Pastime Theatre

66 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60602

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Additional Info

Nearby Theaters

Pastime Theatre, Madison Street, Chicago

This fairly small Loop theater, which opened in late-1908, was situated on W. Madison Street, not far from N. Clark Street, where today’s First National Plaza is located. It presented both vaudeville and movies originally.

Its management caused a bit of a stir when it hired a group of African-American musicians to play jazz music in the lobby for its patrons between shows, not so much because of the musicians' race, but because jazz was not considered refined entertainment by many in those days, so in some respects, the Pastime Theatre’s management was ahead of its time.

The Pastime Theatre was closed in 1939, and was demolished. A newsreel theatre named the Today Theatre opened on the site on February 28, 1941 (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Broan on February 12, 2005 at 8:49 pm

Here is the correct link for the above comment

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

The August 20, 1910, issue of The Film Index published an article about the four theaters then operating on the block of Madison Street between Dearborn and Clark. It said that the Pastime Theatre had been built “about two years ago”, which would make an opening sometime in the latter part of 1908 likely. With 460 seats, the Pastime was the largest of the four theaters on the block.

The Pastime Theatre Co. also operated a house of the same name on Adams Street, as well as the Victoria Theatre in Logan Square. General manager H.W. Thompson had his office in the Madison Street house.

DavidZornig on March 26, 2015 at 7:36 am

1917 Daily News photo added, courtesy of Gregory Russell.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 7, 2021 at 12:10 am

The July 2, 1940 issue of The Film Daily said that the Beck circuit had closed the Pastime Theatre in the Loop for wrecking, but intended to replace it with a new house. It didn’t say where the new theater would be located.

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.