Congress Marquee

The Congress Theater

2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60647    773-252-4000




The Congress Theater, with its 2890-seat auditorium, is one of the most intact surviving neighborhood movie "palaces" in Chicago dating from the boom years of the 1920's. It is one of the last remaining theaters associated with Lubiner & Trinz, the operators of one of Chicago's largest chains of "moving picture theaters" during the 1920's. It has served for decades as a cultural and entertainment center for Chicago's Near Northwest Side, housing movies, stage shows, and special events. Covering a quarter of a city block, the three-story building is an excellent example of a "theater-block", a building type combining a movie theater with stores and apartments. Its elaborate four-story theater entrance is an outstanding example of detailing and craftsmanship in terra cotta, designed in a combination of the Classical Revival and Italian Renaissance architectural styles. The Congress Theater's interior is noteworthy for the lavishness, in both space and detailing, of its lobbies and auditorium with its dramatic saucer dome, are remarkably intact. Most historic features remain, including decorative stone- and plasterwork, metal chandeliers and sconces, and auditorium seating.


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