Ramova Theatre

3518 S. Halsted Street,
Chicago, IL 60609

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LouRugani on June 13, 2024 at 1:03 am

A speeding northbound CTA bus approaching the Halsted/ 35th Street intersection crossed into the southbound lanes, jumped the curb and rammed a doorway at the Ramova, breaking a piece of its ornamental arch. Co-owner Tyler Nevius said the Ramova will conduct business as normal as he ensures there’s no structural damage. The landmarks commission just approved a landmark designation for the Ramova, pending the expected city council approval in July. “It’s crazy,” Nevius said. “We’re given landmark status, and had a city bus run into us right after.” Last week, the Ramova was part of the city’s Blues Fest.

LouRugani on June 10, 2024 at 6:34 pm

The facade of the newly-reopened Ramova Grill was damaged in a massive June 10 crash where broken concrete and glass was strewn for two blocks. A northbound #8 CTA bus hit several vehicles along south Halsted Street near 35th Street. Six cars were smashed; five people were hospitalized; several street signs were flattened.

Trolleyguy on January 27, 2024 at 10:07 am

Reopened Friday January 26 2024. Here’s an article

Ssc48 on January 8, 2024 at 6:49 pm

Strange I remember seeing an organ I think there was one at one point.

Broan on December 17, 2023 at 4:20 pm

Also, the Ramova was not built on the site of the Monogram, but next to it. So, it was in the unusual position of having three theater buildings in a row, with the Casino at the other end.

It was never run by Lasker & Sons. The building was built for local lithuanian businessman Jacob Maskolinuas while the theater was leased to Harry A. Reckas, a Greek real estate investor and theater man. Rackas later purchased the building out of foreclosure in 1934 and with his business partners John Semedalas and John Manta, the theater remained in the same independent ownership through at least 1962 if not beyond. This group also owned the Milda, Milo, Linden, and Wallace at different times.

While the Ramova is often called the twin or sister to the Music Box, it’s really more correct to call it a classmate. It had different ownership, a different architect, and a different capacity. It had similar exterior architecture and opened in the same week, also folllowing a sound films only policy.

Broan on December 17, 2023 at 12:15 pm

The architect’s name is correctly spelled as “Myer O. Nathan”. He usually did business as M.O. Nathan. While he is not credited with any other theaters, he was chief draughtsman for Alexander Levy for several years prior to 1918.

The theater held its grand opening at 7:30 pm on August 18, 1929 with a community show featuring Lithuanian entertainment, the Chicago Little Symphony Orchestra, and the Vitaphone film “Desert Song”. The general grand opening followed on August 21. It appears that like other theaters opened in 1929, an organ was never installed, though chambers were built.

Trolleyguy on December 1, 2023 at 10:45 am

More on the involvement by the musical icons who are involved.Link

Ssc48 on November 27, 2023 at 11:03 pm

Reopening New years eye! Link is above

Ssc48 on November 27, 2023 at 11:03 pm


Trolleyguy on November 16, 2023 at 4:37 pm

Here’s the story in its entirety with citation. Ramova

LouRugani on November 16, 2023 at 12:15 am

Quincy Jones, actress/singer Jennifer Hudson, and entertainer Chance the Rapper and Quincy Jones have teamed up to reopen and revitalize the Ramova Theatre. Jones told the media “With Ramova, I see a future where the rich cultural heritage of Chicago shines even brighter alongside the country’s most talented artists, which will inspire future generations to come and bring glory to America’s Second City.” A press release said “Ramova will also offer educational programs [and] workshops, and amplify community initiatives from local nonprofits.” And the Ramova Grill, which closed in 2012 after 82 years of service, is reopening as a 20-seat restaurant.

LouRugani on November 7, 2023 at 6:59 pm

The reopened Ramova Theatre will also be home to Other Half Brewing, which will open a brewery and taproom inside the Ramova Theatre that will be a 1,500-capacity concert venue and dining destination in the coming months. Developer Tyler Nevius is spearheading the Ramova redevelopment with Emily Nevius, his wife. “This idea of creating a music venue and a brewery was really developed organically with them to a great extent.”

Other Half chose to join the Ramova project for one primary reason: music. Other Half’s founder Matt Mohanan said “It just seems like a natural evolution for what we’re doing. Adding a music component to what we do, we’re just lucky to be here and excited.”

Other Half Ramova will include a taproom along Halsted Street. Behind that will be a glass wall where visitors can check out the on-site brewery production floor below with around 20 draft lines available in the taproom.

Other Half Ramova will adjoin the 20-seat Ramova Grill, itself reopening after an 82-year run in 2012. Kevin Hickey and Brandon Phillips will oversee the culinary and beverage programs at the grill respectively, with a full menu available to OHR patrons.

The city bought the Ramova Theatre, closed since 1985, in 2001 to preserve it for development, but officials struggled for years to find developers willing to invest in rehabilitating it. In 2020, the Ramova was sold to a venture led by Nevius’ Our Revival Chicago LLC. The $30 million project broke ground in 2021.

Trolleyguy on November 3, 2023 at 10:34 am

A brewhouse is planned for the center. Brewhouse

Trolleyguy on October 25, 2023 at 3:43 pm

Getting closer to opening according to Crains Chicago Business.Link

Ssc48 on August 7, 2023 at 11:02 pm

Finished putting new infrastructure, now its time to add finishing touches. They are putting the new doors on and restoring marquee.

DavidZornig on March 24, 2023 at 11:35 am

$30 million makeover via Block Club Chicago article below.


Ssc48 on October 18, 2022 at 2:15 am

Theatre opening in spring 2023

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 9, 2022 at 12:03 pm

Was over that way a few months back. Didn’t seem like much was happening. But the proprietor of the restaurant on the corner said they’ve been working on it.

Ssc48 on July 6, 2022 at 3:19 pm

New windows good signs of rennovation

DavidZornig on October 13, 2021 at 12:42 am

Block Club Chicago coverage of today’s groundbreaking ceremony and plans.


Trolleyguy on December 11, 2019 at 11:05 am

Updated information about the renovation plans for the Ramova. Pictures show the extent of damage to the inside which needs to be addressed. https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/12/11/bridgeports-ramova-theatre-gets-city-funding-help-and-a-look-inside-shows-how-much-work-lies-ahead/?mc_cid=374858cbf7&mc_eid=11e184853b

LouRugani on November 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm

A $23 million plan to redevelop the city-owned RAMOVA Theatre into a 1,600-capacity concert and performance space was announced at a community meeting Tuesday night by 11th Ward Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson. Developer Tyler Nevius plans to buy a privately-owned parking lot across the street and privately-owned vacant commercial spaces adjacent to the theatre that would be transformed into a brewery and a revived Ramova Grill Restaurant, with the help of nearby native and chef Kevin Hickey. Maureen Sullivan, a neighborhood native and past aldermanic candidate, had been campaigning to revive the RAMOVA for fourteen years. Her pro-restoration petition got 5,000 signatures in a few months, but without funding, her efforts stalled. Sullivan said her first memory of the RAMOVA was seeing “Bambi” there at age four and described it as ”like walking into another world. You smelled the popcorn as soon as you walked in, and it was like you were entering into a playground.” The RAMOVA was intended as a larger version of the MUSIC BOX Theatre some miles to the northeast, and was owned by a Lithuanian family who named it using a word for “peaceful place.” The city of Chicago acquired the RAMOVA in 2001 and advertised for a developer while spending $364,000 in masonry, roof and drainage repairs. Ald. Thompson said many were nervous over the signs of deterioration over three decades, but Nevius approached him in 2017 with enthusiasm. Nevius started a development company, One Revival Chicago, specifically for the RAMOVA, which seeks to get the theatre and a neighboring vacant lot from the city for $1 and $6.6 million in tax-incremental financing (TIF) assistance for the redevelopment. Nevius says he’s been negotiating with the city on staying on the project for at least ten years, or else the TIF funds would be repaid to the city. The plan goes before the Community Development Commission as early as December 10, then needs to be approved by the Plan Commission for zoning changes and the Commission on Chicago Landmarks (the terra cotta exterior of the theater could be considered a landmark), before it goes before the City Council for final approval.

Khnemu on November 16, 2019 at 5:22 pm

More information on the proposed plans for the Ramova can be found here:


LouRugani on November 7, 2019 at 7:26 pm

There’s a meeting on the RAMOVA Theatre set for Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 at 6pm CST in the Nativity of Our Lord Church basement, as per 11th Ward Ald. Patrick D. Thompson. A developer has expressed interest in the property for entertainment purposes. Anyone wishing to comment and/or who cannot attend may email Ald. Thompson at and/or call him at 773-254-6677.