The Morse Theater operated in the East Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago from 1912 until 1930. Since then, it has operated as the Co-Ed Theater, a synagogue, a cobbler, a jazz club, and most recently in 2010, it reopened as the Mayne Stage.
Located at 1328 W. Morse Ave. in Chicago, the Morse Theater opened in 1912 as a 600 seat nickelodeon and vaudeville house. From 1930-1954 it operated as the Co-Ed Theater, a reference to its proximity to Loyola University. Starting in 1955 the building was used as a synagogue for the Congregation Beth Israel Anshe Yanova. In 1977 the building came under ownership of the Geroulis family and housed their business, Cobblers Mall. The shoe repair shop moved to a smaller location on the same block in 2004.
In 2008 the theater underwent a 6 million dollar renovation to become a jazz club featuring cabaret style seating and a high end audio system, once again operating as the Morse. That same year, the newly-renovated Morse was damaged in what officials suspected to be arson motivated by anti-gentrification sentiments. The Morse Theater suffered its next setback when the building owners entered into a dispute with its operators in 2009. It closed when efforts to resolve this dispute failed.
The theater reopened under new management in 2010 as the Mayne Stage, a theater focused on live music and comedy. The new name was a reference to the location of the theatre, on the intersection of Morse Ave and Wayne Ave. The Mayne Stage was viewed as a potential sign of renewal in what had been an economically challenged neighborhood. After six years, owner Jennifer Pritzker and management company Tawani Enterprises closed the Mayne Stage as a public venue for concerts. It currently operates as a site for private events.
- Reich, Howard (February 24, 2008). "Bringing jazz to Rogers Park: Will people follow?". Chicago Tribune.
- Woodard, Benjamin (December 18, 2014). "Throwback Thursday: Rogers Park's Morse Avenue Revealed in Old Photos". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2017-03-27.
- Packer, Rober (2007). Images of America: Chicago's Forgotten Synagogues. https://books.google.com/books?id=3Nk6rBDidnUC&lpg=PT23&ots=fCS5U1nJ8J&dq=coed%20theater%20morse%20ave%20chicago&pg=PT23#v=onepage&q=morse&f=false: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738551524.
- Woodward, Benjamin (October 21, 2014). "93-Year-Old Morse Avenue Shoe Repair Shop Closes After Owner Falls Ill". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2017-03-27.
- Long, Jeff "Arson suspected in Rogers Park theater fire" Chicago Tribune 11 August 2008: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-08-11/news/0808100305_1_arson-suspected-world-music-festival
- Reich, Howard "Morse Theatre operators, owners strike deal to remain open" 11 March 2009 Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-03-11/entertainment/0903110082_1_operation-theater-first-class
- Reich, Howard "The Mayne Stage picks up where the Morse Theatre left off" 27 June 2010 Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-06-27/entertainment/ct-ae-0627-mayne-stage-20100627_1_morse-theatre-mayne-stage-empire-room
- Reich, Howard "Coming soon: A renamed, revived Morse Theatre" Chicago Tribune 4 January 2010: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-01-04/entertainment/1001030172_1_movie-theater-silent-city-hall
- Rice, Linze "Mayne Stage Ditches Live Music, Will Host Weddings, Private Parties Instead." DNA Info 4 April 2016:
- Sudo, Chuck "Rogers Park Theater Mayne Stage To Stop Hosting Shows." BISNOW 5 April 2016: https://www.bisnow.com/chicago/news/commercial-real-estate/jennifer-pritzker-closing-mayne-stage-to-public-58327