Parkway Theatre

2738 N. Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60614

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Drury Lane Theatre

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Parkway July 1982 ChicagoMovie Title: The Wild Bunch - Chicago,

The Parkway Theatre was opened on April 17, 1911 with vaudeville & movies. The lobby was only 6ft deep. On May 4 1918 it was renamed Drury Lane Theatre, but this was short lived and it soon returned to the Parkway Theatre name. It was closed in 1985.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

rgeorge61 on December 1, 2009 at 3:23 am

I grew up on Belden & Clark when it was a working class area and the Parkway Theater wasn’t far from there. I first went there with my Mom and sisters and later went with friends seeing 2-3 movies in an afternoon in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I saw movies that were never going to win any awards but it didn’t matter. I saw monster, horror, kung fu and any B-rated movie you could imagine. It was a great time and I will always remember the fun and friends.

danvincetquipatitur on April 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

It is so good to see the Parkway again in the above image. I hadn’t seen it in years and forgot some of the details. Thank you.

I still literally have dreams that a “new” Parway has opened – I often dream I am riding the bus on my way there.

Tomorrow is my birthday so i’ll consider this image a present from God. Thank you for the Parkway and how it enriched my life. :)

DavidZornig on July 31, 2011 at 10:45 pm

That’s a Martin Kennelly banner above the bus. The incumbent that Richard J. Daley would defeat to become Mayor of Chicago in April 1955.

rebelvickster on October 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I remember seeing movies like ghost and Mr chicken, flesh eaters and kitten with a whip…all on the same bill on the weekend…and it was 25ยข….sigh

gordonio on December 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm

btkrefft and DavidZornig: Thanks for your photo and comments! I remember taking that streetcar down/up Clark street from my home at Newport near Clark all the way to downtown way back in the late 40’s and early ‘50’s. I think it cost a nickel. See the wall poster for Jays Potato Chips in the background? My dad used to take me to the Parkway when it showed 3 film changes a week and I was lucky to see movies from the late 1940’s and 1950’s that were several years old as a second or even third feature there.(I saw “Buffalo Bill (1944)”, “The Uninvited (1944)”,“Lorna Doone (1951)”, “The Thing from Another World (1951)”,“The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)”,“The Master of Ballantrae (1953)” to name a few that I remember). The area around Diversey and Clark had three great movie houses all within a block or so of each other back then: The beautiful Century movie palace showing first run films straight after their downtown run; the Parkway showing films like 'Abbot and Costello’ and ‘Francis the Talking Mule’; and the Covent that showed wonderful foreign and “Art” films, like “The Man in the White Suit”, “I am a Camera (1955)and "And God Created Woman”. What memories …

bertop1 on December 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm

The Parkway.Wow my favorite theater as a kid.I guess because i lived right around the corner from it and it was cheap.I went to alcott school which is right down the street from it.Orchard and Wrightwood.I used to hang out at the playground every weekend.So Saturday or Sundays me and my friends would got to the parkway and then there was a fast food restaurant called Yankee Doodle Dandy on the corner,does any one remember it? Had so much fun at the Parkway….

porkchop on February 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I lived at Buckingham and Halsted in the 70’s. During this period the Parkway showed a different double feature every night of the week for $2.50. This in itself was unique. But they also printed a flyer two or three months in advance, so you could plan ahead for 90 double features! Truffaut, Bergman, films so esoteric that I can’t even remember. This is the theater where I saw Eraserhead when it first came out. I remember sitting in the balcony and the audience was stone cold silent, like they didn’t know what the hell was going on. A few days later I saw it again and everyone was laughing. Ha!

DavidZornig on October 13, 2015 at 1:51 am

Mid `70’s photo added, photo credit Saul Smaizys.

DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Circa 1971 Saul Smaizys photo via Flickr. Image will enlarge in link.

Broan on November 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm

It was opened as the Parkway April 17, 1911. It did not experience great success in vaudeville and closed before the end of the season. It soon went to primarily pictures. It closed and reopened repeatedly, with redecorations and policy changes. On May 4, 1918 it reopened as the Drury Lane, including the largest movie screen in the city at that time. Later, it returned to the Parkway name.

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