1621 W. Howard Street,
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Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp.
Architects: Henry L. Newhouse
Firms: Newhouse & Bernham
The Howard Theatre opened in 1917, designed by Henry L. Newhouse, whose other Chicago theatres included the Metropolitan Theatre and Atlantic Theatre. It was equipped with a Kimball 3 manual 9 ranks organ.
It was acquired by the Balaban & Katz chain not long after it had opened. Notable was its ornate Neo-Classical style façade, complete with sculpted masks of comedy and tragedy, and the theatre’s name inscribed above the arch-shaped window over the marquee.
The Howard Theatre continued to show first run films until it was shuttered around Thanksgiving 1975. In 1999, the long-vacant Howard Theatre’s auditorium was razed but its beautiful façade and outer lobby were saved and integrated into the apartments and retail structure which was built on the site of the Howard Theatre.
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Recent comments (view all 38 comments)
The Howard disappears from the Tribune’s listings around Thanksgiving of 1975, with the last features that I found being a four-walled Sunn Classic double bill of The Outer Space Connection and Toklat. From the advertising style it looks like this was a Brotman & Sherman house in its later years, although the ads for the last couple weeks are generic listings separated from the Brotman & Sherman group.
Howard blade sign photo added. Howard Terminal Yard, September 14, 1972, Photo credit Marty Bernard
Theater spelling should be changed to “Theatre” at the page top. It appears that way in the arch stonework and on the marquee.
Mid `70’s photo added, photo credit Saul Smaizys.
I added a few recent pics of the West elevation. Sadly all the old building perimeter light sockets have had blank plates installed over the boxes.
1970’s photo via Flickr, photo credit Mark Susina.
Mid `40s Flickr photo. Howard theatre in the background.
Incredible December 1929 photo added, with illuminated domes.
Howard Terminal Yard, September 14, 1972, Photo credit Marty Bernard. Howard Theatre far left. Companion photo to one in gallery with blade sign.
Northwestern Library Digital Collections photo. Will enlarge within link.
Howard Street Brewing Company uses the old Howard Theatre Building as it’s logo. They are located to the East in one of the storefronts in the Howard Theatre Building.