Forest Theatre

7526 Madison Street,
Forest Park, IL 60130

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Ascher Brothers Inc., Indiana-Illinois Theaters

Architects: Roy B. Blass, Henry L. Newhouse

Previous Names: Forest Park Theatre

Nearby Theaters

FOREST PARK (FOREST) Theatre; Forest Park, Illinois.

The Forest Park Theatre was located at Madison Street and Des Plaines Avenue. It was opened on August 28, 1920 with T. Roy Barnes in “Scratch My Back”, and was operated by the Ascher Brothers circuit. This 1,500-seat theatre was designed by architect Henry L. Newhouse and originally featured both vaudeville as well as movies before turning to movies exclusively. The ‘Park’ portion of the theatre’s name was dropped around the 1930’s. In 1937 it was rebuilt with 1,100-seats to the plans of architect Roy B. Blass. The Forest Theatre operated at least into the 1960’s, if not later. The theatre has since been razed and a McDonald’s Restaurant now stands on the site.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Trolleyguy on January 9, 2005 at 2:16 pm

This was a nice place to take a date in the 50’s. Clean and comfortable. Now, a McDonald’s stands on the spot.

Broan on November 28, 2005 at 1:32 pm

Henry L. Newhouse was announced as architect in the Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1919, pE23

ctheatrics on March 11, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I am looking for photos, drawings, ground plans, remembrances etc. of the Henry L. Newhouse Forest Theatre 7526 Madison street, Forest Park, Illinois. I am located in NYC. Thank you.
Craig Jacobs

kencmcintyre on May 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Here is a May 1956 ad from the Forest Park Review:

dsadowski on July 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm

The latest display ad I have found for the Forest Theater in the Chicago Tribune archives is dated February 16, 1961. They were running a double feature of “7 Hills To Rome” and “Houseboat.” So this is probably about when they closed. My mother says she went to see a movie there with my Dad when they lived in the area in the early 1950s. I currently live about a block away from where the theater was (there is a McDonald’s there now).

Moviebuffwcs on May 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I’m positive the theater was torn down in the summer of 1963. I remember driving by with my mom on Des Plaines Ave. seeing the seats all exposed during the demolition. My family went there quite often, I particularly remember seeing “The Ten Commandments” there when the a/c wasn’t working. We felt like we were there in the desert with Moses.

rivest266 on June 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

This was opened on August 28th, 1920 by the Ascher Brothers. I uploaded its grand opening ad here.

plugai on December 10, 2021 at 1:51 pm

I remember walking west with my mom past an empty Forest Theater on Madison Street. No lobby cards displayed. No movie posters. Newspapers lined the tile floor, looking through the glass doors. I never was lucky enough to witness a movie in this theater. The next time I passed this spot, there was a brand-new Mobil Gas station and a grand opening of McDonalds!

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