CAPITOL THEATRE--CHICAGO, IL
Official Title of Installation, if any:
Capitol Theatre interior
Materials Used: Ceramic tiles/mosaic tiles
"Opened in 1925, the Capitol was designed by the famed theater architect John Eberson. His other Chicago theaters included the Paradise and the still-remaining Avalon (now known as the New Regal). This very large neighborhood theater had an auditorium done in the atmospheric style, resembling an ancient Roman villa complete with statuary, vines, and miniature temples covering the organ grilles.
The Capitol’s lobby and foyer areas contained plaster copies of antique Greco-Roman reliefs, more statuary and mosaic tiled floors. Like the auditorium, the lobby had a blue starlit sky. At one time, the theater also contained a 3/17 Wurlitzer theater organ.
The Capitol was located in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood on South Halsted Street near 79th Street.
The Capitol was very similar in design to Eberson’s Houston Majestic, built less than two years earlier, but unlike the Majestic, the Capitol contained organ grilles in place of side boxes. Originally built for the Cooney Brothers circuit for both stage acts and movies, the Capitol later became part of the Warner Brothers/Stanley-Warner chain, and changed to a movies-only format.
The Capitol remained open at least into the 70s, and was demolished by late 80s.*
**Waller, Gregory A., Moviegoing in America: a sourcebook in the history of film exhibition, Blackwell Publishers, Ltd., Malden, MA, pp. 106-107. (Taken from an essay by the architect, John Eberson, "A Description of the Capitol Theater, Chicago", Architectural Forum V. 42, pp. 373-376).
Technical Information (Size,mfg., etc.):
The manufacturer of the tiles is not known.
Year Installed, if different:
Does Installation Still Exist?
If Not, What Happened?
The theater was torn down in the 1980s.
Location of Installation:
7941 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60620
Additional Information, Websites, Citations:
Photos courtesy of Tile Heritage Foundation.
Submitted by and Year:
Tile Heritage Foundation and Michael Padwee (tileback101"at"collector.org; July 2011.