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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?
Scott, if you do come up I’ll meet you there. In person it is very impressive! I have heard from friends they were disappointed with the auditoriums not really looking like a movie palace. I suppose they thought the exterior was so ornate and colorful that the theaters inside would also be. Well there is a little decoration and the seats are plush. All the money was spent on the facade and the signage and the stunning lobby. I remind them this IS 2011! The era of over the top decorations and cupids and floating clouds are all long gone. But this theater gives you the flavor of that time.
Of course I meant “grand” by todays standards. Many of the movie palaces were also made of fake marble and imitation materials that looked real. I give Muvico A+ for trying to give future customers what it was like to attend a Loew’s State, Paramount, Fox or a RKO and many other names that graced our landscape from coast to coast. Someone in that company loves the glory of the movie palaces and I think they should be commended for doing so.
Scott, that is exactly what I meant. I didn’t even think about it until I read it in this post. We will never see the likes or anything comimg close to our Paradise or Marbro. For what I see around the country that are passing for movie complexes, this was a very bold & beautiful design and I commend Muvico. Their theaters in Florida are also very very nice but without the big marquee and vertical. This must be a new direction the company is taking. They have a Paradise, Palace and Parisian all with the themes throughout the theater. Impressive lobbys, marble floors and chandeliers, plush carpets and plenty of gilt-everything we love!
For those who remember the Marbro, click on Muvico Rosemont and read the posts. Be sure and click on the pix’s post to see some beautiful shots. I agree with someone who thinks the design of the facade had our Paradise influence. This is a beautiful and colorful addition to our Chicago movie scene and gives one a feeling how our beloved Marbro looked at night on Madison St. so many years ago.
If you think they are not building them grand anymore, click on Muvico Rosement. It is located near O'hare in Chicago. Be sure and read and cleck on the pix’s. This is a grand showplace in every sense. When they were building this theater and I was watching as I was driving by, I thought I was dreaming! A vertical being put up above a massive marquee with all the fancy bulb work. I agree with someones post that the large facade was inspired from our Paradise Theater here in Chicago. You will see a night shot and I must tell you it is BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL! A movie palace lovers dream come true!
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!