1204 N. Dearborn Street,
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Firms: Pereira and Pereira
Previous Names: New Dearborn Theatre, Dearborn Theatre, Surf Theatre, Playboy Theater, Chelex Theatre
Opened in 1913 as the New Dearborn Theatre, later just the Dearborn Theatre, this theater stood at the corner of W. Division Street and N. Dearborn Street. Originally, the theatre’s main entrance was on W. Division Street (40 W. Division Street), but was later moved to N. Dearborn Street.
The Dearborn Theatre was remodeled in 1934 by the firm of Pereira & Pereira. On May 7, 1942 it was renamed Surf Theatre. In September 1964, the Surf Theatre closed and was reopened on September 29, 1964 as the Playboy Theater, which was originally known for screening eclectic and offbeat films. It also was one of the venues which hosted the Chicago International Film Festival during its early years.
On October 8, 1976 it was renamed the Chelex Theatre, and on June 3, 1977, the theatre was renamed one final time, as the Sandburg Theatre, which screened repertory films. The Sandburg Theatre lasted until April 1983, when it was closed and was demolished.
A Walgreens (their 1,000th store) was built on the site of the theatre and opened September 6, 1984 with film star Cary Grant in attendance.
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