Norshore Theatre

1749 W. Howard Street,
Chicago, IL 60626

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp., Lubliner & Trinz

Architects: Cornelius Ward Rapp, George W. Leslie Rapp

Firms: Rapp & Rapp

Styles: French Renaissance

Nearby Theaters

NORSHORE Theatre; Chicago, Illinois.

Opened June 17, 1926 with Esther Ralston in “The Blind Goddess”. It was built for the Lubliner & Trinz circuit but was operated by Balaban & Katz. The palatial Norshore Theatre seated 3,017. The theatre was located in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Its outer lobby featured huge crystal chandeliers and the ceiling was decorated with Pompeiian motifs. The theatre also contained fine French antiques and was equipped with a Wurlitzer 4 manual 20 ranks theatre pipe organ which was opened by organist Chauncey Haines. Seating was provided on the orchestra level, and on a very shallow mezzanine level.

The Norshore Theatre was closed in 1957, and in December 1960, this amazing theatre was reduced to rubble. An office building, was later built in its place and this too has since been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Thomas Stranich, Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

RickB on January 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm

The Norshore’s opening featured bathing beauties.

wineandroses2 on February 12, 2015 at 9:56 pm

I went to grammar school with Mary Ure. We went to the restaurant and then to the movie. I thought that was amazing. What more could an 8th grader want? Don’t know what relative she was of yours but we graduated from grammar school in 1945. Doris O'Connor Strickland

DavidZornig on September 24, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Mid `50’s photo added courtesy of Michael Murphyā€ˇ.

DavidZornig on March 7, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Circa 1950 photo added credit Yesterday’s Trails Historical Photos.

DavidZornig on April 11, 2019 at 6:42 am

1926 photo added courtesy Rogers Park West Ridge Historical Society.

DavidZornig on September 30, 2020 at 10:56 am

Additional 1926 Grand Opening print ad added courtesy Monicka Montiel-macias. Different graphic than previously posted image.

DavidZornig on February 16, 2021 at 7:23 pm

1926 Gala Opening photo credit Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society via Twitter.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 11, 2023 at 6:56 am

Here’s a fantastic photo gallery of the Norshore:

There are a couple of demolition photos, and my comment from some years ago is shown to be true. The building was demolished with its grand light fixtures still in place.

At the time 50’s modern style was the thing of the moment. Maybe those chandeliers were thought to be tacky leftovers from the Roaring Twenties.

A couple decades later they would have been considered quite valuable.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 11, 2023 at 7:19 am

Upon further examination this web site seems more significant than I originally thought. It was put up by the Louis Grell Foundation. Apparently Grell did the murals in many movie theaters of the time, as well as other public buildings. Here’s a link to the home page:

DavidZornig on February 4, 2024 at 10:21 pm

Demolished in December 1960.
December 15, 1960 Chicago Tribune link below.

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