Biograph Theater in Chicago

posted by CSWalczak on June 22, 2006 at 6:03 am

CHICAGO, IL — According to this report in the Chicago Tribune, the original marquee of the Biograph Theater has been discovered concealed underneath the existing marquee as apart of the theater’s conversion into a venue for live theater.

It is one of the most notorious marquees in the world, a sheet-metal backdrop to the slaying of Chicago’s Public Enemy No. 1 during an era that put the city on the map as a haven for gang crime.

Upon leaving Chicago’s Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934, bank robber John Dillinger attempted one last escape from the feds after the infamous “lady in red” tipped them off. He was gunned down as he tried to slip through a nearby alley.

On Wednesday, historians attempted to unseal the marquee of the Biograph Theater, which has been encased in what appears to be two marquees at the same location for more than a half century, they say. The marquee is being replaced as part of a $11.3 million renovation by Victory Gardens Theater, which acquired the shuttered Biograph two years ago.

Theaters in this post

Comments (8)

Broan on June 22, 2006 at 10:21 am

They just finished removing the old marquee moments ago. One of the last lights to shine on Dillinger now sits in a dumpster. No word on whether they found the old marquee or not… in a sad note, the three penny across the street has been closed by the city as of 6-20. I would guess it’s a licensing issue. Their website says the closing is temporary.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 22, 2006 at 9:08 pm


“Closed for Renovation”

Famous last words.

Broan on June 23, 2006 at 1:21 am

Well, it’s not like they voluntarily closed.

dfc on June 25, 2006 at 10:31 am

They trashed the old marquee??

Broan on June 25, 2006 at 10:43 am

No. Just the canopy (or underside). As I understand it, the sides and front were hauled off to White Way’s yard for inspection.

Menutia on June 25, 2006 at 6:28 pm

So it can sit next to the “Chicago”.


mp775 on June 26, 2006 at 1:26 am

According to the article, the marquee will be restored and reinstalled. “Victory Gardens” will replace the “Essaness” script.

Broan on June 26, 2006 at 10:48 am

This article indicates that the marquee may be be added to the chicago history museum; therefore it will be a full replica installed.

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