Bell Theater

3064 W. Armitage Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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BELL Theatre; Chicago, Illinois.

The Bell Theater was opened in 1910 and closed in 1953. It was later converted into a metalworking shop before eventually being demolished.

Contributed by BWChicago

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

GFeret on December 29, 2006 at 3:43 pm

Yes this is the BELL theatre (w/ correct address) I’d recalled under nearby CORTLAND theatre comments last week. Despite its alternate latter-day use the place I recall still looked like a theatre (w/marquee) and name still identifiable, when it disappeared from sight altogether around 1962.

johncordell on January 16, 2008 at 4:43 pm

The Bell Theatre closed in June of 1953. I lived in the neighborhood and actually was there on its' last operating day. When I passed by it the next day, it had on its' marquee “closed for remodeling”. They never did reopen. I believe the movies playing that Sunday afternoon fifty-five years ago was I LOVE MELVIN with Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds plus TROUBLE ALONG THE WAY with John Wayne and Donna Reed. I went to St. Sylvester’s Grammer School at that time, and would go by it often.
John Cordell

Chris1982 on April 30, 2014 at 6:09 am

There was another Bell Theatre on Madison St. that seated 350, any info on that Bell Theatre?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 14, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Chris1982; I have added a page for the Bell Theatre on W. Madison Street.

GFeret on December 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

btw I DIDN’T ‘favorite’ this (Bell) theatre, I instead wanted to favorite the one photo associated with it. This is a computer world however where things don’t work correctly or things aren’t explained fully much less well or things cannot be corrected once entered, so I understand just fine.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2023 at 4:41 am

This item from the September 7, 1912 issue of Moving Picture World mentions the Bell Theatre and its new owners:

“F. H. and E. A. Franke, took over the Bell Theater, Armitage and Albany Avenues, this city, August 1. The Bell seats 530 people. This is the fifth vaudeville house which the Messrs. Franke have turned into successful straight picture houses. They have no doubt that the Bell will be a winner in a short time, like the four others. All the houses now controlled by them were considered ‘lemons’ at the time they purchased them. The California, one of their houses, has just been redecorated and business is excellent. The Clark, another of their houses, is also doing fine business. These enterprising proprietors and managers have just closed a contract for the erection of a new picture theater on Grand and Monticello Avenues. The new house will seat 300 people, and will be completed about November 1st. It will be one of the best appointed of its size in Chicago.”

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