-Warner Theatres, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: George W. Leslie Rapp, Hans Teichert

Firms: Rapp & Rapp

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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News About This Theater

Rhodes Theater

This late Rapp & Rapp designed movie house, done in Art Moderne style in 1937, was located in the Chatham neighborhood, at the intersection of E. 79th Street and S. Rhodes Avenue. The Rhodes Theatre was opened on November 19, 1937 with Kenny Baker in “Mr. Dodd Takes the Air”.

For most of the 1930’s and 1940’s (and into the 1950’s), the Rhodes Theatre was operated by the Warner Brothers (later Stanley-Warner) chain. From the mid-1960’s into the 1970’s, it was part of the Brotman & Sherman Theaters chain, which also acquired other former Warner houses such as the Avalon Theatre (New Regal), Capitol Theatre, and Met Theatre.

The Rhodes Theatre was open into the 1980’s, but, unfortunately, was demolished after it closed. In 2022 the site remains vacant as a piece of grassed-over land

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 25, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Address was 538 E. 79th in the 1960 Chicago yellow pages.

vicboda on October 5, 2009 at 9:43 am

This theater was part of the Brotman & Sherman chain for a while but they ran it down taking everything they could out of it and not putting anything back. Typical of the time.

BobArr on January 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I grew up in the shadow of the Rhodes—used to play softball in its parking lot, age 10-12. I recently made a video about it and put it on YouTube. You may enjoy it.


BobArr on January 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Sorry, that url didn’t become a normal link. I’ll post it as regular characters; you may have to cut and paste.


Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm

1983 R rated and PG rated Double feature? hopefully, they got the kids out.

rivest266 on June 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

This opened on November 19th, 1937. Grand opening ad in photo section.

KevinJ on December 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

They showed a lot of martial arts movies in the 80’s. I lived in the area then, movies were $1.

Hachidan8 on December 1, 2022 at 5:05 pm

The Rhodes theater was ground zero for martial arts films that wormed the lines around the corner from 1972 through 77.My first movie there was “Willard” My last attendance a weeknight when I had nothing to do so I saw “Godzilla”. Something like that. It had classic Hollywood hand and foot molds in the lobby floor cartooned by a red velvet rope. Portraits of40’s Warner Bros. Movie stars. By the seventies, it all seemed archaic, Didn’t fit the black population there. But “Enter the Dragon ” sure did. August of 1973.Lines down the block in the rain. It was remodeled and enjoyed a brief revival but that was it. Its still an empty lot…and some of the floor molds are still there. Once symbols of fanfare are now grave markers in a concrete cemetery of memories.

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