Theatres, 63rd Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1921

May 1973 stamped on the back of this reprint of a 1921 photo showing 63rd Street in Englewood, one of the 77 official community areas of Chicago, Illinois.

In the background, advertising “Photo Plays” is the Englewood Theatre:

Variety, August 29, 1913:

“Halsted and Sixty-third streets got a first taste of burlesque in its own bailiwick last Sunday when the new Englewood theatre was opened with a spanking new show on the Progressive Wheel. The house seats more than 1,300 and was packed, matinée and night, with an audience that seemed to take to the house and show. The new theatre is a model of neatness and comfort.”

On the left is the Stratford Theatre:

Billboard, September 18, 1920:

“The owners of the elegant new Stratford Theatre, a movie house, at Sixty-third and Halsted streets, have sent out a rather elaborate program and summary of their opening. The new house seats 3,000 persons, the building is valued at $1,000,000. The main floor seats 2,000 and the mezzanine 1,000.  The mezzanine is reached by a superb marble stairway. The owners claim that decorations and equipment are the best obtainable.”

It is often erroneously stated that Bob Hope made his professional début at the Stratford. A struggling vaudevillian, he worked as an emcee at the theatre  in 1928, introducing the acts and telling jokes. Hope was such a success that his two-week booking  extended to six months.

Dorothy’s Diary

Photo: Theatre Talks Collection

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.




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