Visit the Uptown Theatre in Chicago This Saturday!

posted by CRCC on August 18, 2005 at 6:06 am

CHICAGO, IL — Don’t forget! Uptown neighbors and fans of the Uptown entertainment district are encouraged to help make history by posing for a classic photograph in front of the neighborhood’s namesake historic theater at noon Saturday, Aug. 20, at Broadway and Lawrence.

Marc Smith, internationally acclaimed poet and creator of the Uptown Poetry Slam at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, will emcee the event. Actors from the Quest Theatre Ensemble and the Annoyance Theatre Company are scheduled to entertain passersby on the street.

The free, rain-or-shine “Uptown Community Portrait 2005” event celebrates the community and the 80th anniversary of the historic Uptown Theatre, 4816 N. Broadway. The theater has been closed since 1981 and is in serious need of significant private investment for it to be renovated as an entertainment venue.

The goal of the “Uptown Community Portrait 2005” is to create a high-quality color photograph of the event, duplicating historical views of the theater’s opening day in 1925 and the “Uptown Community Portrait 2000.” More than 300 neighbors and fans turned out for the event in 2000. Sponsored by the Uptown Chicago Commission, the Uptown Community Development Corporation, Friends of the Uptown, and Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads, the 2005 community portrait will be used in publications and advertisements to represent the people and buildings of the now-ascendant district. Noted Chicago architectural photographer Bob Nick will capture the picture from a perch on a scaffold across the street from the theater.

A similar photo was taken on opening day in August 1925, when crowds waited in lines around the block for the Uptown Theatre’s first presentations, which included the silent film “The Lady Who Lied.” Likewise, enthusiasm for the neighborhood and the theatre was captured in the “Uptown Community Portrait 2000.” Prints of the 1925 and 2000 photographs are available for ordering. Prints of the “Uptown Community Portrait 2005” will be available for purchase and delivered by mail soon after the event.

Historical, 1925 vintage views of the interior and exterior of the Uptown Theatre are available from Theatre Historical Society of America, Elmhurst, Ill. Call (630) 782-1800, or view the Web site, www.historictheatres.org to learn more about this organization, archive and museum.

For more information about the “Uptown Community Portrait 2005,” please send an email to Friends of the Uptown via , call (773) 250-7665, or visit our website.

Comments (3)

mwspenge
mwspenge on August 19, 2005 at 12:25 pm

I played the organ at mid-night in the Uptown, in summer of 1976. Great house. I hope it can be saved!

uptownadviser
uptownadviser on August 19, 2005 at 12:39 pm

Hmmm. The organ was removed and sold in 1961. While the console survives and has been restored, the rest of the parts have been scattered to the four winds.

Do you, perhaps, think you played the GRANADA, to the north in Rogers Park on Sheridan Road in 1976? Or, were you playing a plug-in or Hammond B-3 at the UPTOWN during some rock show?

mwspenge
mwspenge on August 19, 2005 at 1:10 pm

Now I am not sure, I was only 17 and could it have been a theatre in Hinsdale? Seems it was Barton. Too many years have gone by. Thanks for the correction.

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