The three-story facade was faced in limestone, with a row of Ionic columns above the main entrance. Above the colonade, five porthole-like windows ringed by terra-cotta wreathes each had a lion’s head, also of terra cotta, below them. The theatre’s name was inscribed just below the cornice in large letters.
However, by the early 1910s, the Illinois Theatre had become the Chicago home of the Ziegfeld Follies, and presented both live stage reviews as well as motion pictures, before turning entirely to movies in the 1920’s.
The Illinois Theatre was shuttered during the Depression, and never reopened, being demolished in 1936 for a parking lot, the same fate the Princess Theatre would face a few years later.
by Bryan Krefft
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.