Harvard Theatre

6312 S. Harvard Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60621

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boilerbob7 on April 28, 2015 at 11:42 am

Living at 227 W. 61st Place (now the Dan Ryan expressway) I frequented the Harvard since it was the closest to my house. The sound of the “el” trains was barely noticed. The most memorable movie I saw there was “Tulsa” when an entire oil field exploded and burned. It was in color. When the neighborhood north of 63rd Street changed in the early fifties, many of the small “mom and pop” stores started getting constantly robbed, resulting in their closing.

dsadowski on April 28, 2015 at 3:30 am

Thanks for linking to the photo on my blog. As this was part of a “mystery photos” contest, you can also find the same picture here:


This version has descriptive information added to the caption.

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman on April 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Here is a photo I found of the Harvard Theater. Taken from the Harvard EL Station on the Englewood route. https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/img802.jpg Hope this link works, if not I have the image on my hard drive. If there is a way to embed this photo, let me know.

RickB on September 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm

The El spur was called the Normal Park branch. Chicago-L.org tells its story here.

justinterested on September 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm

it is wondered why someone would build such a small theatre such as the Harvard. Being so small, i am sure it was only meant to be a neighborhood theatre. I remember seeing it in the 30’s, my grandfather took me to that area on a visit to a hardware store. Of interest, there was an El station at 63rd and Harvard. The El at that time continued on to 64th and Halsted Street, where it ended, but at 63rd and Harvard at that time and through the war, the El line unhooked one car from the train and it took a spur line father south, ending at Loomis Boulevard, i cannot recall what the east/west street was. When a train from Halsted, came back to go downtown it would wait at 63rd for the spur train to be hooked on the back of the main line train and contunue to the loop. i rode that train many times as a young boy. The year my grandfather took me to that hardware store was 1935. If my memory serves me right, there was a White Castle or a Wimpy’s under the el tracks on 63rd.

kencmcintyre on May 16, 2009 at 9:48 am

Here is a March 1923 ad from the same source:

kencmcintyre on May 16, 2009 at 2:21 am

Here is a July 1915 ad from the Suburbanite Economist:

Englewood on November 7, 2008 at 2:10 am

From the Englewood Times of January 11, 1924

$25,000 Harvard Theater
Organ Being Installed

Within a few weeks the patrons of the Harvard theatre will have the pleasure of having one of the latest models of Robert Morton Organs. In speaking to Mr. Costen, the Harvard manager said:

“This organ will be equal to the best found anywhere in this country, as it combines all the merits of a unified organ, with its wonderful flexibility and ease of control. It is indeed an organ worthy of its cost, which totals over twenty thousand dollars.”

This organ should have been installed last November, but owning to the illness of Mr. Costen and other obstructions it has been delayed.

Englewood on July 31, 2007 at 8:32 pm

From the Chicago Sunday Tribune of August 31, 1947:

Samuel Chernoff, who has been operating motion picture theaters in the Chicago area for the last 12 years, yesterday leased for a long term of years, the Harvard Theater building, 6312 S. Harvard Avenue. The building contains a 750-seat theater and five stores.
The lessors were Ivan Goode and Samuel Lerner. Irving S. Kaulin was attorney in the leasing transaction. Chernoff said he intended to install new lounges, winter and summer air conditioning, and new lobby and auditorium decorations before he begins operating the theater.

CharlesZirino on October 18, 2005 at 6:24 pm

Make that Vincent Price.WHOOPEE again!

CharlesZirino on October 4, 2005 at 9:52 pm

Hi again, Now this is one theatre that I never knew how it survived so long.It was down the street on Harvard between 63rd.St. and 63rd.Pl.and anytime I went there it always seemed empty. It was way off the beaten path of the shoppers in the Halsted area and did not seem to have any spectacular movie criteria. I think it was mostly locals who wanted to get out of the house. The only movie I remember
seeing there was The Pit and The Pentulum with Victor Price, WHOOPEE!
Chuckie Z.

Englewood on January 8, 2005 at 6:02 pm

I often wondered what ever happened to the Harvard Theater. Now I know. It was located across from St. Bernard’s Hospital. It was a very small theater. I only went there once, in 1949 or 1950. I saw “Last of the Mohicans.” I wish someone had a photograph of it.