Designed by Horatio Wilson (1857-1917), one of Chicago’s most popular architects, the Harper Theater building was first issued a
permit on Oct. 8, 1913.
The address was 5234 S. Rosalie (now Harper & 1452-64 E. 53rd St.). The Prairie Style building is listed on The National Register of Historic Places as part of The Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District.
Called the Hyde Park Theater through the 1980’s and The Meridian through the 1990’s, the theater’s importance actually dates back to the 1920’s. As the gateway to the Hyde Park business district, the building’s style, scale and history are crucial to the character of the neighborhood.
The property had been unoccupied for over a decade when, in 2002, The University of Chicago purchased the building. In 2011, The University signed an agreement with neighborhood shopping center developer ADF Capital, the owner of The New 400 Theaters in Rogers Park, to re-develop and operate The Harper Theater.
At The Harper Theater we pay tribute to the architectural integrity and heritage of the building throughout your interaction with us.
The community has spoken: The people want their movie theater back. You want your movie theater back.