Featured: Chicago, IL – Southtown Theater

Richard Sklenar is quoted in this tribune article.

Southtown Theater made moviegoers feel special

It opened Christmas Day 1931 and closed in 1958

Inside the Southtown Theater, the afternoon double feature wasn’t the only escape. The majestic movie palace, complete with chandeliers, mosaic tile floors and a pool with swans in the lobby, let patrons lose themselves, at least for a few hours, in opulence.

“The Southtown, to me, was the grandest theater I have ever seen,” said Chuck Zirino, 72.

For 27 years, residents in the Englewood neighborhood experienced that luxury and watched features like “Gone With the Wind.” Today, more than a half century after the Southtown closed, they can only conjure up memories since a discount grocery store stands at 610 W. 63rd St.

The stucco-covered, Spanish-style movie house designed by the theatrical architecture firm Rapp & Rapp opened on Christmas Day 1931. It was run by Balaban & Katz, which owned several other theaters in the city, but the Southtown was one of its largest, with a capacity of 3,200, and arguably its most special.

via What Ever Happened to: The Southtown Theater – chicagotribune.com.

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