Building 51 | Building 51 | c. 1936 lawndale theater polychromatic “matinee daily” single-sided masonite marquee board – william p. whitney, architect
8170
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c. 1936 lawndale theater polychromatic “matinee daily” single-sided masonite marquee board – william p. whitney, architect

51-20365-14

Category

Chicago Theatres

About This Item

exceptional one of a kind all original and well-preserved c. 1936 american depression-era hand-painted “matinee daily” marquee board salvaged from the extant lawndale theater located on the west side of chicago. the remarkable single-sided custom-built sign board is comprised of thick masonite with a polychromatic finish. allover surface crazing is consistent with age. the theater sign board was discovered along with its “mate” which were used as the flanking ends of a long, continuous sign board featuring the heavily illustrated and brightly colored posters of movies running at that time. the depression era sign board remains in great overall condition – likely from being stowed away for several decades backstage. the 2000-seat spanish revival style “new-yiddish” lawndale theater was designed by william p. whitney and r. levine & company in 1927. the west side chicago theater original opened as the “new yiddish theater, but was later renamed shortly thereafter. the white terra cotta-clad theater building later became the rena theater until finally closing its doors in 1963. the theater was converted into a church, which operated until the 1990’s. although the theater building still stands (vacant and badly deteriorating), it is slated for demolition by the city of chicago. urban remains acquired the salvaged rights in 2009 and spent nearly six months carefully removing artifacts.