Copernicus Center Chicago

Copernicus Center

Copernicus Center

Same as above

Copernicus Center

Same as above

Copernicus Center

Inside of Theater Stage


Side Wall Court

Side Wall

Side Wall Court Wall

Left of Stage

Right of Stage

Right of Stage

Ornamental Ceiling Fixture

     The Gateway Theater is located at 5216 West Lawrence in Chicago in the Jefferson Park neighborhood..

     It opened in June, 1930 for the Balaban and Katz Chain.  Architects were Rapp and Rapp.  It was an elaborate movie auditorium.  There were classical Roman flourishes.   Ceiling was dark blue with twinkling stars ( on a recent visit by the author, there was only one twinkling light).   There were statuaries and vines on the side walls.  It’s capacity was 2092 seats.  It was built to exhibit movies.

     It operated through the 1970’s.  It was later managed by the Plitt Chain and Publix Theaters.

     In the mid 1980’s,  the theater was sold by Plitt to the Copernicus Foundation ( a Polish American Society).  The interior of the Gateway was extensively renovated.   A clock tower called the Solidarity Tower was added.

     The theater hosts community gatherings and live concerts.  In the past, special movie screenings were done.  However, this practice has ceased.

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