Wilson Avenue Theater

1050 W. Wilson Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Related Websites

Double Door (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Jones, Linick & Schaefer

Architects: Henry L. Ottenheimer

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

Wilson Avenue Theater, Chicago, IL

The Wilson Avenue Theater opened July 19, 1909 as one of the first large venues in the Uptown neighborhood, showing two vaudeville performances nightly. It was designed by Henry L. Ottenheimer and built at a cost of $50,000 for the Jones, Linick, Shaefer circuit. The theater seated 600 on the main floor and 300 in the balcony. The interior was described as pretty, and in buff and gold, with a mural over the proscenium, while the opening night show was not such a pretty sight.

Acts from the American Music Hall in the Loop frequently performed there. In 1919 it was converted to a bank, Fidelity Bank. Later it was the Uptown State Bank, Federal Trust and Savings Bank, and then the Bank of Chicago. It was last named TCF Bank, with a mural on one side visible from the El and a trompe l'eoil mural on the other. The interior still looks like a cross between a theater and a bank.

In November 2018 plans were announced to convert the building into a live music venue Double Door, which had a 2022 planned opening. The planned opening was missed, but conversion continues in early-2023.

Contributed by Brian Wolf

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

DavidZornig on December 14, 2020 at 6:36 pm

pdf of the project next door with elevation images etc.


DavidZornig on July 12, 2021 at 10:10 pm

Double Door is still happening. Photo links within article.


DavidZornig on October 6, 2021 at 10:49 am

Reopening early 2022. New official website for the Double Door.


DavidZornig on November 9, 2021 at 10:12 am

Update with video.


DavidZornig on January 19, 2022 at 11:19 am

Posting because Wilson Avenue Theatre building is pictured next door.


DavidZornig on November 22, 2022 at 4:35 pm

“Double Door Gets Approval To Add Marquee To New Uptown Home, With Opening Eyed For Next Year”. Block Club Chicago article with renderings.


DavidZornig on January 30, 2023 at 11:09 pm

Still coming together…


DavidZornig on December 18, 2023 at 5:03 pm

From the official Double Door Facebook page:

“I am aware that it looks like the lights have been out on the Double Door reopening for too long.

But, behind the scenes, we have been hard at work. As most of you know, the new Double Door’s home is in the Wilson Theater building.

It was built in 1909 and is designated as a historical building. Consequently, our project was under review by the City’s Landmark’s Division for almost 8 months.

Finally and gratefully, Landmarks gave us the thumbs up on our design. We submitted our full set of blueprints to the building department almost 6 months ago and are waiting for our construction permits.

We have been told that this could be anytime now. Hang in there and don’t loose faith ….. we haven’t.

In fact, Pete and I have decided to Zen this whole thing: “It happens when it happens.” (words to live by).

But more importantly, keep an eye on us … we have some pre-opening fun stuff in the works. Cheers and have happy holidays.

See you in 2024! Until then here’s to a happy, healthy, rocking New Year!"


Ssc48 on January 19, 2024 at 2:25 pm


DavidZornig on February 5, 2024 at 10:30 pm

Another update with video interview of the owners. Late 2024/Early 2025 opening projected at the end.


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