Pickwick Theatre

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Pickwick Theater Building
Pickwick Theatre
Pickwick Theatre is located in Illinois
Pickwick Theatre
Pickwick Theatre is located in the United States
Pickwick Theatre
Location5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, Illinois
Coordinates42°0′38″N 87°49′45″W / 42.01056°N 87.82917°W / 42.01056; -87.82917Coordinates: 42°0′38″N 87°49′45″W / 42.01056°N 87.82917°W / 42.01056; -87.82917
Area0.4 acres (0.16 ha)
ArchitectRoscoe Harold Zook, William F. McCaughey, Alfonso Iannelli
Architectural styleArt Deco
NRHP reference #75000657[1]
Added to NRHPFebruary 24, 1975

The Pickwick Theatre is an art deco movie palace located in Park Ridge, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.[2]

Designed by Roscoe Harold Zook, William F. McCaughey, and Alfonso Iannelli, the Pickwick opened in 1928 as a vaudeville stage and movie theatre. It is widely recognized for its marquee and 100-foot tower, which appeared in the opening credits of Siskel & Ebert & the Movies.[3] The main auditorium, built to resemble an Aztec or Mayan temple, originally seated up to 1,400 people.[4] Seating capacity in the main auditorium was reduced by 200 seats in 1968 and an additional 400 seats in 2012 as the result of renovations. The 2012 renovation project, valued at $1.2 million, also included a new roof, mechanical improvements and exterior renovations including those to the original marquee.[5]

The theater was named in 1928 by the mayor of Park Ridge, William H. Malone I, for the title character Samuel Pickwick in Charles Dickens' novel The Pickwick Papers.[6]

The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975[7] and continues to host films as well as live stage shows. In 1990, theatre management expanded the Pickwick by adding three new screens behind the original auditorium. In 2017, owner Dino Vlahakis added a 39-seat theatre located on the second floor of the rear building, in place of the theatre's offices.[8] In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, the Pickwick Theater was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places [9] by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois).


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Ingram, Bruce (January 15, 2018). "Pickwick Theatre celebrates 90 years in Park Ridge". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  3. ^ Mike Thomas. "Screen gems: Theaters are piling on the perks. Where should you see your next movie?" Chicago Sun-Times. 3 March 2006.
  4. ^ Avis L. Weatherbee. "Screen Gems: A Gilded Tour Of Our Remaining Movie Palaces". Chicago Sun-Times. 18 March 1994.
  5. ^ Sue Ter Maat. "Renovated Pickwick Theatre Slated For September Debut." Park Ridge Patch. 2 July 2012. https://patch.com/illinois/parkridge/new-and-improved-pickwick-theatre-slated-for-debut-in-september
  6. ^ Anne Lunde. "Park Ridge's Pickwick Restaurant Set To Close Dec. 7" Journal & Topics Online. http://www.journal-topics.com/news/park_ridge/article_c2fb1f88-6e9a-11e4-9f1d-d7ba64b6bd91.html. 17 November 2014.
  7. ^ Registered Historic Places in Cook County, Illinois. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  8. ^ Jennifer Johnson. "Park Ridge's Pickwick adds new, 39-seat theater." Chicago Tribune. 25 August 2017. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/park-ridge/news/ct-prh-pickwick-new-theater-tl-0831-20170825-story.html
  9. ^ Waldinger, Mike (January 30, 2018). "The proud history of architecture in Illinois". Springfield Business Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Pickwick Theater at Wikimedia Commons