Central Park Theater
3535 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Sat, Oct 14: 10am - 5pm
Sun, Oct 15: Closed
C. W. and George L. Rapp (Rapp and Rapp), 1917
The Central Park Theater has been a focal point of the arts and culture of North Lawndale since it opened its doors in 1917. It is the first movie palace completed by cinema developers Balaban & Katz and architectural firm Rapp & Rapp, a prolific partnership which gave rise to numerous landmarks including the Chicago, Oriental (now Nederlander), Riviera and Uptown theaters.
The Central Park was one of the first theaters in the nation to have an air conditioning system. With nearly 1,800 seats, it remained a profitable for decades. The historic exterior and interior have been well preserved, and the owner is working with the Central Park Theater Restoration Committee to restore and reopen the theater as an event and programming space for the North Lawndale community.
Guests may take guided tours of the theater from Preservation Chicago and explore a variety of vendors in the parking lot that showcase the North Lawndale area.
On Saturday, the site will offer outdoor activities in the parking lot and self-guided tours of the theater's main floor. The second floor will remain closed.