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I think the amusement tax is helpful for the city when it concerns ball games, rock concerts etc. They probably can’t exempt classic movie theaters because it is for profit as well as the movie theaters located in the city. That is why a first-run movie house costs more in the city vs.suburbs. I hope the crowds keep up the attendence.
SBGreig, I read the book and thanks for reccomendation. It opened my eyes! It seems the city was a fault for so many reasons. Not inforcing # of people living in small quarters (4 families living in a one flat with up to 5 names on mailboxes) Not fixing basic infrastructure streets etc, despite pleas from business owners to protect their property and much much more. It was a great read and for the first time I understand what happened to my “playground” even though the city had plenty to lose with sales tax decline.
ShawnS, sorry about your mom. Thanks for the photos of a time gone by. Your grandfather must have loved going to work in such an ornate building!
The Marbro had its share of out of control youths gone wild in the early 60’s which led B&K to think what to do. They talk about “flash gangs” today, well they had them back then too. The West Madison area became very unsafe and led people to flee in great numnbers.This great theater became a very unsafe place to watch a movie in the dark…….
Thanks SBGreig for the info. It is very nice to remember such wonderful memories where our family would visit together especially after a movie. I really did think the Marbro would outlive the Senate. I couldn’t believe when the Marbro was closed for good and the Senate was still operating!
IT LISTENS GOOD!! It was a working middle class neighborhood hence all the movie theaters for the masses. People started selling in 1955 and shopping in the burbs where parking was aplenty and free. I am looking forward to the book. The city bought homes and demolished them for parking near the Paradise & Marbro theatres. A last ditch attempt which failed.
Thanks Bill. It must have been something to see at the Capitol. Going to see a major motion picture in a one screen palace really made the whole experience something special!!
Thanks for the name of the book. I will look for it right away. Hard to imagine it started in the 20’s because it was so wonderful in the early 50’s. But of course I was young and didn’t think or cared about the bigger picture….
Has anyone seen any progress yet? I would think major things are happining at this point to be ready for a 2014 opening.
The Patio also looked great Sat night. Another large crowd and the stars were twinkling and the clouds were a drifting. Everybody applauded when the picture was over. The marquee needs some work.
The best of luck Patio Theatre on this day of re-opening! A rare day indeed when a Chicago movie gem re-opens! Bravo..
Tinseltoes, you are 100% right about the photo of the wall decoration. Also right about reading a book backwards! “You are right on the money”.
I was in Ny last week and once again we flew over the remains of the Keiths. It looked grim. But I thought of all the beauty inside from all of your pictures just waiting to be brought back to life.
Your dad was correct. Michael Todd had the system. Also correct people were vomiting in the aisles. Being an usher there sure meant being challenged I would say.
I believe this probably is a form of sennsuround that some of the theaters installed back in the 70’s. I saw “Earthquake” at the Nortown Theatre in Chicago back then and they installed big boom boxes at the sides of the theater when the earth moved, so did the theater. Back in the 60’s, In remember the fad of smellavision.
This was installed in a downtown theater and the seats were wired with sensors to release smells when called for in the movie. Must have been a flop because it never went anywhere.
Abe Balaban from the company of Balaban & Katz was asked what he thought movie theaters would be like in the future. He said I believe there will be huge screens and thousands of seats and all the theaters would be connected to a main giant concession booth. And this was during the time they were building their palaces in Chicago! Of course no one could imagine the impact of television on the industry!
Very unfortuante the people I went with told me all about the “relics from the past” and I was very interested seeing them. The restaurant had a sale a few months ago and sold most everything.
They kept the fountain in the lobby from Italy which is beautiful and the dining room from France for private parties which I loved. Everything else was sold. The owners want to appeal to a younger more “hip” crowd I was told. I was sad to see that but the food was outstanding and the young Prom crowd seemed very happy to be there. I thought the downtown looked very sad with all the vacant buildings and “For Sale” or “For Rent” signs. It must have been quite a city in is day. But all the river towns in Ill. have the same fate. It is really no different than Joliet or Aurora. But unlike the other two, they still have three theaters standing even though two are shuttered.. Maybe there will be a boom again in the future and the crowds will once again appear. I was impressed with the Midway. I will have to visit the site.
Scott, I went to Rockford this week-end to see Circus Solei at the Metro Center. The Coronado marquee was all lit up in the afternoon. As we were leaving we passed the still closed TIMES Theatre and I saw the closed Midway. Name still on marquee and the attraction boards covered up. It had a very regal facade. Can you tell me something of the interior? Went thru Love’s Park and we had dinner at the Breakers on the Rock River. It was wonderful. The city looks tragic!
I wondered if he ever imagined what the cinema would become in 2011 or for that matter 1970 which became the dawn of the shoebox mulitplex!
I am afraid we may have to wait. I understand the city is making quite a few demands one being new doors with push bar openers due to the E2 night club diaster in Chicago a few years back. There is also many other problems. I hope they can overcome these. It would be a shame if after all the renovations they are not allowed to open and let us see the beauty again. I am amazed how the city and cook county for that matter has the highest taxes in the country. One only has to pass any gas station in the city to see the high price compared to lake or dupage county. I cannot understand how the residents allow this year after year…..and then there is the conditions of the pavements of the streets.
Did the Capitol or any theater other than Radio City or the Roxy have a chorus line on the payroll?
I do not believe VV was 65 or 70MM. I considered it more a 35mm stretched. I saw many films in VV in the theater presentations in the 50’s and they were never the same size as a cinemascope release!
Thanks for the link Tinseltoes. I remember the incident but forgot the details. I remember the courtroom scene with Lana who was playing “Lana” as if in one of her films.
Thanks so much for the link. Enjoyed reading. I lived around the corner from the B&K Paradise in Chicago. The theater installed a taller screen, not cinemascope size to present VistaVision films I believe in the 1950’s. The Marbro theater around the corner got a huge Cinemascope treatment with “The Robe” and was the talk of the neighborhood. It didn’t make much difference for the Paradise was closed and razed in 1956, much to my distain!
Thanks for the information about VistaVision. I often wonder why in some theaters I would watch “White Christmas” in wide screen and other theaters it seemed smaller. Did it depend if the theater had the right projector? Could it be the same movie was filmed in different formats at the same time?