Lakeside Theatre

4730 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Ascher Brothers Inc., Balaban & Katz Corp., Lubliner & Trinz

Architects: Ralph C. Harris

Functions: Youth Center

Previous Names: New Lakeside Theatre

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Opened with Harry Mestayer in “The House of a Thousand Candles” on September 4, 1915. It was built and operated by the Ascher Brothers circuit (two years later taken over by the Lubliner & Trinz circuit) in the once-fashionable Uptown neighborhood. The 1,000-seat Lakeside Theatre was located on N. Sheridan Road at Lakeside Place, not far from Lincoln Park. Originally, the theatre sat well over 1,000 and was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual 7 ranks pipe organ. On September 20, 1933 it was taken over by the Balaban & Katz Corp and they operated it as a discount house, renamed New Lakeside Theatre, the reopening film was Helen Twelvetrees in “Disgraced. New seats and a new sound system had been installed.

The Lakeside Theatre closed around late-1966 or the beginning of 1967, and was acquired by the Dance Center of Columbia College in 1970.

Thirty years later Columbia College vacated the building for a larger, new home in the South Loop. The former Lakeside today houses a youth center.

In April 2023 renovations began with a view to reopening as a theatre once again.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

DavidZornig on April 23, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Early `60’s photo added to Photos Section, credit Uptown Historical Society. Via their below Facebook page.

rivest266 on August 13, 2020 at 11:15 am

Reopened by Balaban & Katz on September 20th, 1933 as a discount theater. Grand opening ad posted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 11, 2021 at 6:43 pm

Here is a description of the Lakeside Theatre from an article about Ascher Bros. in the March 10, 1917 issue of Moving Picture World:

“The opening of the Lakeside theater, Sheridan road and Lakeside place, marked the entrance of the Ascher Bros, to the North side section of Chicago. This beautiful house was formally opened to the public on Saturday, September 4, 1915, and it has been doing a large and profitable business ever since. It is situated in the busiest neighborhood on the North Side, known as the ‘Wilson Avenue’ district, where more business is done each day than is transacted in an ordinary small town. There are close to thirty hotels in this neighborhood alone to draw from.

“Matinees are held daily in this theater and three shows are given in the evening. An orchestra of select musicians accompanied by a large pipe organ furnishes the music at all presentations. The seating capacity is 1,000, and the admission price is 10 cents for matinees and 15 cents at night. The theater is under the management of William C. Lamereaux.”

DavidZornig on March 10, 2023 at 10:44 am

CircEsteem Youth Center is announcing a facade renovation removing the mural and replacing it with windows. On their Facebook page.

Ssc48 on April 11, 2023 at 1:25 pm

Theatre will be restored and reopened to a theatre again.

Ssc48 on April 11, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Ssc48 on April 16, 2023 at 8:48 pm

Theatre will be reopened soon. Status should change to renovating

Broan on April 20, 2023 at 8:53 am

I always assumed that this theater had been gutted, but now that I’m seeing pictures, it’s obviously largely intact. I hope this survives the renovation - the Lakeside did not have a working stage so I’m not sure where the audience will go as a performance space. Will be interesting to see.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 2, 2023 at 1:19 pm

My school rented this place for a dance concert back in the 90’s. At the time Columbia College was running the space. The auditorium seemed to be untouched, although all painted black. They removed some seats and built the stage out into the seating area. There may have been one of those old shadow box stage spaces in back as well, but I’m not sure. My assumption is this new renovation will do something similar.

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