Walking into the Brown Elephant in Andersonville, you know it’s something special. The massive space holds endless finds, standing tall with cavernous ceilings and spacious rooms.
The Brown Elephant, a local thrift chain in Chicago, has three locations throughout the city, but their Andersonville location draws a crowd. Located in an old theater, the space feels welcoming with people milling around– it’s not hard to picture the area, once known as the Calo Theater, as a gathering place for live theater back in the day.
Initially built in 1915, The Calo theater hosted live performances and was known around town as a movie theater. Part of larger the Ascher Brothers circuit, the theater once held seating for over 880 people and also included storefronts and over 30 offices.
Now, the thrift shop sits in the gorgeous Spanish Baroque Revival building. It’s worth a trip if you’re in another part of the city, as it’s practically impossible to leave the store empty-handed.
All proceeds from The Brown Elephant support LGBTQ+ healthcare and help to fund care for the uninsured and under-insured at Howard Brown Health.
Address: 5404 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640