Cult Theatre Postcards: Series One, Card Number 9 – Chicago Theatre


This historic Cult Theatre Grindhouse Postcard features an extremely rare photo of the Chicago Theatre. The theater was located at 175 N. State Street in Chicago, Illinois.

When the photo was taken, the Chicago Theatre was screening “Fast & lean killing machines” Shaolin Deadly Hands, plus Assignment to Kill.

The Chicago Theatre was originally known as the Balaban and at one time the Katz Chicago Theatre. The landmark theater is located on North State Street in the Loop area of Chicago, Illinois. Built in 1921, the Chicago Theatre was one of the grandest movie palaces ever built. When it opened on October 26, 1921, the 3,880 seat theater was promoted as the “Wonder Theatre of the World”. The 3,896-seat palace opened on October 26, 1921, designed by the architectural firm Rapp & Rapp as the flagship for the Balaban and Katz (B&K) group of theaters run by A. J. Balaban, his brother Barney Balaban and their partner Sam Katz. Along with the other B&K theaters, from 1925 to 1945 the Chicago Theatre was a dominant movie theater. Now the Chicago Theatre is a performing arts venue for stage plays, magic shows, comedy, speeches and music concerts. It is owned by Madison Square Garden.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 6, 1979 and was listed as a Chicago Landmark on January 28, 1983. The distinctive Chicago Theatre marquee, “an unofficial emblem of the city”, appears frequently in film, television, artwork and photography. The Chicago Theatre was restored in 1986 to its 1930’s appearance and now hosts the annual Glamorama fashion show sponsored by Macy’s, formerly Marshall Field’s, and the occasional movie screening for the Chicago International Film Festival.

All Cult Theatre Postcards feature vintage and grindhouse movie theaters within the United States. The series includes cinemas in major urban centers such as Downtown Los Angeles, New York’s Times Square – then known as “The Deuce,” Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore and many, many more famous cities. The movie theatres are screening cult classics, B-movies, martial arts films, horror films and more.

The time was the 1980’s and movie theaters were attempting to reinvent themselves, with smaller budgets and new audiences. Many independently owned theaters resorted to low-cost B-movies and Asian movie imports, especially kung fu films.

Other movie theaters in the Cult Theatres Postcard collection include The Loew’s Theater, Rialto Theater, Anco Theater, Malco Theater, Paramount Theater, Fox Nickelodeon Theater, Luna Theater, Woods Theater, Cameo Theater, Cinema 35 Theater, Washington Theater, Capri Theater, Publix Theater, The Pussycat Theater, Center Theater, McVickers Theater, The Castle Theater, El Morro Theater, Cine 42 Theater, Stadium Theater, Empire Theater, Majestic Theater, Brauntex Theater, RKO Jefferson Theater, Times Square Theater, Liberty Theater, Roxy Theater, Embassy Theater, Strand Theater, Uptown Theater, State-Lake Theater, Los Angeles Theater, Tower Theater, Victoria Theater, Adams Theater, Chicago Theater, Boulevard Theater, New Isis Theater, Howard Theater, Academy Theater, Sam Eric Theater, Sameric Theater and more.

This vintage-style movie theater postcard item has been filed under theaters, theatres, grindhouse, movie theaters, vintage, grind house, cinemas, entertainment, collectibles, b movies, grindhouse theaters, cult cinemas, cult classics, martial arts films, movies, horror films, the deuce, hollywood, 42nd street.

These extremely rare movie theater images are officially licensed and scanned directly from the negatives or the best quality photo image available.

See full set of Cult Theatre photos at