Located in the West Ridge neighborhood of Chicago was the Nor town Theater. It stood at 6320 North Western Avenue. It was built for Publix, Balaban and Katz Group in 1930.The architect was J.E.O.Pridmore. It originally had one screen and a capacity of 2,086 seats.
The interior was decorated in a marine motif. There were mermaids, seahorses, and zodiac signs. The ceiling featured a representation of the April constellation. An astronomy professor from the Armour Institute was consulted to produce an accurate representation.
Noted film critic Gene Siskel was a frequent attended at the theater as a youth.
In the later years, the Plitt Theater Group acquired the theater. In the mid 1980’s, they converted the Nortown to 3 screens. Ownership then converted to Cineplex Odeon. Unfortunately, this company painted over the interior of the theater including the murals.
The Nortown closed as a movie theater in 1990. It was used as community center and a church. Prior to its demolition, the interior decorative plaster fixtures were removed and sold. The marquee was removed. Eventually, the theater was demolished in 2007.
Amrit Patel, a local business entrepreneur, wanted to build a multistory condominium at the site of the demolished theater. The building was also to have two small theaters featuring Indian and Pakistani films. Due to many factors, the project never materialized. Eventually, a Wendy’s fast food restaurant was built at the site.