320 S. Halsted Street,
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Architects: Cornelius Ward Rapp, George W. Leslie Rapp
Firms: Rapp & Rapp
Previous Names: Halsted Theater
This smaller neighborhood movie house, seating just over 700, was located on S. Halsted Street not far from W. Jackson Boulevard, in what is today the Greektown neighborhood. The Halsted Theater was designed by architectural firm Rapp & Rapp and opened around 1913/1914.
The Halsted Theater was renamed Villa Theater in 1938. It was screening Spanish language movies in the 1950’s, and was destroyed by an explosion July 30, 1958.
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Recent comments (view all 9 comments)
Actually the cigar store at this location appears to be new construction.
Chicago American, Wednesday, July 30, 1958, p. 1, c. 1:
CONCUSSION ROCKS HALSTED STREET AREAA
Three walls and the roof of the 800-seat Spanish language Villa Theater at 320 S. Halsted st., collapsed today less than an hour after an audience had departed.
The concussion rocked the neighborhood and damaged a factory and several shops separated from the theater by three-foot-wide areaways. It was estimated damage might run up to $100,000.
Fire Attorney Earle Downs and Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn said there was no evidence of an explosion. Downes said the 65-year-old building’s supports “just gave way causing the collapse.”
Henry Erenberg, 52, of 3951 Van Buren st., operated the theater on a lease from the owner.
A small blaze that followed the collapse was extinguished without difficulty. First Division Fire Marshal Frank Reilly set damage at $30,000, but Erenberg said it would be close to $100,000.
Downes said investigation leads him to believe the fire was caused by electrical wiring which was torn apart by falling debris.
A spokesman for the Peopoles Gas Light and Coke Co. said no evidence of a gas explosion was found, and that company records showed no use of gas in the building.
The rear wall of Jacobsen & Daw, Inc., mill supply house at 315 S. Green st.—across a three-foot areaway west of the theater—collapsed outward.
Windows in the shops on Halsted street south of the theater entrance were broken by the concussion.
PHOTO [Caption]: Inside view of Villa Theater showing seats smashed under caved in roof.
Poster’s comment: the previous name of this theatre was Halsted.
I think that this theatre is now a store i am not sure what lind but i think it is a store.
I have a Chicago Tribune display ad from Jan. 2, 1916 that lists a Halsted Theater at 6202 So. Halsted St.
Found nothing else about this theater. Any comments?
According to a list I have of Chicago movie theatres, there was a Halsted Street Theatre at 6202 S. Halsted. This information comes from newsarticles. It did not include any years though.
That’s correct. It was open at least from 1914-1917.
Chicago Tribune confirms demolition of Villa, aka Halsted, on July 30, 1958. The theater was showing Spanish language films at that time. Villa should be listed as an alternate name.
Here is a January 1915 ad for a Halsted at 62nd and Halsted, from the Suburbanite Economist:
The Construction News – Volume 35 – 1913 (Google Books) lists C.W. and George Rapp as architects for a moving picture theatre at 320 S. Halsted Street.