Woods Theater


The Woods Theater was located on the corner of Randolph and Dearborn. Nestled between the Garrick and the Oriental, Kiddy Corner from the United Artists, this is one of the four theaters that covered the area now graced by the new Goodman Theater.

The Woods had also fallen into hard times in its last days. The marquee that had once listed some of the finest of the first run films eventually found itself rivaling the Oriental in entertaining those "rowdy teenage boys" who seemed to be the only ones who would venture downtown to fill the auditorium.

Frankly, I hardly remember the Woods. I know that I attended there, but I do not even remember what the interior looked like. What I do remember is the sculpture on the side of the building facing Dearborn. I seem to remember that behind the massive marquee there was a relatively narrow lobby that would lead to the auditorium doors. The Woods Theater was located at 54 W. Randolph, and as far as I can ascertain, it was designed as a motion picture theater. Built in 1917, it had a seating capacity of 1158. It was razed in 1989.

Its also interesting to note the other shops and venues in the above photo. The corner Jewelery Store is advertising Diamonds and watches, and there is a red lettered "sale" sign in its front window. Next door going west is the Brass Rail Theater Bar advertising performances by Sally Rand and Her Fans & the Cut Ups. To the other side of the theater is something that ends in "Revue", and then "The Ham & Egger", an all day breakfast spot. After that you are at the historic Garrick Theater. I've searched the web looking for additional information on the Woods, but so far I've found nothing beyond the few facts I've noted above. If you have additional information concerning the Woods Theater, please contact me by email. Mostly, I miss its marquee, and its presence on Randolph. I'm thankful that the Goodman Theater continues the tradition of theater at the corner that once housed the Woods.


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