4642 N. Sheridan Road,
4642 N. Sheridan Road,Chicago, IL 60640
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Reopened by Essaness (pronuced S & S) on December 25th, 1929 along with the Devon. Reopened by Balaban & Katz on December 25th, 1935. Grand opening ads posted.
Article about the Pantheon’s awkward position in 1931
(1933) B. and K. Engineers Oust the “Dead Spot”
Balaban & Katz engineers have accomplished an innovation in sound improvements for the Pantages Theater, it is reported, creating, through acoustic achievements, an advance step in talking picture reproduction. Certain “dead” spots in the Pantages proved a difficult handicap in the proper presentation of sound pictures. But after four weeks of extensive acoustical work the engineers have achieved perfect sound, it is said.
September 11th, 1918 grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.
To Scott and LTS: there are a number of pics of the Pantheon at the Theatre Historical Society.Two great shots of the auditorium- one is facing the stage and screen; the other facing away from the stage, showing at least 4 auditorium doors, the main floor, and the balcony. Looks very ornate with lots of detail. Two nice shots of the exterior (circa 1918). There were trees just outside the theatre; I don’t remember any in the late 50s. Many movie posters on display; on the marquee: “ASHES OF LOVE”. A fantastic looking building.
It was torn down, and closed because of the fire that was there. Here is a website to see this theatre. www.mekong.net Go all the way down click on photo sets, then clik om movie palaces, then there wil be a big thumbnail list of theatres, and there is the theatre.
I worked there as an usher in the summer of 1951. The manager was Mr. Duckworth. Most of the time I was the only usher.
The pay was meager, but it was air conditioned. My hours surely violated labor laws, but I didn’t care.
We always showed double features, usually changing twice a week. After the last show I’d have to carry the incredibly heavy film canisters down from the projection booth to the outer lobby for pick-up. Fortunately, someone else got to carry the new film up the next day.
From the Chicago Sun Times movie directory dated May 2,1958: HORROR SHOW on our STAGE Complete show 2-4:30-7-9:30 Dr. Sims “HOUSE of the LIVING DEAD” “DRACULA” In Person BOWERY BOYS “SPOOK CHASERS” PLUS “ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY” . Open 1:30 Pantheon 4642 Sheridan FREE PERFUME TO ALL LADIES PLUS 2 for 1 FREE PASS -TO ALL FOR A FUTURE SHOW. I wish I was there that day.
Even though I went to the Pantheon a number of times in my grade school days, I have no memory of the inside with ONE exception-the area just inside the front doors to the ticket takers station. It was VERY wide and rather deep, with a considerable number of posters and lobby cards on the walls. Anyone who remembers just inside the Royal theatre on Milwaukee Ave. will know what the Pantheon was like- very similar. My first memory of the Pantheon: A triple feature -a Western (“Run of the Arrow”?) plus “WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE” plus “WAR OF THE WORLDS”. It was a Saturday afternoon; the auditorium was packed. Since the Pantheon was once a Balaban & Katz theatre, I’m guessing the seats were plush and red- just like the Uptown and Riviera theatres- but can’t be sure. Another memory: sometime in the late 50s, the theatre closed for a short time. When it reopened, there was a sign just outside the front doors in one of the poster cases facing north. It read: You are CORDIALLY invited to the NEW PANTHEON Theatre. The sign was large;it had red and/or black letters against a white background. Just inside the front doors at the south end of the theatre was a huge arrangement of flowers, presumably to welcome the new owners/operators. Outside, the Pantheon had a flush mounted marquee(like the Lakeside) but much larger. Each of the letters of the name had dozens of light bulbs; it was a unique sight when lit and moving. The name PANTHEON and the 4 line(and perhaps 5 line) marquee faced East. The box office (quite small) was connected to the front doors. On either side was a number of entrance doors-6, 7, 8? Before the ticket seller opened the box office, she was behind a bright red curtain. My last memory of the theatre is rather sad: riding my bike past the closed theatre in the early 60s,the front doors so dirty you couldn’t see inside, and pigeons nesting above the marquee in between the letters ,and the sidewalk below a mess. Even though the theatre remained closed for months, two posters remained on display outside:on the north end of the theatre, facing Sheridan Rd.,John Wayne in “BLOOD ALLEY”; on the south end…facing north(toward Leland Ave.)“ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN”.
Fair enough. I was commenting with my biased west coast perspective.
Growing up on the north side of Chicago, I very much remember phone numbers starting with LO-1. Both the DeLuxe and Riviera theatres had that exchange. LO-1-5865 for the DeLuxe. These theatres, and many neighborhoods on the north side of the city, were very close to Lake Michigan, and a few very popular beaches…Foster and Montrose, to name two. Also, a very popular hotel- The Edgewater Beach – stood at Sheridan Rd. and Berwyn/ Balmoral for many years. Longbeach sounds pretty logical.
Phone number in 1954 was Longbch 1-9789. If the exchange was supposed to remind you of something familiar, so you would remember the number, I’m not sure how Long Beach would help someone in Chicago.
Pretty sure I saw some years ago at THS. If my memory is correct they must still be there.
Have you ever seen picures of the interior of the Pantheon? I have never been able to locate any. Perhaps the Theatre Historical Society has some, or maybe the Chicago Historical Society.
BWChicago: I believe the Sheridan Theatre is featured on the cover of Schiecke’s book.
It also appears on the cover of Konrad Schiecke’s Book, Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois, 1883-1960
I just found a postcard showing the Pantheon theater from about 1918. It was an imposing structure with, what looked to be statues along the top edge of the roof. It is such a shame that Uptown has lost many of these grand buildings. That area is now just a jumble of fast-food restaurants and parking lots.
It is too bad that photos cannot be posted onto this site, otherwise I would add the postcard image.
That’s right, there’s an apartment building there now.
Even the offices are gone nowadays, I think. Am I right about that B?
It was demolished in 1962 so the former auditorium could be used as parking for the Cosmpolitan Insurance Company, which operated out of the offices around the theater.
It opened September 11, 1918. Ads claimed it had 3,000 seats, 2,500 of which were on the main floor. The ads were even audacious enough to advertise “The Pantheon Symphony Orchestra (formerly Chicago Symphony Orchestra)”
Bryan: are you sure you aren’t thinking of the old Sheridan/Palacio theatre at Sheridan Road and Irving Park? That was a 2,000-plus seat theatre that sat around for many years & came down at some point in the 90’s. I am pretty sure the Pantheon came down well before 1991 rolled around.