Parkway Theatre

11053 S. Michigan Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60628

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Nokimos Theaters

Architects: Cornelius Ward Rapp, George W. Leslie Rapp

Firms: Rapp & Rapp

Nearby Theaters

Parkway Theatre

The Parkway Theatre dates from 1914. Not to be confused with the Parkway Theatre on the North Side of Chicago, this theatre was located in the Roseland neighborhood on the east side of South Michigan Avenue between 110th and 111th Streets (note that the larger State Theatre - where I ushered as a kid was on the West side of Michigan Avenue near 110th).

A great old theatre, albeit not in the class of the nearby State Theatre, which had a large balcony, vaulted ceiling, retractable Wurlitzer organ under the stage and catacombed dressing rooms behind the stage from the vaudeville days.

I remember seeing “White Christmas” at the Parkway Theatre in 1954. I moved from Chicago and don’t know the current status of the building, but I believe the Parkway Theatre shut down sometime in the 1960’s, leaving the State Theatre, the Roseland Theatre and the Normal Theatre as Roseland/West Pullman’s three main theatres.

Contributed by Gary Axelson

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

KenC on July 9, 2007 at 8:16 pm

In the book “CHICAGO- GROWTH OF A METROPOLIS” by Harold M. Mayer, there is a small photo of 111th- Michigan from 1934. The Parkway theatre is there; on the marquee: Gary Cooper in “OPERATOR 13”. Also, in the background, you can see the vertical sign of the State theatre. It’s on page 348. On page 347, there are pics of the Paradise and Marbro theatres (1929) and the Tivoli theatre (1924).

Broan on January 13, 2009 at 6:13 am

The 2009 CTA calendar features that image for August: View link

DavidZornig on February 25, 2009 at 3:55 pm

FYI. 1936 Parkway exterior photo in Sunday 02/22/09 Chicago Tribune Magazine. When I pulled the link though, the photo wasn’t included with the caption.

1bobbieh on April 4, 2009 at 11:00 am

I grew up on 108th and Eggleston and used to frequent the State Theater on Saturday afternoons for the shoot em up shows. After coming out in the sunshine on the way home facing the sun I would end up with the most ferce headaches. But the next week would go back again. I remember that in some candy bars there would be a coupon for a free one. Also ice cream cones would have a paper coupon in the bottom of the cone.
My next door buddy was an usher at the Roseland. (Frank Sink) I don’t remember getting in free though.
I used to ride my bike down to Lake Calumet to fish. But never caught anything of value.
I remember “Pete’s Dock"
I used to go to Gately’s Peoples Store and watch the donut machine. The store moved to Tinley Park later on.
Some years back we took a bus ride into Chicago to see the Frank Loyd Wright homes. We finished up see the old Pullman works and "Bum Town”. Finished going west on 111th street all the way to Vincenes. What a difference from what I remember.
We as teenagers would go to the “O” next to the Parkway and have a Coke and French Fries. The Mocombo was at the corner.This has been fun remembering some of the old times.
Bob Hendry

geitz on June 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm

My older sister lived on 108th & Eggleston, she and her new husband moved there to be near our house. I used to walk to her house and visit. We lived on 106th near Wentworth. Their name was Boersma. My brother and other sister went to all the “shows” up the Ave. which was of course Michigan Ave. Dad took us to Lake Calumet beach to swim and picnic, I just couldn’t wait when I heard we were going. Unfortunately we lost one of our friends that drowned in Calumet, they said it was a undertow which I still hear that it is there. Not sure. I would of loved that bus ride even though it wasn’t the same as we remembered it. The People’s store to me was “ Christmas” Santa", and yes the donut machine and the tube that disappeared into LaLa Land. I loved to see the cartoons on the weekend, mom would take us to see the Disney Classic’s during the week. It seems like we were always up the ave. somewhere. I also remember the streetcar that would take us downtown. What wonderful memories.

As I always say" Not Forgotten"

geitz on June 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I am new to all the web sights on Roseland and everyday I find something new. I cannot tell everyone how much I enjoy reading and looking at all the old pictures. I never knew that there was a websight like this until one day I seen some old pictures in the Tribune and contacted John. He led me to all these wonderful memories. There is so much to read and I just seen the pictures that BWChicago sent of the 2009 CTA Calendar, WOW! I lived in Roseland most of my young life, but then moved away in Dec.1953. I was devasted. I was going to graduate from Kohn school that following June. I missed my friends I grew up with and of course all the sights and sounds of Roseland.
Keep in touch.

opus1100 on June 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm

The Roseland State did not have a WurliTzer Theatre Pipe organ, but instead a M.P. Moller organ of 3 manuals and 12 ranks. Moller primarily built organs for churches but did build theatre instruments which were awesome in their own right. The nearby Parkway Theatre did have a smaller Wurlitzer of 2 manuals and six ranks which is still in existance in a private residence. The Moller organ still in the theatre and playable in the 1950s and sounded great in that theatre. It did not survive as a complete instrument and was broken up for parts when removed in the 60s

flickdigger on September 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

My Dad who was born in 1927 was just telling me of The Parkway Theatre the other day & he also mentioned that there was a dance hall on the same side of the street/East side right before the theatre, but he couldn’t remember the name of it. Does anyone out there remember the dance hall & recall what the name of it was? I just loved Roseland. It was a fluke how I ended up living there—lived w/my Grand-ma after my Mom died from 1965-72. Used to see the Monster Movies @ The Roseland Theatre on Saturdays as a kid then as a teen-ager attended The Battle of the Bands @ The State Theatre. Worked @ Preskus Rexall Drugs on 110th & Michigan Avenue from 1969-72. Of course we watched many a movie at both theaters, but as a teen-ager we had walked out a couple of times when the movie was too long, like we did with Gone With the Wind. Patience is not always a virtue when you’re young! Memories are so magical in regard to Roseland that can’t be duplicated from any other Chicago neighborhood. There was just something about that neighborhood. It’s sad that the days of the movie house are basically over. Those multi-cinema places are so impersonal. Signed, a graduate from St. Willibrord High School.

baraboowolter on February 6, 2015 at 6:08 pm

This is most likely a Rapp & Rapp design from 1914. The Rapp & Rapp collection at the Chicago History Museum has a listing for materials related to a theatre design for S. D. Stoll and I. & L. D. Smith at the corner of Michigan and 111th St. in 1914. The fa├žade of the Parkway (especially the arch) are a copy of the Windsor Theatre design that the Rapps did the same year.

DavidZornig on March 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Undated photo added via AHerbo Koolin.

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