2046 W. Division Street,
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Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp.
Architects: Alexander L. Levy
Styles: Spanish Baroque
Previous Names: Biltmore Theatre, San Juan Theatre
The Biltmore Theatre was designed in 1920 by architect Alexander L. Levy, who also was the architect of such Chicago theatres as the original Regal Theatre, the Brighton Park Theatre and the Marshall Square Theatre (now the Apollo’s 2000). The Biltmore Theatre was opened on January 15, 1921.
The 1,800-seat Biltmore Theatre was designed in Spanish Baroque style, and its facade was covered in ornate terra-cotta. It also housed a Smith 3 manual theatre organ.
The Biltmore Theatre was part of the Balaban & Katz circuit for much of its time in operation, from the 1930’s into the 1960’s.
Later renamed the San Juan Theatre, as its name might suggest, it featured Spanish-language films.
In its last years, the theatre had one final name change, as the Alameda Theatre, and presented both Spanish-language films, as well as live stage entertainment.
Unfortunately, in 1991, one of the West Town neighborhood’s most beloved old and longest-surviving movie houses was closed and torn down.
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