Marbro Theatre

4110 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 226 - 250 of 265 comments

loisgraham
loisgraham on June 15, 2008 at 7:04 pm

There is, I believe, a nice coffee table book about the old USA Theatres. I recall see one breifly about 10 yrs. ago and maybe both Marbro and Paradise were in it in color, but I think it was only the Paradise. I’ll see if the book exists on eBay and get back tomorrow. I’ll bet a lot of us would like to own it. I bought one on Riverview AmusementPpark not long ago. Spent my girlhood there too!!Ahhh those days!

loisgraham
loisgraham on June 15, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Hah! It’s getting late! I am probably making typos too. I’m in Arizona now for 48 years. But I lived on the weat side of Chicago for all my girlhood. Went to Emmett Grammer school and Austin High. I owned and operated B-Trim beauty shop (at age 16 to 19 !!)near Laramie and Madison. I could walk to both theatres but probably took the Madison St.Bus. I wish I could walk in right now and you couls sell me a candy! Nice to meet you! Lois

DonnaShelley
DonnaShelley on June 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Oh, I can’t believe I misspelled MARBRO. Sorry. Must be Mad Cow.

DonnaShelley
DonnaShelley on June 15, 2008 at 6:46 pm

No problem. I just wish more people took pics of the theatres. I have seen the MARBORO’S sister theater in one of the above links, but nothing on the PARADISE. I’m happy that Styx picked the PARADISE to dedicate an album to. Somebody cared.
That neighborhood was home to me for 9 years and the most memorable of my youth. I lived on Kostner and West End, walking distance to both movie houses. Good times. Thanks, Donna

loisgraham
loisgraham on June 15, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Ihanks for refreshing the memories. I have never shaken the images of those blue lit alcoves from girlhood. They are like ingrained in my subsconcious!! Ha Ha.
You have helped me get focused on the two theatres. What was where. WHO can forget those bathrooms. OMG! I so appreciate your writing!! I also went to the Crawford and the Cicero. I lived in the Austin area. All the best. Lois

DonnaShelley
DonnaShelley on June 15, 2008 at 9:16 am

Here’s the whole answer.
Well, I remember the PARADISE having the Greco-Roman statuettes in alcoves on the walls. Lots of them. It looked like an art museum.
It was way more ornate than the MARBORO which had vast expanses of marble in a long and wide hall.
The PARADISE had a distinctive feature of little semi hidden ornate stairways and staircases that could be found winding up to individual balconies of various sizes where you could watch the movie from your own private alcove so to speak. Very cool and unusual. Never saw that feature in any other theater.
The MARBORO where I was candy girl/ticket taker in the early 60’s, had a large front with ticket booth. Then you would encounter a second set of doors
(con’t from before-page length cut me off)
second set of doors, right behind that in the middle was the candy counter. Moving on to the left were the doors to the movie seats. If you went farther back in that great marble rectanglular hallway were the stairs spiraling down to the lavatories.
The whole interior of the MARBORO was vast and marbled. Whereas the PARADISE was more closely nestled with ornate artifacts and statuettes. Much gilding as well. In todays terms these theaters were both GIGUNGUS in size.
It’s amazing they were only a few blocks from each other.
The MARBORO was close to the Martinique on the northwest corner west of it that served great Tummy Busters ice cream treats. Miss that.

DonnaShelley
DonnaShelley on June 15, 2008 at 9:15 am

(con’t from before-page length cut me off)
second set of doors, right behind that in the middle was the candy counter. Moving on to the left were the doors to the movie seats. If you went farther back in that great marble rectanglular hallway were the stairs spiraling down to the lavatories. The whole interior of the MARBORO was vast and marbled. Whereas the PARADISE was more closely nestled with ornate artifacts and statuettes. Much gilding as well. In todays terms these theaters were both GIGUNGUS in size.
It’s amazing they were only a few blocks from each other.
The MARBORO was close to the Martinique on the northwest corner west of it that served great Tummy Busters ice cream treats. Miss that.

loisgraham
loisgraham on June 15, 2008 at 5:01 am

Which theatre, the Marbro or the Paradise had the blue lit alcoves which had white statuary in them? (At the sides of the aisles and down front.) Impressed on my memory to this day!
Which theatre, The Marbro or the Paradise had the gilt framed oil paintings to your entering right hung on a wall close to where you entered into the darkened theatre ?
I attended in the 1940s-50s To me, a little girl living behind her dad’s Radio-TV store ( Air Wave 5227 W.Madison St.) the two theatres looked like I supposed Heaven looked. They are still in my dreams—if only I could walk in once again.I could have spent eternity there. Imagine how sad,—– kids of today can’t pay a quarter and walk into such opulance. We were the lucky ones.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on February 21, 2008 at 10:35 pm

What is on the spot now?

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on July 26, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Thank you for helping with that question.
I said that the MARKS BROTHERS were not the MARX BROTHERS but now i can can be right in the understandind and the spelling.

Thank you keep typing :)

MKuecker
MKuecker on July 25, 2007 at 11:05 am

No, The Marks Brothers were two men who had theatres all around the US. The Harpo, Grouch, Chico, Zeppo variety spelled it MARX.
The Marx Brothers, no doubtedly met the Marks brothers many times on the vaudevillian circuit. :)
CHI74, someone lead you down the garden path, so allow me to help you stop and smell the roses. :) Just help me pull the weeds would you? :)

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on July 23, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Just want to see if what i was told is right.

The name Marks Brothers who are listed as one of the chains, are they the Marks Brothers as in “ Harpo” Marks. i have herd that Chalie Chaplin was part of “Essannee” and i was told that is who the Marks in Marks Brothers are. is this right.

Thank You for your time.

MKuecker
MKuecker on June 26, 2007 at 12:28 pm

The Theatre Historical society is located in Elmhurst IL on York Rd, just South of Palmer. They are upstairs of the York Theatre. :)
The interior of the Marboro was much like The Granada Theatre. The Marboro was Granada’s red-haired twin sister once removed. I have interior shots of The Granada, but not The Marboro.

BartHalleman
BartHalleman on June 23, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Maybe theatre historical society may have interior shots of the Marbro. I think they are based in Elmhurst,il.

DianeS
DianeS on June 23, 2007 at 6:05 pm

For almost 36 years I have heard about the “Marlboro” Theater from my husband and his family. Found this site and realized the correct name is Marbro! This is the first time we have ever seen a picture of the theater. Nice to learn more of the theater’s history and people’s memories! Around 1963 my husband’s parents purchased several hundred sq. feet of tennesse red marble that came from the lobby of the Marbro. They and their 5 children spent a couple of weeks tearing up the marble. They still remember how much work/time was involved! It has been stacked and moved several times over the years. Some day we may find a use for it!
We also have a gargoyle from the lobby or maybe the balcony? We would love to hear from anyone that remembers the marble or the gargoyle(s?)…or knows of any pictures of the interior that would show the marble or the gargoyle.

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on March 28, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Famed “Schmeling-Louis” fight film shown at Marbro—–

NEWS ITEM:

Chicago Daily News, Friday, June 26, 1936, p. 36, c. 1—–

FIGHT FILMS OPEN AT B-K THEATERS

The Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight pictures, complete from beginning to end have been booked in as extra screen attractions at eight Balaban & Katz theaters starting today. In the loop the pictures will be shown at the Roosevelt and Apollo theaters; west side Marbro; south side, Tivoli and Southtown; north side, Granada, Varsity and Uptown. The pictures showing the knockdown in slow motion, also start at the Regal theater on the south side on Sunday

BartHalleman
BartHalleman on February 22, 2007 at 11:24 am

I think one of the Marks Brothers are entombed at Rosehill Cemetery.

GFeret
GFeret on January 24, 2007 at 5:55 am

Lucky I was but once to see a pic at MARBRO – BEN-HUR when it opened.(I even remember what film scene my Mother and I walked in on, reminded of that everytime I see this on TV or video). All the awesome-type theatre comments about the MARBRO above I’d say are 100% real—spectacular-looking balcony(s) & mezzanine. At the time I was an impressionable kid, comparing it to the downtown theatres in my mind, and MARBRO wins hands down. Unfortunately I don’t believe I ever went to the nearby PARADISE (saw it closed by that time), though I did visit the (also nearby) CRAWFORD a time or two.

Am guilty of occasionally calling it the MARLBORO in my youth (though I never smoked).

MKuecker
MKuecker on December 13, 2006 at 12:15 pm

corvetteguy1963,
You are correct. That used to be a McDonald’s Restaurant. The movie palace was replaced by something that claims to have killed over a billion cows to serve a nation’s indigestion. I had forgotten that it’s an insurance agency now. Today the site of the old movie palace is covering people’s personal “assets”

corvetteguy1963
corvetteguy1963 on December 13, 2006 at 8:59 am

I just drove down Madison today,and on this property now sits an insurance office ,that once looks to have been a McDonalds.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 19, 2006 at 3:56 am

Fierce competion from the Marbro was a major factor in the failure of the Paradise. During the opening week of Balaban & Katz’s Paradise in September, 1928, Marks Brothers' Marboro countered with a program that included one of America’s most beloved entertainers on stage:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/chimarbro.jpg

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 3, 2006 at 2:03 pm

The Garfieldian announced the appointment of Ed O'Donnell as Marbro manager in August 1940. Can you imagine any paper making that announcement today?

Emmet “Ed” O'Donnell was recently appointed manager of the Marbro theater. Mr. O'Donnell was born and raised on the west side and lives at 4810 Washington Blvd. He has had many years of experience in managing theaters, and was in charge of the McVickers theater when the first vitaphone movie was snown in Chicago in 1927.
Mr. O'Donnell started as an usher at the Central Park showhouse on Roosevelt road in 1919, was promoted to assistant manager, and then transferred to the Chicago theater as assistant manager.
He then managed the Oriental, McVickers and Roosevelt theaters downtown, and was manager of the Paradise theater when it opened in 1928, and again when it reopened in 1934.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 24, 2006 at 11:04 am

I wonder about the last words of the opening write-up. Don’t get me wrong. This place was a fabulous building. But I wonder if anyone living out in Garfield Park today remembers this place.

MKuecker
MKuecker on May 30, 2006 at 6:52 pm

The Marbro was actually the blond haired twin sister of The Grandada How I’d love to see interior pictures. :)

DonnaShelley
DonnaShelley on April 6, 2006 at 5:37 am

Ok, 1936, is the reason. I wasn’t born yet. Still very cool.