Holly Theatre

1500 W. Fullerton Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60614

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Additional Info

Architects: John J. Burns, Karl M. Vitzthum

Styles: Atmospheric, Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: Hollywood Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Holly Theatre

The Hollywood Theatre was located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood at Fullerton Avenue and Greenview Avenue. It opened in 1926 and could seat 1,000.

The Hollywood Theatre had a relatively brief lifespan, closing in January 1957. For about the last decade of its operation, it was called the Holly Theatre. The theater was demolished in the mid-1960’s, and a parking lot for a Walgreens is on the site today.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

ginnym on March 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I lived at the Holly, 1506 W.Fullerton, most of my life, was living there during some of my high school years which was the early 60’s, which means the Holly was still standing after 1957. Just want to get the facts straight. Also, Florence Miller Crawford was a very loving woman who took care of most of her grandchildren and certainly never abused any of them. There was not one child who had to clean the place up all alone. How sad that would have been for the poor little girl. I remember sweeping the stairs and I loved helping the rest of my family clean up. I only wish that Florence was still around to tell her stories.

LouisRugani on March 24, 2011 at 11:31 am

I believe the HOLLY lasted a bit longer than 1959, as I recall being in a car passing the HOLLY one Saturday night in the mid-‘60s and seeing that demolition had begun; the HOLLY’s marquee was on the sidewalk.

shill66 on May 11, 2011 at 3:47 pm

David Zornig: coincidentally, the manager of that picture framing shop where your grandfather’s cycle shop was, is now married to one of the grandsons of the Holly owner Harold Hill. Small world!

Anyway, if you have a Chicago Public Library card, you should be able to access this link, which is to a Chicago Tribune article about the plans to build the theater:
View link

pose on August 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I just have a general question. Why is this theater listed only as “closed,” when it is obviously “demolished” as well? Is there a link to a place that explains how theaters are categorized?

buckcheri on March 9, 2012 at 12:52 am

I was living at 2426 N. Greenview 1941/43, 1/2blk from the Holly. Went to Prescott school & Christoper House. Helped sweep the aisles for free shows. Still remember at 77yrs

fotzenputz on March 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Thanks Buckcheri. What other memories of the theatre can you share? I posted two photos.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Open 1926-January 1 1957

Called Hollywood 1926-1945, Holly 1945-demolished.

1950 had Allied Buying and Booking Service.

Demolished mid 1960’s?

More photos and info are always welcome.

Mighty WurliTizer Theater Pipe Organ

The photo of the interior of theater shows the organ pipe chambers to the sides of the stage above the emergenency exits. The organ was shipped to the theater from North Tonawanda, New York on April 2, 1926. It was Opus 1309 a 3/8 Manuals/Ranks Keyboards/Sets of Pipes. Besides the pipes, it had Cathedral Chimes, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Sleigh Bells, Chrysoglott, Bass Drumm, Kettle Drum, Crash Cymbal, Cymbal, Snare Drum, Tom Tom, Castanets, Tambourine, Chinese Block, Triangle, Auto Horn, Fire Gong, Steamboat Whistle, Horse Hoofs, Surf, Bird, Machine Gun, Siren and Door Bell.

Must have been great fun to play, but no longer needed when sound was put on film!

In February 1932 the organ went to the United Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota and later to a private owner in Bismarck, North Dakota. In 1969 it went to a private owner in Lemon Grove, California and was still playable. Anyone know what’s happened to it in the last 42 years?

“Gee Dad it was a WurliTizer!”

Manteno, Illinois
MP 47 on the IC/CN Main Line of Mid-America

Lmcolby on August 27, 2012 at 1:29 am

I lived on the 2400 block of Janssen and recall roaming thru the theater as they demolished it and taking home a giant concrete slab with a rose on it. Since I was born in 1955 I know I wasn’t 4 years old when I did that! So the date of 1959 has to an error!

mnickerson66 on June 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Hi Fotzenputz, Matt Nickerson here. I’m doing a book on the history of the Lake View neighborhood and some old-timers were recalling the Holly fondly. The book is one of the Images of America series, the brown paperbacks on community history. I’m finishing my research in a week and would love to include a picture of the Holly. Do you have rights to one?

Thanks in advance. I’m at 312-927-9739 or of course this email address.

fotzenputz on June 17, 2013 at 10:08 am

Hi Matt. Please send an email to . Thanks.

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