WIN: Apollo’s 2000 / former Marshall Square Theater Receives Final Landmark Recommendation

Final Landmark Recommendation Approved on February 8, 2024 for Apollo’s 2000 / Marshall Square Theater, 1917 by Alexander Levy with 1936 remodel by Roy B. Blass, 2875 W. Cermak Road. Image credit: Chicago DPD Twitter
Evelyn Stell, Javier, Lidia and Naomi Galindo pose for a photo in Apollo’s 2000, 2875 W. Cermak Rd., in Little Village on Dec. 5, 2023. Credit: Colin Boyle / Block Club Chicago
Apollo’s 2000 / Marshall Square Theater, 1917 by Alexander Levy with 1936 remodel by Roy B. Blass, 2875 W. Cermak Road. Historic photo credit: Apollo’s 2000

“A historical theater on the Southwest Side took the first step toward becoming a Chicago landmark Thursday.

“The Apollo’s 2000 Theater, 2875 W. Cermak Road, was built in 1917 by Alexander Levy. Originally named the Marshall Square Theater, it used to showcase movies and vaudeville acts with comedians, singers, musicians and other performers.

“Its original terra-cotta facade remains today, as does its intricate gold trim all along the interior.

“The city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted Thursday to give a preliminary landmark recommendation to the theater, which has been featured in the annual Open House Chicago, organized by the Chicago Architecture Center to showcase some of the city’s most iconic places.

“This initial support kicks off a lengthy series of approvals, according to the commission. Steps in the landmarking process include a report from the city’s Department of Planning and Development, consulting with the building owner, a public hearing and a final vote with the commission, before moving to the City Council’s Committee on Zoning and then the full City Council to finalize landmark status.

“Javier and Lidia Galindo, who have owned the theater since 1988, support the effort. They previously told Block Club they hope a landmark designation will help preserve the building for generations to come and spark change in the surrounding business corridor. The theater now operates as a banquet and concert hall.

“‘The building is crying out for recognition, it’s crying out for a little more respect. It’s forgotten over here in the Southwest Side of the city,’ Javier Galindo said previously. ‘People that don’t know the place, they come in and they see this as a hidden gem in the city. That’s the word that I’ve always heard: hidden gem.'”(Savedra, Block Club Chicago, 12/7/23)

“‘While many of our downtown movie palaces have thankfully found new life as Broadway theaters or concert venues, these neighborhood movie palaces continue to disappear,’ Preservation Chicago’s Max Chavez said.’ during public testimony in support of Chicago Landmark Designation at the Commission on Chicago Landmark meeting on December 8, 2023 (Krauser, WBBM Newsradio 780 AM, 12/8/23)

“Designed by Alexander Levy as the Marshall Square Theater, this venue showcased both vaudeville acts and movies when it opened in 1917. Levy gained recognition for designing the Douglas Park Auditorium and the Granada, among other renowned buildings. The theater began showing movies exclusively in 1936 and was remodeled by architect Roy B. Blass, who added a soaring Art Deco vertical sign to the building’s classical revival façade. The theater, re-named Apollo’s 2000, went through an extensive restoration and renovation in the 1990s. Truly grand inside and out, today the building is rented out as a banquet hall and is occasionally used as a music venue.” (Open House Chicago)

Preservation Chicago has been in contact with the owners of the Apollo’s 2000 Theater. We applaud Evelyn Stell, Javier, Lidia and Naomi Galindo for their decades-long loving stewardship of this historic Chicago theater and fully support this effort to designate the theater and Chicago Landmark. This is an important step for the building that will provide additional recognition, celebration and the possibly of Adopt-a-Landmark restoration funding, and we will support this effort every step of the way.

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago



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