Showing 251 - 275 of 287 comments
A few weekends ago PORTAGE ran, and I saw, a 2-part Italian made biopic “KAROL: THE POPE, THE MAN”. An excellent film, by the way (starring one Peter Adamczyk with the right smile, flair, sensitivity). And I can say unquestionably here’s a super-rare instance where a favorite big-city neighborhood theatre, formerly multiplexed, has been restored in every important way to its' original theatrical condition (though with modern sound of course). Done without well-publicized fanfare, too. I intend to support it. Maybe the LaSalle Bank 16mm screening room, now a ½ blk away, would consider an arrangement to use these digs. It could be done by smart people.
Bryan: the silent movies @GR were projected continuously, I seem to recall, by some (antiquated, even then probably) endless-loop 8mm system. (You don’t remember the X-rated outdoor movies?) And I remember the Jo-Jo’s too, if only because they served a favorite of mine dish called THE SANTIAGO SKILLET. But what was the name Jo-Jo’s restaurants changed into after a few years…or was it the other way around? (How’s that for WAY off-topic!!)
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).
The ROCKNE to me had a more respectable reputation than other neighborhood theatres it seems; saw SOUND OF MUSIC there first, later THE GRADUATE. I say this knowing it went the adult route later on. It was the theatre one took the Division St bus to the end-of-the-line to.
If the BYRD was open that late, and I agree it could, the name would actually have been the RENO. I also was there sometime then (saw RETURN OF THE FLY).
Yes HARLEM OUTDOOR ran X-rated movies (mid-late ‘70s?) as I remember you could plainly see them from certain points on Harlem Ave! Now there’s an attraction the newest version of the HIP mall can no longer lay claim to. The GROUND ROUND Restaurant right there was a
favorite of mine.
The ARMITAGE Theatre auditorium (exterior) today is very readily identifiable, if one but looks from the DRAKE Ave side there.
This was a favorite childhood haunt of mine, and I recall the Sat. matinee kiddie contests mentioned above. The kind of place one went to for Jerry Lewis or Japanese monster movies. The screen unfortunately showed the usual signs of juvenile abuse.
My guess is that although the auditorium’s used as warehouse/ storage, there’s still a lot of (old) theatre inside of it even now. I say this because I was able to take a peek myself not too many years ago.
Does anyone know about another theatre just a few doors north of the WEBSTER, once called the JINGLES. Probably during the days before Damen Ave was called Damen—it was known as “Robey”. I’ll be digging around for something on it myself. Thank you.
Across Division St and a few doors east ( W.) (once) stood the HARMONY Theatre, of similar size. Gone since the early ‘50s and that’s all I know.
(Not to be confused with another HARMONY on E. 43rd St.)
ALAMO had a sideways auditorium. I saw THE 10 COMMANDMENTS re-release there in early ‘60s on Sat. matinee. Crowded it was.
They have to call it the LASALLE BANK THEATER; is it a bank, or a theater; a theater or a bank, etc. 2 mints in one!
The description says it sometimes played films. This jogs my memory that MY FAIR LADY was road-showed there (1963). Si? No?
My Dad took me in 1959 to see (Jacque Tati’s) MON UNCLE here when it was still (definately) called the GOLD COAST. Somewhat art-house fare, as it did win an oscar for ‘best foreign film’ back then. The auditorium looked completely different then, even as a single-screen. And thanks, Dad.
Took my 2 older sons to see THE SHADOW here (VILLAGE this time) in the mid-90s; kinda neat they gave Jonathon Winters a little improvisatory room.
One more remembrance, if you don’t mind: (probably) just before they ‘plexed it I saw ONE TRICK PONY (w/ Paul Simon) there and during
the intro they cranked up the volume for “Late In the Evening” to distortion levels, and that is certainly one way to see (hear) it. The film also served to add the work 'mellifluous’ to my regular vocabulary (you’ll have to see it).
If the old (JUN ‘68) theatre ad in the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES newspaper movie section is to be believed, then the correct IMPERIAL street address no. is 2329 W. (not 2339). Says here they’re running DAY OF THE EVIL GUN, SAMSON & THE SLAVE QUEEN, and BONNIE & CLYDE—a dyed-in-the-wool triple-bill if ever there was.
Yes AVON had advertised sub-runs in the late 70’s-early ‘80’s; it was the only time(s) I was there myself although I can’t remember a single films’ name. Overall it wasn’t a remarkable venue.
Thank you BW (I think).
In the ‘50s the NEW APOLLO bldg was a favorite grocery store of my Mom’s, and remained so until about 1968. I wish I could remember the stores’ name.
Warning! Warning! DOWNER ENTRY! When WILL ROGERS ran BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA in “SENSURROUND” they didn’t seem to me all that concerned if a few more plaster chips fell off the already (water?) damaged ceiling, due to the vibrations. Also, when they ran INVADERS FROM MARS (the ‘70s remake) they actually began a reel of it BACKWARDS and didn’t notice till I came out to complain (which I didn’t right away, shame on me).
In 1982 @ MICHAEL TOOD (aka DEARBORN) I saw a (advertised) sneak preview of BEATLEMANIA: THE MOVIE there. I have some recollection at that particular (late) time the place was open only intermittently. I mention this because it was the only playdate for BEATLEMANIA; the film had legal clearance issues never successfully resolved so it never had a regular theatrical release. Too bad -it was a good pic, and I believe fairly intense.
An (certifiably) odd BILTMORE recollection I’ve maintained is that it was the DARKEST (least lit) film auditorium around when I was there in the late ‘50s, for DARBY O'GILL & THE LITTLE PEOPLE. 'Course, there’s only so dark an (interior room or) auditorium can possibly be, so…..
For a couple years into the early ‘60s I remember seeing the old (neon) sign on this bldg as NEW STRAND, though obviously closed then.
While not the NEW APOLLO per se, the PIONEER LOUNGE & BILLIARDS bldg
(as it was once called) directly across Pulaski sure as hell looks like a former movie theatre, from all sides. I used to go bowling there decades ago, so if there was a conversion it would have to go back at least to the ‘40s, or ????? My (strong) feeling is that it (the PL&B bldg) indeed was a theatre, but the NEW APOLLO may have stole its’ thunder fairly early on, not to mention the (former) TIFFIN just around the corner. Anyone else out there have a similar opinion?
PORTAGE theatre trivia: JOAN RIVERS introduced her (directed) “RABBIT TEST' there in-person in 1978. Just thought you’d like to know.
The CROWN theatre bldg stood until 1960 (closed) I saw, then sayonara. Somehow I’ve always associated with the nearby “Paulina Street El”, and it’s skeletal stations, this ghost of a theatre in my mind.
Last MERCURY pic I caught was SUPERMAN 4 QUEST FOR PEACE (which was my first son’s first theatre trip). Before that TRON when the air-conditioning failed and I had to walk out. And yes David S. the Sonny & Cher film was GOOD TIMES, director William Friedkin’s first effort.
This LOGAN SQUARE theatre was called the MARS in its final years (had large marquee), and its' demolition I would place @ 1965 (technically before the subway ramp began in 1969). I used to go right past it then although shuttered for (apparently) years, when you rode the Kimball CTA bus from the north entering the old ‘L’ terminal bus lanes. Another name for the LOGAN SQUARE / MARS theatre would be the RIO. The MegaMall bldgs alluded to elsewhere here definately were not the theatre(s); they’d be a couple doors south of the original site. Hope I’ve been of some help.
When the ESQUIRE was still single-auditorium it had what must’ve been the steepest projection angle from booth down to screen that I’ve ever seen. Plus they were still operating w/ carbon arc lighting then—about the last to change-over to xenon I’d guess. The point I might be trying to make is the picture there was incomparable when SUPERMAN I, STAR TREK I, & CLOSE ENCOUNTERS first opened.
Around 1973 Mr. Linwood G. Dunn gave a neat special-effects reel presentation at the ESQUIRE. In early ‘70s they were also big on running the “stereo-phonic sound” version of FANTASIA, plus the un-cut original KING KONG.