Imperial Theatre

2329 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60612

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Additional Info

Architects: George H. Grussing

Nearby Theaters

2300 block of West Madison Street 1968

The Imperial Theatre, in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood, opened in 1910 with 1,290-seats, and may have been originally built for either legitimate theatre or vaudeville before later switching to movies.

After closing in the 1980’s and falling into disrepair, the Imperial Theatre was demolished in 1994.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 11, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Wow: by the time I saw the Imperial most of those buildings were gone. The theatre itself was being used for storage (this would’ve been late 80’s).

MargoBelle on March 12, 2007 at 10:14 am

I lived at 2307 W. Madison, just down the street from the Imperial and went there regularly. I’m trying to locate a picture of my building and any of the surrounding area. Our apartment building was 3 stories tall, fronted on Madison, went around the corner on Oakley, and had back entrances on Monroe. The Alhambra Inn tavern was located on the corner of Madison and Oakley.

kencmcintyre on November 25, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Phone number in 1960 was CAnal 6-3925.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 26, 2008 at 7:29 am

I’m not looking to start an argument LM, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But I think any historical information related to a given theatre property is valuable, and that would include old phone numbers. The purpose of this web site is to create a historical mosaic.

In addition, I think it could be fun for someone who grew up in the neighborhood. Such a person might see that phone number and say, “I remember that phone number! I dialed it a thousand times!” Good memories, and so on.

kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 9:19 am

I like the exchanges, because they remind me of my grandmother’s old number in Philly. I put the interesting exchanges on here in the hopes that someone else may feel the same way. If it’s just a generic phone number I don’t bother.

kencmcintyre on April 18, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Here is a 1982 photo taken when the Imperial was a church:

LouisRugani on August 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

That’s exactly as I recall it in the summer of 1984 as well. The eastern facade was crumbling.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Not one of the Windy City’s Finest.

RickB on September 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm

The Imperial’s old block has been redeveloped with retail. This is how the area looks now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 14, 2018 at 5:56 pm

Though the building ended up only two stories high, this item from The Economist of September 25, 1909, is probably about the Imperial Theatre:

“George Reidler, 3 story brick theater, 92x116, 2325-2333 West Madison st.; architect G. H. Grussing; masons, George Thomson Son & Co. 100,000.”
Architect George H. Grussing was quite active during this period, but doesn’t appear to be remembered now.

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