Chicago Tribune on October 30, 2018 announced 16th Street’s new permanent home with the headline 16TH STREET THEATER, THE PRIDE OF BERWYN, HAS A NEW HOME
“Come March, Berwyn’s much-loved 16th Street Theater will no longer have an address on the leafy suburban street from which it took its name. It’s moving west to spiffier new digs on Harlem Avenue. So a couple of decades after the end of Harlem Avenue’s Candlelight Dinner Playhouse (which was located in nearby Summit), drivers on that busy southwest suburban artery will once again be able to see a marquee advertising live, professional, Chicago-style theater, albeit on a smaller scale.
… The new theater will be built inside the vast open space inside the rehabbed VFW building, which was first constructed in 1959, has subsequently seen its share of weddings and banquets and soon will be given new life. Filmer says she expects the end result to look like the current Richard Christiansen Theatre, which the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago built on its second floor. And since the VFW building has a lot more space in general — not to mention a kitchen, storage rooms and two different bars — it will now be possible to add more post-show programing and cabaret-style performance. And there is a huge parking lot to boot.
… On the afternoon of Dec. 1, 16th Street and the North Berwyn Park District plan to have an open house and let its audience take a look around the new space, surely one of the very few theaters in America inside a VFW hall. (It is serendipitous, given the new location, that 16th Street just is finishing what it is calling a “Season of Heroes.”)
The theater on the inside won’t yet be finished. But there will be live music from a band that includes a playwright, Brett Neveu. And what Filmer describes as “an old-school, wrap-around bar” will be open. The people of Berwyn have a new theater to toast.” — Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune