Colonial Theatre

24 W. Randolph Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on December 30, 2023 at 6:23 pm

Hyde & Behman’s Music Hall actually had its Grand Opening on Monday, September 19, 1904. I originally believed it was September 26, 1904, but I was mistaken. See pre-opening Chicago Tribune ad in Photo section.

DavidZornig on August 4, 2023 at 11:37 am

Chicagology link credit Terry Gregory.

DavidZornig on August 4, 2023 at 11:34 am

From the Chicago Tribune, May 18, 1924 (image added):

“The Colonial theater, which closed its doors for the last time last night on a departing crowd of theatergoers. The furnishings will be sold tomorrow and on May 26 wreckers will begin the work of demolishing it to make way for the new United Masonic temple. It was the scene of the disastrous fire of 1903, when it was named the Iroquois.”

(Closing was May 17, 1924)

DavidZornig on January 3, 2023 at 11:10 pm

It reopened as Hyde & Behman’s on September 26, 1904.

DavidZornig on January 3, 2023 at 10:59 pm

Flickr link with a program for the Colonial Theatre. It says it was renamed in 1904 but previous evidence confirmed 1905. Also September 24, 1905 print ad proof added to gallery courtesy Tim O'Neill.

DavidZornig on January 17, 2021 at 9:34 am

Colonial Theatre promos on the Woods Theatre Building nearing completion 1917/1918. Description in comments.

DavidZornig on November 22, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Link for the show that opened circa September 1905, coincides with photo just added.

DavidZornig on November 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Yes, more confusion. Two Masonic Temple Buildings too… The 1904 photo does say Vaudeville on the back of the Hyde & Behman’s wall. Which would have no longer been visibkle once the Oliver Typewriter Building went up in 1907/`08.

Scott on November 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm

There certainly is a lot of confusion in this world. And then a good chunk of the Delaware was destroyed for construction of the new Masonic Temple Building/Oriental Theatre in 1924. Viewing it both before and after 1924, one might think it to be two different buildings. Crazy.

DavidZornig on November 12, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Correct, the year of completion of the Delaware Building was 1874. But it does not clarify that. Maybe it did in other copy that accompanied the photo in it’s original source. But it also says Northwest corner, and it is clearly the Northeast corner pictured.

Scott on November 12, 2018 at 3:07 pm

I thought the date of 1874 just referred to the date the Delaware Building on the corner was completed, since the photo is really about the Delaware, not the Colonial Theatre. Perhaps if “1874” was inside the parentheses there would be no confusion.

DavidZornig on November 11, 2018 at 7:21 pm

The Hyde & Behman’s New Music Hall photo posted by Broan on February 10, 2011 is actually a 1904 photo. Not 1874 as is printed on it. It was mislabeled as 1874 years back in several publications. Hyde & Behman’s New Music Hall pictured went into the former Iroquois Theatre building after the 1903 fire. It then became the Colonial Theatre in 1905. The Masonic Temple building in the upper right hand corner of the photo was built in 1892. The Oliver Typewriter Building would be built in the vacant lot to the left of the corner building in 1907/`08.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 27, 2017 at 6:26 am

The former Blackstone Theatre (now Merle Reskin Theatre) has been added to Cinema Treasures.

Broan on September 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Never on a regular basis. But last I checked, cinema treasures accepted submissions of such theaters anyway.

Mister_Comics on September 26, 2017 at 4:59 pm

I see that the Blackstone Theatre is mentioned above. But I can’t seem to find the Blackstone Theatre in Cinema Treasures. Didn’t it show movies?

DavidZornig on January 4, 2017 at 9:38 am

Extensive 9 page Marquee Magazine link about the Iroquois with more photos, in pdf format. Via the Chicago Theatre Preservation Alliance Facebook page.

DavidZornig on December 30, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Expandable link from Calumet 412, with additional pics not in the Photo Section. Eerie that the finale of the show that night was “Then Away We Go”.

Broan on December 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Review of a play about the Iroquois fire

Broan on February 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

View link Here is a picture from its brief tenure as Hyde & Behman’s

DavidZornig on April 15, 2009 at 12:32 am

Reactivate Notification Status.

DavidZornig on December 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm

The Laurier Palace Thearte in Montreal, was the theatre that a 1927 fire apparently impacted laws for over 40 years regarding children attending cinemas. If you Wikipedia “Laurier Palace Theatre Fire”, it gives the entire story. The subsequent laws seemed even more complex than just a reaction to that fire.
Expo `67 is also mentioned in the article, and that is when we were in Montreal.

CT only has a “Le Laurier” Theatre in Montreal listed. I will post about the Wiki story there as well.

DavidZornig on November 24, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Greetings Mpol. I posted my recollection to one of the Canadian theatres listed on CT. In hopes someone might also recall the ban I referred to.

Since our experience was in 1967, and the fire that drove the ban was recent as of then, it would have occurred after your above timeline of late 50's/early60’s. Also we were 7 & 11, and not teenagers.

My mother also recalled our Canadian encounter when I asked. Because it reminded her of a similar experience she, her mother & small brothers had at the Gold Coast(Village Theatre) at Clark & North in Chicago, in the `40’s.
Though a fire was not the reason there or then. The Gold Coast at one time just didn’t admit children to anything.

Hopefully someone will recall the Canadian theatre where the fire took place, and the subsequent ban that followed.
For how long it remained in effect, and if it was isolated to Montreal would be helpful to know too.

MPol on November 24, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Children barred from most theatres? That I didn’t know about, because I recall going to a number of movies in theatres when I was a pre-teen, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, accompanied by my parents, of course.

DavidZornig on November 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Just noticed the 105th anniversary of the fire coming up in December.
And 50th for the Queen of Angels School.

There was a theatre in Montreal Canada that had a horrific fire at a children’s matinee in the early 60's. When we visited Expo67, children were still barred from most theaters. Laws were rewritten about outward opening exit doors there too. But not sure how forbidding children in the theatres was going to change anything.