Chicago Landmarks

New Regal Theater

Front Elevation, photo by CCL, 1989     Address: 1641 E. 79th St.
Year Built: 1926 - 1927
Architect: John Eberson
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: June 17, 1992

Interior circa 1927 John Eberson became nationally famous as a designer of atmospheric motion picture palaces, in which the audience sits within an imaginary courtyard, surrounded by exotic buildings under a star-filled sky. The New Regal, which originally was known as the Avalon, is a prime example of this type of movie theater. Its Middle Eastern, Moorish design was reportedly inspired by a Persian incense burner that the architect found in an antique market. The theater was renamed in 1985, following a major renovation, in honor of the Regal Theater, a long-time center for the performing arts in the city's African-American community. The original Regal Theater, which was located at 4719 S. King Dr., was demolished in 1973.