Davis Theater

4614 N Lincoln Ave Chicago

Lincoln Square/Davis Theater
Chicago Scene
Written By Chicago Scene

“The Insider's Guide” Of Where To Go And What To Do In Chicago

Even the webpage of the Davis Theater is a little reminiscent of old-fashioned movie theaters and the coming-soon attraction posters. But as the theater in Chicago that has operated the longest, and the last theater out of the original five built in Lincoln Square that’s still in business, it makes sense that it would blend the old and the new.

When the theater showed silent and vaudeville films after its opening in 1918, it was called the Pershing Theater, named after the World War I General John J. The beautiful building was designed by the architect Walter W. Ahlschlager, who was known for building the Uptown Broadway Building and even the Roxy Theater in NYC. In 1930, however, the theater got a name change to what it is now, along with the changeover from silent films to those with sound (called “talkies,” then). The theater tried in the early ‘50s to adapt to what they thought the community's needs were. That's why they showed German movies, puppet shows, and second runs of movies. Now, they play current films you would see in regular theaters and prices are only $12 for adults and $9 for children. The Davis Theater also holds special events and viewings, keeping up with their 1950's promise to show what the community wants. They even do trivia nights and Saturday morning cartoons!

The theater opened and closed more than once in the years following until the '90s brought it back to the first-run status. In light of this, the theater was made a historical landmark after renovations started at the beginning of 2016. These renovations also won them an award from Illinois Landmarks in 2018. Included in these renovations is a brand new Carbon Arc Bar, which has not only a fully stocked bar but also well-crafted food and housemade popcorn. Of course, considering it is housed in a movie theater, Carbon Arc allows you to order to go so you can enjoy your meal while watching your movie. Check out their website for daily specials for a sweet deal!

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