New Regal hosts election festivities
CHICAGO, IL — Many Chicagoans were privileged to watch candidate Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on the big screen of the New Regal Theatre, 1645 E. 79th St. It was like being there, surrounded with excited voters who cheered each point of policy.
Therefore, we are pleased to share the following listing. An election night celebration is set to begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, at the New Regal. Tickets are $20. For more info, please view the theatre’s website.
This community-minded use harkens back to the early closed-circuit broadcasts of big prize fights and other important events in our nation’s biggest theatres and ballrooms. Chicago’s Uptown and Rainbo Gardens certainly saw this use in the past.
Background on the New Regal from the Uptwon Adviser archive, www.uptowntheatre.com:
Native Chicagoans recall the new Regal was originally the Avalon Theatre, a fantastic 1927 atmospheric design from architect John Eberson. Restored in 1985 in a project sponsored by Ed and Bettian Gardner, of Softsheen Products and backed in part by the City of
Chicago, the New Regal is perhaps the best restoration of a movie palace in Chicago.
It was renamed to capture the spirit of the lost Regal Theatre, 47th
Street and South Parkway (now MLK). The original Regal was sited in the second expansion of the Black Metropolis business district in Chicago’s Bronzeville. It was a movie palace built for African American audiences and was venue to many important musicians in the decades before its 1973 demolition.
[Editor’s note: The acceptance speech crowd required only the floor
seating. Altogether, the New Regal currently seats 2,200. The UPTOWN originally seated 4,381.]