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This is the De Luxe in Uptown. You failed to read the caption.
If you had linked the page you got this from, you would see this is the auditorium of the Deluxe theater.
If you had linked the page you got this from, you would see this is the foyer of the Deluxe theater.
Margaret Illington was a popular stage actress who took her odd stage name from her hometown of Bloomington, Illinois.
November 29, 1919 Motion Picture News
This theater was initially built for Edward Kounovsky at a cost of $91,000. Before opening, it was to be known as the Fairfield. Kounovsky had built the nearby Douglas in 1910.
The Douglas was built in 1910 by Edward Kounovsky, who later opened the nearby Parkway. It was sold to Brunhild & Young in 1923.
Motion Picture News, July 11, 1911
The mansard front has been removed, and there is a sign in the window saying “Coming Soon: Community Center and Theater”
They’ve gone to recliners now and cut down to 24 screens. Many of the auditoriums only seat 30 now.
On 8/4/16 Variety reported that the Germania had opened July 29, 1916, calling the house “one of the prettiest in Chicago”.
On 9/21/17 the Chicago Tribune reported that Lubliner & Trinz were negotiating to lease the theater, this must have fallen through.
It was renamed by May, 1918 due to WWI anti-German sentiment.
Erected by Edward I. Bloom. Initially booked by Ascher Bros. The Jackson Park gained a reputation for music starting in 1918, when Leo B. Salkin replaced W.P. Clement as manager (Clement went on to build the Stratford). (Moving Picture World, April 17, 1920). Starting in 1922, Salkin also managed the Kenwood. Renovated in 1936 (pictured above). Bloom would later build the Shore theater.
Mortgage bonds were listed for sale in the August 15, 1915 Tribune. This had opened by Jan 30, 1916. This is listed as a Lubliner & Trinz theatre in the May 27, 1916 issue of Motography, their fourth after the Vitagraph, Biograph, and Paramount. By the next year, L&T had dropped it. It had probably been put out of business by the Jackson Park Theatre. October 2, 1920’s Motion Picture News noted that it had been a dance hall for some time, but was being reopened as a theater by manager L.B. Salkin of the nearby Jackson Park Theatre – it’s unclear if it did. It was reported sold in the Feb 28, 1923 Tribune, and noted as “vacant some time”, with the plan to remodel into shops. August 22, 1925’s Moving Picture World reported that the theater had been sold the previous week and was to open the next month, as a dance hall, Tangerine Grove. Subsequently it became the South Shore Athletic Club and possibly the previously mentioned mini-golf. January 19, 1932’s Tribune reported that three former stores, remodeled some time ago from the theater, were to be converted into the “Park-N-Stop Food Market”, followed by the previously mentioned Hollywood Bowl. It had reopened by September, 1950.
It appears that the blocks that the Stony and Jackson Park sat on were demolished to make way for the extension of Cornell Drive, widening Stony Island to 8 lanes between 67th & 69th.
The Biograph opened September 5, 1914.
Motion Picture News gave the architect as S. Milton Eichberg.
The description is incorrect. The Vitagraph was leased by Lubliner & Trinz from the start. It opened September 12, 1914 with the Vitagraph feature “My Official Wife”, one week after L&T opened the Biograph with the same feature.
And in May 1914, Alfred Hamburger and Lubliner & Trinz competed for the lease, with L&T winning. Pictures started showing July 1 for 15 and 25 cents.
Lubliner & Trinz did not win the next year, with the Strand Theater company taking over for the summer season. Although it was named and patterned after New York’s pioneering Strand, the Chicago company was unrelated. Motography noted, “The men behind the Strand Theater Company, strange to say, are almost without experience in the film world. E. C. Devine, the president, having for years been engaged in the automobile business on Michigan avenue, Chicago; J. S. Inderrieden, the vice-president, being a wealthy commission man with offices in the commission district on River street, and A. J. Pardridge, the treasurer, being one of Chicago’s best known real estate dealers and heavily interested in one of the city’s largest department stores.”
Devine and Pardridge took the lead, hiring a manager, E. Q. Cordner, with a long experience in New York theatre, and designer Earl H. Reid. The addition of an elaborate stage setting with a 25 piece orchestra brought the first public deluxe theater experience to Chicago (showing Paramount exclusively), over 2 years before the purpose-built Central Park. Prices ranged from 10-50 cents for evenings, and Orchestra Hall did much to make motion pictures respectable to a higher-class audience in Chicago. Following this successful summer, the Strand company moved to its own theater, the former panorama building.
Summer 1916 brought new management by Wessels and Voegli (orchestra managers), showing VLSE pictures in their new “cinema-concert” format, with real accompaniment to the pictures onscreen, including film of orchestra conductor Arthur Dunham. The projection booth was located in a box seat. Manager was H.W. Hill. Seating capacity was 2577 at the time. It was declared a “picture palace” in Motion Picture News.
For summer 1918, the theater was leased to show Paramount/Artcraft pictures. A new curved screen was installed to remove distortion, with a visiting D.W. Griffith declaring it the best projection he had seen. This arrangement continued through the 1920 season. First National pictures took over in 1921, returning to Paramount in August. It was closed for the 1922 season, as Paramount made a deal with the Jones, Linick, and Schaefer circuit.
In May 1923, Martin Henoch of the Stratford Theater leased Orchestra Hall for the summer, opening with “Safety Last”. The same film played for eighteen weeks straight – 1,260 shows and 300,000 patrons.
In 1924, Lubliner & Trinz took over summer management. In 1926, they started a revival policy, showing ‘old’ movies from years past. After a bad 1927 season, the Hall only opened briefly in 1928. With the coming of talkies, Orchestra Hall was no longer appropriate.
Movies returned in Summer 1933 to capitalize on the nearby Century of Progress, leased by Aaron Jones, reviving Jones, Linick, and Schaefer along with the Woods, State-Lake, Randolph, and Rialto. This run for the duration of the World’s Fair would be the last regular exhibition run at Orchestra Hall until August 1942, showing “No Greater Sin”.
Before Barbee, Ascher Brothers had intended to build a 3000 seat theater in the building June 1918, which would have been the first very large purpose-built movie theater in the Loop. This obviously fell through.
Movies at Orchestra Hall may have started in August 1912, with the second convention of the Motion Picture Exhibitors' League of America. In addition to films, the convention also showed motion pictures of the exhibitors taken earlier that afternoon at the Selig plant. The exhibition also rotated projectors, so a comparison could be made of the capabilities of different projectors. Accompaniment was not by symphony, but a Wurlitzer Orchestrion.
This must have been one of the first deluxe exhibitions in Chicago.