The Varsity Theater was located in Evanston, Illinois at 1710 Sherman Avenue. It opened on December 24, 1926. It was built for a former local resident Clyde Elliot. The architect was E.O. Pridemore. There was one screen. I have found two estimates of seating capacity 1850 or 2500.
The Varsity was built as what was called an atmospheric theater. It was designed to resemble a Royal French Chateau. Its sidewalls were made of Italian Marble. The stage resembled a drawbridge. The lights in the ceiling mimicked twinkling stars. Even the Geneva organ was modified to resemble a cottage.
In the 1930’s, the Varsity became part of the Balaban and Katz chain. The theater continued in business until the 1980’s. In later years, it became part of the Plitt Chain.
After the theater closed, the main level and lobby were gutted and the space was converted to retail space.
At one tme, a plan was floated to convert the space into a performing art center. This never happened.
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