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Central Park Theater

Address

3535 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Access to the theater will be on the side entrance of the building. There is a parking lot on that side of the bulding.

Neighborhood

North Lawndale

Hours

Sat, Oct 16: 10am - 4pm

Sun, Oct 17: Closed

Photography Permitted

Architect

Rapp & Rapp, 1917

Description

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. It was one of the first theaters in the nation to have an air conditioning system. With nearly 1,800 seats, the Central Park remained a profitable theater for decades. In 1971, it became home to the House of Prayer Church of God in Christ. The exterior and interior of this historic space have been well-preserved, and the owner is working with the Central Park Theater Restoration Committee to restore and reopen the theater as a community event and programming space.

Visitor Experience

Volunteers will be on site from 10am to 4pm to greet visitors and share the restoration work underway. Guided tours of the lobby and theater space will be offered to groups of up to 20 people (wearing masks), departing every half hour.