Uptown Theatre

4816 N. Broadway,
Chicago, IL 60640

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Showing 251 - 275 of 458 comments

ERD on July 15, 2007 at 10:18 am

A magnificent theatre that should be restored. What a loss it will to future generations if this unique theatre is allowed to be destroyed.

upaava on May 3, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Jon, I mis-spoke. The Cinerama film I saw at the Palace was “Around The World In Eighty Days.” I realized my error after making the earlier post, but didn’t think it important enough to correct.

As we get older our memories begin to play some tricks on us. Now, I’m not absolutely certain that I didn’t see my Cineraama film at the McVickers; but the film I saw was “80 Days,” and my memory has the Palace as where I saw it.

Thanks for setting the record straight.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on May 3, 2007 at 1:44 pm

The movie palace that played How the West Was Won in Cinerama was the demolished McVickers. The actual Palace theater still exists and is now a functioning legitimate house. It was the original Chicago home of 3-projector Cinerama.

DonFoshey on May 1, 2007 at 4:37 am

Thanks for the info. I’ll look into the Broadway in Chicago tour.

upaava on April 30, 2007 at 4:31 pm

My son and I took the Oriental/Palace tour in 2005. I grew up in Chicago in the late 40’s through 50’s and often went to movies downtown. Prices were only around a dollar, and most included two full length films, a short, newsreel, and cartoon. The Oriental and Chicago theaters were especially awe inspiring from their elaborate decor.

My son grew up in the era of Multi-plex theaters, and I wanted him to glimpse the past in the tour. As we sat in the balcony of the Oriental listening to the tour guide, I found myself filling in a bit of past history for the visitors, so they could appreciate the differences between “then and now.” The tour ended with a visit to the Palace just down the street, where I had seen the Cinerama production of “How The West Was Won” years before. Most of the Palace was torn down and in disrepair, but you could still glimpse its earlier glory.

The price of the tour in 2005 was only $20., and as you can probably deduce from my earlier discussion, I highly recommend it.

Broan on April 30, 2007 at 12:32 pm

The Oriental, Palace, and Lasalle Bank have tours through Broadway in Chicago, and the Chicago has tours through its management. Regular tours of the Auditorium Theatre are also held through its management and through the Chicago Architecture Foundation. There is information on their respective websites. The Uptown is not open to the public.

DonFoshey on April 30, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Does any group offer Chicago theatre tours, esp. for the Uptown, Oriental and Chicago? I’m from Detroit and would gladly make a trip to the Windy City for such a tour.

balabanandkatz on April 20, 2007 at 9:23 am

actually, I wrote the Chicago Movie Palace book. Joe wrote the foreward

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 20, 2007 at 5:08 am

Is the Chicago Movie Palaces book you speak of Joe Ducibella’s project?

balabanandkatz on April 20, 2007 at 4:04 am

Actually the city charged the owners about 1.6 million dollars to stabilize the front of the building. The terra cotta pieces are inside carefully catalogued and stored awaiting the go ahead to be reapplied(if possible) when a restoration plan is approved. That cost has been added to the buildings indebitness and must be repaid.

BartHalleman on April 20, 2007 at 2:56 am

the uptown is on the same page with the six photos of all the Balaban brothers. In the copy of Variety after the index in the book.

I also have a copy of the new book Chicago Movie Palaces too.

mp775 on April 19, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Some of the terra cotta pieces were falling to the street a few years ago. The City of Chicago pitched in and removed pieces to repair and store them; they will be reinstalled. See posts above from around October 2005.

balabanandkatz on April 19, 2007 at 5:25 pm

just curious, where in the book, “Continuous performance” is the uptown theatre pictured?

BartHalleman on April 19, 2007 at 3:19 pm

I passed by the uptown theatre on Monday and saw some of the facade is removed from the top of the building. It does not look at all like the picture I have in my living room or the picture in the book “Continuous Performance”.

balabanandkatz on April 19, 2007 at 2:50 pm

i heard some positive news about the Uptown the other day. A very reliable source tells me that the financial problems which have kept the theatre from being reused are being cleared up by its current owner. The goal of the current owner is to attain a clear title for the property so that renovation of the property for theatre use can begin. email me for more info. Thanks

BartHalleman on April 9, 2007 at 9:18 pm

who knows what will happen with Paul? This site is about the Uptown. Agree.

Broan on April 2, 2007 at 5:37 pm

View link The aforementioned garage is visible in this picture.

GrandMogul on March 28, 2007 at 5:08 pm

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


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


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

mp775 on March 20, 2007 at 9:36 am

Geo, for a more recent peek inside the Uptown, watch the trailer for last year’s Uptown: Portrait of a PalaceView link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 20, 2007 at 9:26 am

I heard a rumor (take it as nothing more) that they had problems keeping the heat on this past winter. Obviously, that is not a good thing if true.

jukingeo on March 20, 2007 at 8:53 am

Hello All,

Rich—Yes, you are absolutely correct, The Uptown is physically larger than Radio City. Keep in mind though Radio City still does have a greater capacity. I have always been a lover of Radio City Music Hall, but after seeing the interior picture of the Uptown, I had to do a double take. The Uptown clearly can rival Radio City in sheer beauty alone once fully restored.

I really am anxious to see this building get restored. But it just seems like there are always road blocks and red tape encircling this building. There is a perverbial black cloud hanging over the Uptown.

I admit I have not been keeping up on current events with the Uptown. Last I heard they were doing some sort of stabalizing work and removed the beautiful parapet on the crest of the building. But I have not heard much about the restoration of the interior and how that is going. I hope it is moving along. The last interior pictures I saw were from 1990.

I KNOW TRUTH—Nice to see you around and still posting, I remember we were talking about another Chicago Theatre at about the time you were marauding Paul (supposedly he is working on a theatre in Youngstown now. I’m curious as to how that project is panning out). I know that you followed the Uptown closely, but I guess you haven’t heard anything new lately, huh?


BartHalleman on March 2, 2007 at 5:08 pm

so what happens next?

kencmcintyre on March 1, 2007 at 7:23 pm

No secret. The owners are listed on this lawsuit filed in 2005:

BartHalleman on February 25, 2007 at 8:02 am

my only question is who is this developer that is being kept so secret? And what type of venue would be at the Uptown??