Joy Theatre

1611 W. Roosevelt Road,
Chicago, IL 60608

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Essaness Theaters Corp., Marks Brothers

Firms: Aroner & Somers

Previous Names: Orpheus Theatre, Cine Tampico

Nearby Theaters

Orpheus Theatre

Located on the Near West Side, on W. Roosevelt Road at the intersection of S. Ashland Avenue, the Orpheus Theatre opened in 1913.

The movie house was later operated by the Marks Brothers circuit, and still later, by the Essaness circuit. By the 1940’s, the theatre was renamed the Joy Theatre. In 1952, the Joy Theatre was acquired by the Gomez family, who renamed it the Cine Tampico, for their home town in Mexico. It was still in operation as a Spanish-language movie house by the mid-1970’s.

A drive-up bank is located today where this movie theatre once stood.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 25, 2008 at 8:31 pm

I think so. Listed as Cine Tampico in 1960 yellow pages.

kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 11:21 am

That makes sense, because the Cine Tampico was also listed in the 1953 yellow pages.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2009 at 12:42 am

This item from the Art Institute of Chicago might depict the Joy Theatre soon after its construction.

CharlesR on July 9, 2010 at 12:00 am

The above is almost certainly this Joy Theatre. Compare it with the photo linked to on the page of the other Joy Theatre, which is of the Roosevelt Road cinema.

davidplomin on September 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Beautifully unique facade! I wish I could have experienced these places in their prime.

Broan on January 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Here is the Joy after a remodel

LouRugani on April 18, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Built as a cinema for the Marshfield Amusement Company in mid-1912, it was on a Z-shaped lot. Concrete was furnished by the S. L. Cooper Co. Façade was crème terra cotta by Midland Terra Cotta illustrating “Primitive Dance”, “Ancient dance” and “Modern Dance” in that order, designed by the architects. The white Italian marble lobby occupied the full frontage with ornamental plaster above, and the auditorium was bowl-shaped. The ceiling was vaulted and spanned by curved trusses.

Scott on April 19, 2016 at 3:01 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Z-shaped lot. Sounds like a challenge for an architect.

rivest266 on August 13, 2020 at 3:55 pm

This opened as Joy on October 3rd, 1936. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on August 13, 2020 at 3:57 pm

Also reopened as Orpheus on October 18th, 1929 another ad posted.

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