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Well Block 37 fell through in downtown Chicago as well as the Northbrook, Il. in the northern burb. Bank Of America took the property back (Block 37) after the developer went bust. There was also to be a Loews Hotel. The property remains mostly empty and unfinished. Northbrook was also against the theater because of the nearby AMC and the people felt too much traffic and noise. Too bad. The design would have been something. I agree with the thought the Parardise was the inspiration for the design, You can see the bright lights over a mile down the tollway. It reminds me of the Marbro Theater on the west side of Chicago with the brightness of the marquee!
I remember going to the Marbro during Easter week along with hundreds of others to be inspired by the latest biblical epic on the great screen. In many ways it was like going to a church with a quiet respect among the many.
I saw “Gone With The Wind” 30 years ago in Chicago in wide screen. It was something to see. Would have enjoyed it better at Loew’s State but was never in the theater. After Ted Turner completely restored the film it went back to 35mm and beautiful color. I think the 70mm format was unavailable from then on. I was in the Paramount down the street as they were demolishing it. I just walked in as the workers were on a lunch break. What a shame that was to let go! But I was in Ny as Loews opened their new E-Walk theater on 42nd St. It was very nice with a flavor of a Times Sq. movie house. Beautiful vertical sign that changed colors as it spelled out L-O-E-W-S. Across the street soon came the AMC which added too many screens to the area. AMC bought Loews and the Loews became Regal. Did they save that beautiful vertical and re-letter it with Regal? Hope so. It was a beauty!
I hope you have a good life insurance policy. At least I hope your camera is insured especially climbing down fire escapes!!
I would be on the lookout for rats if I were you. I bet they are really large and mean!
So sad to see these latest photos. The Jewel is fading fast…..
Ed, I didn’t realize the Amsterdam was closed for 12 years.I was a tourist and wanted to see the theater and the manager let me walk around. A Jane Fonda movie was showing. The theater pales to the beauty of the Keith’s. Dark wood everywhere except the lobby. I was also a tourist when the demo crew were taking apart the Times Sq. Paramount in the late 60’s. Now that was a major crime and should have never happened. It only got worse when the Loew’s State came down years later.
Wonderful photo Matt…I had no idea the theater was in such good shape considering it has been closed for so long. The New Amsterdam was used as a 2nd rate movie theater until it was bought by Disney and restored. But it was never left to the weather and empty for 1 day and the Keith’s looks as in good shape considering. It should never be used as a movie theater, those days are gone, but for live performances as it was designed to do.
And here they have not. One palm greases the other… Its the “Chicago Way”. And if one does not believe it, just ride down one of the streets and take a gander. Our west side had tons of movie houses, not ONE today. Despair everywhere. Everybody wants their cut. Laws have never been enforced here. Every time a new police supt. is appointed it is the same old thing. Now that warm weather is approaching, the drive-by shootings are increasing and innocent children are being caught in the middle. It happens almost every night. At least NY has a vision and I applaud them.
SWC,you paint a pretty grim picture of the area. I guess it all comes to money and who will invest theirs or someone elses. I sense you know what you are talking about from your writings and photos. I don’t think subsidized housing is the way to go for the Keith’s, but it might unless things in this country change in real estate. I find it hard to believe tennants walking by the glass enclosed lobby will be fascinated time after time of the beauty of Thomas Lamb’s design!
Bravo for NY!! Which leads me to think Chicago lacked in many ways. When the real estate hustlers on the west side in the 1950’s were working on overdrive to convince people to sell and avoid living in a slum, their predictions came true. The area never recovered and from what I can see, there is very little hope. Where are the aldermen, mayor, city council members all these years? Talk about safety, it is the opposite of NY. Here the area is over 60 years since it slid down and nothing has changed. NY should be applauded for thinking ahead and at least trying with a new vision while preserving the past.
I didn’t realize the Brookyln Paramount was stilled owned and used by the college. I agree with Scott. It is a real gem and would be thrilling to see it once again returned to all of her glory!
The brass plaque of Marcus Loew is in the upper lobby of Loews Lincoln Square theater in Ny upper west side. All their auditoriums are named after famous Loews theaters in NY. Of course now its called AMC Loews Lincoln Square. At least AMC had the guts to keep the Loews name. Scott, you are right Joe’s love was the Paradise and would have loved to usher there but was too young. I never saw him at the Marbro either. I moved in 1960. The Brookyln Paramount was in excellent shape ten years ago when I visited. Alot better than the King’s and would not take much to bring it back to life. But I doubt if anyone would want too with the Loew’s Kings being in the news so much and with all the talk of a new life.
Wonder if light rail would help the area with all the commuters running around. It would add to the charm of the Keith’s wouldn’t it?
On the other hand, if they can’t agree what to do with the Keith’s and start going, laying tracks in the middle of the street would really be a pipe dream (pun intended).
I am really amazed how NY Loews wonder theaters are all still standing and all with a bright future it seems. In Chicago this is not the case. Our beautiful and if not more stunning than Ny’s movie palaces are long gone and never had a chance. Our West Side was just as beautiful as any in NY: the Bronx, Brookyln etc. Why did these neighborhoods not slide down as ours did? It has to be the powers in charge. Why did the west side and south side home to many movie palaces turn into such slums? I would love to have some answers!
Excellent point about Stallone Scott. I’m still laughing!! I figured Joe Ducibella must have started as an usher at the Marbro in 1961 since he turned 16 at that time. I don’t think B&K hired under that age. I am still wondering if they will call the Kings Loews’s Kings or just The Kings. The Paradise in the Bronx is called The Paradise in ads, but Loew’s Paradise is still on the sign above the front entrance.
I don’t ever remember a female usher at any B&K theater in Chicago. Mostly always at the candy counters and ticket booths so probably the story is true about Barbra Streisand. I wonder if Sly Stone as well as Neil Diamond is true about them being ushers at the Kings. Maybe Babs has a soft spot in her heart to do a beneifit there. That would indeed be something!!!!!
Great pic’s! I am amazed that the Keith' was still using the block lettering on the marquee that was the standard for movie theaters in the 20’s & 30’s. Here in Chicago, all of our theaters were switched to white milk glass and black or red plastic lettering hung on them. The grandaddy of them all being our famous Chicago Theater marquee which was just taken down two years ago and replaced with the same glorious design and size bulb for bulb. Time had taken its toll on the wiring. They did a beautiful restoration. The vertical was done four years using the same design and size. Breathtaking at night!!
All the owner needs is a price from the Ace group or whoever is in charge and the organ would be headed back to Flatbush…All crated up and roar'n to go!
Another shell game or did they call it pea game in its day when people would set up stands near theaters maybe RKO Keith’s and try to wow the public and their pocket books while thousands were in line to buy a ticket for a movie/stage show.. Nothing is really new. The shell games get bigger, and the egos of some even bigger!
SWC, you are the greatest. Also love your photography….
Ziegfeld Man, you sure come up with cool videos. As far as “hope” is concered, I bet you won’t hear “hope” & “change” anyhwhere to be found in the presidental election of 2012!
Thank you for the video. I will attend opening night in 2014. Have you been to any show at the Loew’s Paradise? What did you think? When I mentioned I was at Rev Ike’s 20 years ago, I meant to say only one time. I was snooping around the looby when a patron said I should come during services, everybody welcome. Well I did, but I must confess during the service I kept an imaginary silver screen showing a hollywood movie in my mind!
What is holding up the re-opening of this beautiful gem? I am eager to pay my admission at the box office. I recently paid a visit to the Music Box on a matinee during the week and was surprised to pay $8.25 senior. I thought that was high. The ticket agent said the city tax is to blame. Is that true?