La Salle Theater (Chicago)

The La Salle Theater was an influential musical, vaudevillian and dramatic playhouse in two Chicago locations, first at 137 West Madison Street, which, until December 1902, had been named the Orpheon Music Hall.[1][2] The La Salle operated at that location until 1910. Then it moved into a new facility at 110 West Madison, operating as playhouse until 1927, when film began to predominate. The theater closed in the late 1940s. In the spring of 1950, the building was razed to make way for St. Peter's Church.

Tenants & ownersEdit

The original La Salle was owned by Anna Sinton Taft, wife the Charles Phelps Taft, who was the brother of U.S. President William Howard Taft. The tenant, from about 1903 until 1910, was Mort H. Singer; in 1910, after lengthy legal action, the theater was won by Harry Askin (1864–1934) and the La Salle Opera House Company, composed of Charles W. Murphy, owner of the Chicago Cubs, Askin and several other minor associates.[3]

In June 1917, Sinton sold the La Salle (from 118 to 116 West Madison) to S. W. Strauss & Co., headed by Albert L. Strauss (1871–1918).[4] In 1927, La Salle began showing movies. It closed in the late 1940s. In the spring of 1950, the building was razed to make way for St. Peter's Church. In 1913, The La Salle Theater was one of 36 Chicago theaters listed in the Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year-Book of 1914.[5]

Selected productionsEdit

300 performances
Opening night: August 17, 1907
Over 100 performances
Ran successfully for two years
Opening night: September 3, 1912
265 performances

Former managersEdit

  • Mort H. Singer (né Mortimer Henry Singer; 1876–1944), who, in addition to managing the La Salle beginning around 1906, produced and directed musicals, many of which toured. He went on to simultaneously manage many other theaters. He led more than one production, but the original one that performed at La Salle was named "La Salle Theater Stock Company."


General references

  • Programs for the La Salle Theatre, OCLC 18062987
  • Programs, unbound and arranged by years, 1907–1927 OCLC 270717240
  • Midwest Theater and Concert Programs, Playbills, etc. OCLC 34307451

Inline citations

  1. ^ Takes a New Name, Daily Register Gazette (Rockford, Illinois), December 22, 1902, pg. 5, col. 4
  2. ^ Official Notice of Corporate Name Change, The National Corporation Reporter, January 1, 1903, Vol. 25, No. 19, pg. 826
  3. ^ Theater Wrecked to Get Rid of Tenant, Los Angeles Herald, July 11, 1910, Page 7
  4. ^ Obituary: Albert L. Strauss, The Economist, October 26, 1918, Vol. 60, No. 17, pg. 685
  5. ^ Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year-Book for 1914, compiled by James Langland (1855–1934), pg. 631 (1913) OCLC 10016097

Coordinates: 41°52′56.3″N 87°37′53.3″W / 41.882306°N 87.631472°W / 41.882306; -87.631472