Open House Chicago 2020: Central Park Theater and the Dawn of a New Era. October 23, 2020


Tuesday, October 23, 2020
12:00 pm
Zoom Virtual Event

Link for More Information and Zoom Registration

“Take a virtual tour of the former Central Park Theater in North Lawndale, a 1917 movie palace that marked the start of a fruitful partnership between architects Rapp and Rapp and theater corporation Balaban and Katz.

“Join OHC 2020 community partner the North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society for a panel discussion moderated by Dio Aldridge and a virtual tour led by CAC docent Mike McMains, featuring pastor Robert Marshall and North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society chairwoman Blanche Suggs Killingsworth.

Converted to a church in 1971, the Central Park Theater was reportedly the first to offer mechanical air conditioning. It was designed by architects Rapp and Rapp and considered part of the Balaban and Katz cinema empire, which gave rise to numerous local landmarks, including the Chicago, Oriental (now Nederlander), Riviera and Uptown theaters.

Go virtually behind the scenes and learn more about the shuttered 1917 building which, despite its listing on the National Register of Historic Places, faces an uncertain future.”

PROGRAM SPEAKER: Mike McMains has been a CAC docent since 2005. He is certified to lead 10 different CAC tours and has created several others, including Elevated Architecture: Downtown “L” Train, Elevated Architecture: North Side Art and Must-See Chicago. Mike’s professional background is in real estate investment management. Chicago has been his home for the last 20 years.

“This program will be hosted on Zoom. Approximately 3 hours before the start of the program, you will receive a link directly from Zoom with details about how to access and view it. If you do not receive your link 2 hours prior to the start of the event, please contact Please note, if you do not contact us at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the program, we cannot guarantee admittance.”

Link for Registration


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