This Week in Chicago Entertainment History ~ Star & Garter

Ahhh the sweet smell of Burlesque! Oh, eeeeehhh we mean Success. No we actually did mean Burlesque.  It was a prominent force in this city in the beginning of the 20th century.  The Star & Garter which was built in 1907 and  housed on 815 West Madison Street was a classy theater for men and women alike to be entertained. The building was demolished in 1972 and we couldn’t find any pictures, so sad but very true. If you have any pictures out there let us know as we would love to see them!

In a 2,000 seat theater they were unable to rely on male customers on their own so the they definitely brought in female patrons as well in order to keep a healthy profit.  The space was owned by Hyde & Behman and in order to avoid a nitty gritty reputation they did place some restrictions on their performers as they were a burlesque house patronized by a huge majority of men.

Here are a couple of pics of performers who made an appearance at the Star & Garter:

Although during the era of the flapper girls the Star & Garter lost much of it’s luster and was labeled as being more conservative causing them to lose their appeal.  Then in 1922 burlesque shows were no longer performed at the Star & Garter.  The theater finally reached it’s demise in 1971 when it was demolished by Mid-City National Bank so that they could turn the building into a parking lot.  How unfortunate for such a historical place to fade away into concrete rubble. will be featuring some of the other burlesque theaters of the early 20th century in a future post or two so stay tuned!

*Jazz Age Chicago – Newman, Scott A. “Jazz Age Chicago — Copyright, Citations, and Hyperlinks” [], in Scott A. Newman, ed., Jazz Age Chicago []


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