Brighton Theatre

4223 S. Archer Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60632

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Kohlberg Theaters, Schoenstadt

Architects: Frederic J. Klein, Alexander L. Levy

Firms: Levy & Klein

Previous Names: Brighton Park Theatre

Nearby Theaters

January 27, 1957 photo credit Eugene Powers, Vintage Tribune.

Opened as the Brighton Park Theatre in 1919, it was built for the Schoenstadt circuit by the architectural firm of Levy & Klein, whose other Chicago theatres include the North Side’s Granada Theatre and Diversey Theatre (later the Century Theatre). It was named for the neighborhood it was located in and stood on S. Archer Avenue near S. Sacramento Avenue.

The Brighton Park Theatre, which did not have a stage and was built specifically for movies, also contained a 2/6 Kimball organ.

The theatre was known as the Brighton Theatre after the ‘Park’ portion of its name was dropped during the 1950’s.

After a long life as a popular neighborhood house, it closed its doors on September 26, 1991 with Walt Disney’s “101 Dalmations” & Kathleen Turner in “V.I. Warshawski”. It was demolished in September 2003.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 86 comments)

DavidZornig on July 11, 2017 at 5:27 am

January 27, 1957 photo added, photo credit Eugene Powers, Vintage Tribune.

Also the below Flickr link has July 6, 2002 photo of the shuttered Brighton.

Mister_Comics on July 12, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Brighton Theater is also known for the last place the Grimes sisters were last seen alive before their murder. The movie playing at the time was Love Me Tender, a Elvis Presley movie. This happened in 1956 and the crime was never solved. This horrible event has always stuck with the theater. Today, now that the theater is closed, this event has been long forgotten.

VICGRIGS on January 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm

“vintage Bob” are you still out there? A friend of ours bought the theatre after it closed in 1991, with plans to restore it, but couldn’t afford the back taxes on it. Our band jammed there the entire summer while we helped trying to restore it. a piece of that theatre that i could share with the other folks would be incredible. let me know if you are still out there:)

johnc114 on June 2, 2018 at 2:41 am

Hi everyone, I can tell you I was an Usher and then assistant Manager. I repaired those great looking leather seats, used to sell tickets collect tickets, janitor the house, change the sign outside in the freezing cold. There from 74-77. Name the names I can tell you. Any questions email me at . Thanks for all the pics …..brings back memories.

VintageBob on June 3, 2018 at 5:26 am

Vicgrigs, yes, I still have pieces of the Brighton boxed away. Sorry for the late reply. The new posts here got lost in the mix. Let me know how to contact you and I can get a piece out to you.

Johnc114, do you by any chance have any interior pics from the Brighton back then, or other memorabilia? I’d love to see any!

johnc114 on June 3, 2018 at 7:59 am

Mr. VintageBobVintageBob unfortunately I do not, but I had. I can tell you I had of the candy stand, entry exit and box office. The ticket collection stand where one of us would collect and tear the ticket handing half back to the customer. I had a shot of my friend Chuck who was or wished he was a Bruce Lee. He was showing me a move and he ended up putting his elbow through the top of the glass top of the candy counter. Believe me I had a bunch of the entire place but a flood in Hammond Ind in 2006 flooded our by-level. Changing the bulbs on the interior vertical strips of the theater was hell. The ladder was narrow, it was loose and wobbled, you packed your pockets with bulbs and went up hoping you come down the same way….by ladder.

We still had to shovel coal into a hopper which feed the furnace. Then every Monday a man would come and shovel the ashes into a 55 gallon drum and carry it up the stairs.

I could ramble on but hey it was a good place to work at 1.95 an hour. The operators union controlled that. After I grad from HS, I got a raise to 2.11……White Castle here I come. John

davidcoppock on June 3, 2018 at 9:51 am

The site is empty.

DavidZornig on September 27, 2021 at 3:43 pm

Closed Thursday September 26, 1991 showing “101 Dalmatians” plus “V.I. Warshawski”.

Broan on September 18, 2023 at 4:12 pm

VintageBob on September 18, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Thanks Broan! I can never have enough interior pics of the Brighton! My all time favorite theater. I’d kill for pics of the lobby and balcony. Very hard to find!

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