Armitage Theatre

3553 W. Armitage Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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Additional Info

Architects: Alexander L. Levy

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Avenue Theatre, Teatro Armitage

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Armitage Theatre

Built on the site of the Bismark Theatre(1911-1916). The Avenue Theatre was a 950-seat theatre located on W. Armitage Avenue between N. Drake Avenue and Central Park Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Later renamed Armitage Theatre, it operated at least into the 1980’s before it closed. It last served as a Spanish-language movie house named Teatro Armitage. Today, at least a portion of the former theatre building houses a dollar store.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Broan on October 22, 2007 at 10:35 am

A building permit shows Alexander Levy as the architect for a building here built in 1911. I think that the lobby may have been a 1911 nickelodeon that was then converted when the larger auditorium was added.

KenC on May 26, 2008 at 4:00 pm

From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings dated Sat. Oct. 16, 1965: ARMITAGE 3553 Armitage -Open 1:00 1st RUN CHICAGO “ROBOT vs. AZTEC MUMMY” – “VAMPIRE’S COFFIN” -BEATLES “GO-GO MANIA” Plus FRANKENSTEIN- DRACULA & Others IN Person TONIGHT AT 7:45. The two horror films were also playing at the Imperial theatre on Madison St.(DRACULA AND THE MONSTERS ONE SHOW ONLY AT 4:30 P.M.) and at the Irving theatre(Irving and Pulaski) SEE DRACULA -FRANKENSTEIN-THE FACELESS CHILLER- ALL IN PERSON AT 7:00 P.M. ONLY! I guess the monsters…er, actors- went from one theatre to another putting on a stage show. Never experienced it, but I bet it was fun…a more innocent time. A less innocent time- on Friday, Sept. 4, 1970- the Armitage had turned to adult films. From the movie listings: ARMITAGE ADULT THEATRE Open 6 P.M. NEW POLICY- Exciting Films at Chicago’s LOWEST ADULT THEATRE PRICES “MOONSHINE LOVE” “Beast That Killed Women”. Not sure how long this policy lasted, but I suspect the Armitage closed by the early 70s.

matthew1964 on July 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I remember the armitage back in the 79,,80,,81,, it was the closest to my house me and a friend use to go watch these goofy martial arts ,,movies ,,after sitting thru the features ,,i had to walk home with this nut constantly ,throwing kicks and karate punches at me ,,matt

Broan on October 23, 2016 at 7:37 am

Real estate listings (active for several years) note that demolition of the auditorium is planned

Broan on October 23, 2016 at 7:40 am

The 5 year old Bismark theater on the same site was razed in 1916 to build the Armitage.

engr614 on February 10, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Does anybody remember the “Bozo/Bobo” the clown scam held at the Armitage theatre say around 1961 -1964 ? A group had put together a show featuring “ Bozo the Clown'. A packed house full of moms and kids filled the place waiting for Bozo. There were promotional signs put up all over Humbolt Park advertising this show , only to find out that it ended up being some broken-down guy as Bobo, with the promoters claiming it had been a ” miss-print". Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.

RickB on October 24, 2018 at 8:52 am

Building and neighbors have been renovated; owner says he’s finalizing a deal to lease the theater space. Block Club Chicago story here.

wschende on February 23, 2019 at 1:43 pm

February 23, 2019 from Block Club Chicago

“LOGAN SQUARE — A new brewery is eyeing the old Armitage Theatre building at 3545-59 W. Armitage Ave. for its first taproom.

That’s according to Joe Padorr of Seneca Real Estate Group, broker for property owner George Giannoulias.

Padorr wouldn’t divulge many details about the project, including the brewery’s name, saying the lease agreement still needs to be finalized. But the broker did say this would be the brewery’s first independent location if all goes according to plan.

The brewers have been making beer out of an established brewery for some time now, according to Padorr. The plan, he said, is to convert the storefront along Armitage into a taproom and convert the 7,500-square-foot theater space into a multi-purpose room. It’s unclear if actual brewing would take place there or not, he added.

Padorr said he expects to release more details in the coming months as the project takes shape.

Last fall, after months of construction work on the building, crews removed the facade, revealing a renovated exterior: modern brick with floor-to-ceiling windows.

At the time, Giannoulias, who has owned the property for about 15 years, told Block Club he was looking to bring in at least eight retailers and restaurants.

“We felt the neighborhood would really appreciate updated retail and they wouldn’t appreciate some big, bulky multi-use, mixed-use building,” Giannoulias previously said.

“With The 606 developed and the neighborhood seeing a lot of people investing, I thought it was prudent to bring this beautiful building back to life.”

Before the renovation, the building was home to various retailers, including a dollar store and insurance company office.

The building was originally home to the early 1900s-era Bismark Theatre, which was later renamed the Armitage Theatre.

Giannoulias previously described the theater as “one of the old-school Chicago theaters for when people wanted to catch a movie to get some air conditioning.”

Giannoulias and his team incorporated some of the building’s original details like exposed brick and wood truss ceilings into the renovated design.

Over the last few years, gentrifying Logan Square has attracted several new breweries, including Middle Brow Beer Co., Pilot Project and Pipeworks Brewing, to name a few."

DavidZornig on August 31, 2020 at 6:40 pm

2/10/61-3/31/61 Armitage Theatre marquee photo added credit Georg Toft, courtesy Colleen Toft Griffin.

DavidZornig on October 1, 2020 at 11:43 am

1960 marquee photo and recent photo added of the upper portion of the Armitage Theatre auditorium. Both via Tim O'Neill.

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