The Janet of Enameled Brick

The Moving Picture World, May 21, 1910:


“On North Avenue [Chicago] is the ‘Janet,’ a building of enameled brick construction–not only in front but on all sides. Here we witnessed an excellent exhibition of independent pictures on the mirror screen, and, by the way, Mr. Hyman, the owner of this pretty theater, confessed to us that things looked pretty blue for him until the mirror screen turned the tide in his favor.

“And there was a tide of humanity in double line blocking the street on the occasion of our visit. ”

Janet Theatre, 617 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL

Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Walks also available at Local Expeditions

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.

The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index.





“Two Pretty Chicago Theaters”

Nickelodeon, November 1909:

“The two picture theaters shown herewith, the photographs of which were taken by William Wright of the Kalem Company*, are among Chicago’s prettiest houses.”


“The Boston Theater, on East Madison Street, costs $18,000, and seats 296 people. The seating space is very generous, giving the audience a sense of comfort and freedom that adds not a little to the attractiveness of the house.

“The admission price is five cents on every day but Saturday and Sunday, when ten cents is charged, vaudeville being added on those days. The Boston is owned by the Boston Amusement Company, and managed by J. W. Ferris.”


“The Apollo Theater on Forty-seventh street cost $17,000 and seats 700. Pictures and vaudeville are given, and an admission charge of ten cents is made to all seats. Robert R. Levy is the owner of the Apollo.”

*Kalem was a pioneer film studio founded in New York City in 1907.

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014, historical societies, libraries, senior Centers, etc.

“Theatres For Sale”, Moving Picture World, January 23, 1909

Excerpts from Moving Picture World, January, 23, 1909:

“Four paying shows, which would make a nice circuit for some enterprising manager, can be obtained at less than invoice value and on suitable terms. They are all making money and there are special reasons for selling.”


For Sale: Crescent Theatre, Vandalia, Illinois

“The locations are:
Bowling Green, Ky.-Seats 154. One other show in town
Petersburg, Ind.-Seats 120. No other show in town.
Rockport, Ind.-Seats 110. One other show in town.
Vandalia, Ill.-Seats 190. One other show in town.
Princeton, Ind. Seats 112.
Henderson, Ky.-Seats 230.
Mt. Vernon, Ind.-Seats 108. No opposition.”

2crescent1909_pe (Medium)

For Sale: Crescent Theatre, Bowling Green, Kentucky

“There is no better proposition in the country at the present time than the above circuit of seven shows, all within easy traveling distance from each other. Any man who wants to go into the exhibiting business and make money from the start can secure the above theatres at a bargain. Each one is in charge of a competent manager, each one paying a profit, and full particulars and reasons for selling will be given to parties who mean business.
“Full particulars in regard to this unusual proposition may be obtained from B. R. Craycroft, manager Laemmle Film Service, Evansville, Ind. or Moving Picture World. They will be sold together or separately.”

“Four paying shows” mentioned
Seven theatres listed

“Tonight” at the Crescent Theatre, Vandalia, is Uncle’s Fortune released, in 1908, by Pathe Freres as La Fortune de l’oncle d’Amerique.

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014–historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.


Bijou Dream Theater 114 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601

Situated on the second floor above an arcade, the stairway to the Bijou Dream is to the left of the box office.


Motography, December 21, 1912:

“‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever,’ and the results obtained in moving picture decoration and designing of fronts accomplished by the Decorators’ Supply Company are certainly beautiful.

“One of the theaters for which this company designed the front is illustrated on this page. It is one of many popular Chicago houses, and being on State Street is noticed by thousands of people daily.

“The Decorators’ Supply Company design individual decorations for every theater on which its products are used, and will send an expert to anyone to submit plans and estimates without charge. Its advice is valuable to any one contemplating any changes in the design of a theater front.”

Cezar Del Valle is available for theatre talks and walks in 2013.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.