Palace Theatre

5242 W. 25th Street,
Cicero, IL 60804

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gregory-Bernasek Theater Corp.

Architects: Edward P. Rupert

Firms: R. Levine & Co.

Styles: French Renaissance

Nearby Theaters

Palace Theatre

In December 1925 work started on a 131ft x 160ft building in Cicero, IL, that would contain a 2,500-seat theatre, apartments and stores. Film Daily reported that “The house is being built by architect Edward P. Rupert & architectural firm R. Levine & Co. for S.J. Gregory. The building will be designed after the French Renaissance style with pressed brick and terra-cotta”. Two months later Film Daily noted the “R. Levine & Co. have been awarded contracts on their new $600,000 theatre, store and apartment building at W. 25th Street and 53rd Avenue. in Cicero”.

The Palace Theatre opened on March 13, 1927 (it was first listed in the Film Daily Yearbook for 1929). It was equipped with a Barton 3 manual 10 ranks organ. The Palace Theatre was initially operated by the Gregory-Bernasek Theater Corp., hence the GB atop the tall vertical in the 1927 postcard. In August 1928 the Gregory-Bernasek Theater Corp. became the third Chicago chain that summer to be thrown into receivership. The Chicago Title & Trust Company served as receiver.

The Palace Theatre featured an ornate terra-cotta façade with diamond cross-hatching, a round parapet and a large arched window flanked by two smaller arched windows over the main entrance. Pressed brick covered the face of the retail/apartment block, capped by four round parapets. Nearly the same treatment was used by R. Levine & Co. and Edward P. Rupert on their Drake Theatre in Chicago (1925) a right-hand version of the Palace Theatre.

The Palace Theatre was closed as a movie house on November 4, 1951 with Kirk Douglas in “The Big Carnival” (aka Ace in the Hole) & Paul Douglas in “Angels in the Outfield”.

On August 22, 1952 it was converted to a bowling alley. It operated in this capacity until 2004, when the building was sold and it was demolished in 2005.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Buddkeith on February 14, 2005 at 11:42 am

The Palace Bowl has been sold to the town of Cicero and will demolished and rebuilt as a town health clinic.

GFeret on October 16, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Sorry ‘bout this, but I’ve a strong feeling the 'status’ of the PALACE is now squarely under the heading of DEMOLISHED.

Someone (besides me that is) needs to travel by and conduct and official post mortem.

kencmcintyre on January 19, 2008 at 5:49 pm

The caption for this interior photo states that the Palace is now a parking lot:

kencmcintyre on June 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm

There is a photo of the Palace Bowl on this page:

popcorn on July 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Searching for photos of when it was a movie theatre. I will keep in touch when I find some.

popcorn on July 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Searching for photos of when it was a movie theatre. I will keep in touch when I find some. My parents, grandparents and myself all grew up in this area. Thanks

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

Interesting photo posted on this blog:

joe voypick
joe voypick on December 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Weekend afternoons at the 40’s Palace featured movies and LIVE ACTS. Admission price for kids was really high, 25 cents compared to the other local places at 10 cents. One of the last films I saw there was 1948s Three Musketeers with Lana Turner.

dallasmovietheaters on February 28, 2019 at 12:02 pm

This was a million dollar theatre that launched on March 13, 1927 with a $25,000 Barton organ. It went out of business on November 4, 1951 after showings of “Big Carnival” and “Angels in the Outfield.” On August 22, 1952, the Palace Bowl launched in the refurbished former theatre. It was renamed the Cermak Bowl and the City Council bought the business andvoted to raze the building in 2004 which occurred in 2005.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.