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Hello Paradise and Marbro lovers! Tonite Geoffrey Baer is doing his special on WTTW Chicago feature “Biking the Blvds” aT 7:30 PM cst. It will also be repeated later tonite and twice more this week. I think Wed and Thursday. He will give a history before the ride on how the boulivards came to be and how they were designed. One can only hope it will include how the beautiful theaters in the area came to be and what became of them. I would imagine the Paradise might be mentioned for its closeness to Garfield Park.
Scott, Go see that movie. I hear the new Cher movie opening wed is something! I have a photo of Washington & Pulaski dated in the late 20’s showing the Guyon and the Paradise theater. I have a scanner. How do I scan this photo from the printer to this site?
Scott, I saw the M-Squad set in one the chain video stores in Chicago and will be interested to hear what you discover in them. I
think when talkies came in and B&K got the Marbro and other Marks Bros. theaters, they did not change the bill as often as before. I am glad you are enjoying the TCM series. I am. Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in cyberspace!!!!!
Thanks Scott for the numbers. I sometimes “live” in the clouds I guess. Murder is as common in that area today as movie theaters were in my time. I would like to believe that those palaces,if survived, would have changed the neighbood for the better. I know better. I will always think of that area that I knew and loved as the way it was. I saw a mayoral candidate today saying if elected, he would give every student in Chicago a lap-top. No Exceptions! My thoughts: It was a few years ago, there were murders over a pair of Michael Jordans shoes and Nikes, just imagine the murder rate soaring over laptops!
If you find anything with the Marbro or Paradise marquee,I would be very interested in buying the set. I really don’t ever remember any world premier at the Marbro. It would have been in the west side papers and all the kids would have been talking about it at school.
I went to a program on silent films recently and the talker said it was common for the palaces of the 20'e to change their bills 3 times a week. Sometimes showing a film at one time a day in order to get the other films shown. For example, A film would open at the Marbro and would be there a week, it would move down to one showing at say 6pm leaving the time slots open for new films. If the film was still popular, it was given to the State theater down Madison St. After B&K bought the Marbro and sound came on the scene, maybe they would sent it down to the Paradise until it “fizzeled down” I do not know if they continued the three-a-week policy after 1930. Everyone enjoying “Moguls” on TCM? Monday showed a nice picture of Chicago’s Granada Theater with a big sign under the marquee above the door entrance spelling out “A BALABAN & KATZ THEATER”………
Thanks Life’s too short for the photo of the Venetian Theater and related story of another movie house coming down. I may have to take a ride up there and look at it. Too bad the North Shore isn’t still running!
OeOeO, Thanks for the tip. I’ll try to watch. I don’t remember any premieres in any of the westside palaces. Only downtown first, then to the westside. I saw “The Robe” first at the State-Lake on a reserved seat basis, than again at the Marbro months later and enjoyed it better because of the glorious theater. As I said here before, B&K should have re-mastered the Paradise for the wide-screen
treatment for these biblical epics and highly advertise them to schools and church groups. I bet you would hear more than once from
a child leaving with the parents, “Does God live here”?……….
Did anybody see on Turner Classic Movie channel last night the first in a series of seven new shows on “Moguls in Hollywood”? Every Monday
for seven weeks. It was great. Bob Balaban, grandson of the founder,
told how his grandmother Goldie told her husband “We are in the wrong business” as she walked past a nickeloen, They lived above a grocery store. Thats how it all began. It will repeat Wed I believe and again on the week-end. No. 2 will air next Monday. #7
will dicuss the 50’s when movie palaces closed and the upstart of the cineplex. Check TCM.com
Scott, What a sad story! It was demolished the same year as the Roxy
in NY. I was trying to go back in my mind last night. The people that were giving the dinner party were deeply into antigues and were dealers. Maybe they didn’t use the word auction. Maybe they paid the wrecking crew person $25 for the item. It was very possible. They were the type to do that. You are probably correct. What a shame to destroy all that beauty. It was 35 years since I saw that gem hanging from the ceiling!
Scott, B&K must have had an auction. These people were
accuate I am sure. Maybe it was a private auction. It was a beauty. A large green globe with crytals hanging from it. I was lit up green. What year did the Norshore
close? Do you mean B&K closed it down without any notice? What a shame for the people that wanted “one more and last visit”. The Marbro had no auction. Our relatives that lived there at the end would have told us. And I WOULD HAVE GONE FOR SURE!!!!!!
Scott, I am not so sure if the Norshore and the King’s were similar.
I thought the King’s had more wood in the lobby even though it was hard for me to see. I was never in the Norshore. When we moved north,
the Norshore was out of my way. Then it was gone! I attended a dinner party in the 70’s and the hosts had a beautiful faux emerald
chandelier above the dinning table. They bought it at an auction at the Norshore Theater. Seems, unlike the Paradise & Marbro, Balaban & Katz had a public auction before demolition. They bought this piece that was probably hung in a small lobby or upper balcony for $25.
What a stunner! Too big for the dinning room, but who cares. If Balaban & Katz built the Norshore, it was probably a Pearlman fixture
don’t you think? Can you just imagine what the wreckers ball did to some of the treasures left in the Marbro & Paradise??
LuisV, Thanks for the tip on the Leow’s Kings page. Never thought of it. I was in the King’s about 20 years ago. A friend worked in the NY
land office and had the keys to the place. They got the theater for back taxes. He warned me not to expect much. In one hand he had a flashlight and the other a big club for the rats we might encounter.
It was a “mind opener” to say the least. I could see the beauty that was once there, but it was a sad experience. No rats however. Maybe they were out shopping that day! It will be an amazing feat when it is re-opened. ALl the world will be talking about it. You are right, it is not in a great locale. Was it populated very much back in the 20’s? I hope there is hope for our Uptown when the city and the private sector get together. Didn’t Rapp&Rapp do both?
Scott, Thanks for the info. No wonder they have the same feeling.
I saw the promo on WTTW for the upcoming show in November with Geoffrey Baer. It shows alot of the beauty that I remember as a child. I never went to Washington Park or for that matter Douglas Park. Mostly stayed around Garfield Pk and Columbus Pk. And yes, I got to them on streetcars!!
LuisV, What a list! Loews was sure a major player weren’t they??
I was in the Brooklyn Paramount once and it was exciting. Hard to imagine all these palaces were doors away from each other. I didn’t think Leow’s Kings was going forward. Glad to hear it. You can just imagine how frustrated us Chicago people are that our Uptown theater, every bit as grand as the Kings, is in limbo with nothing on the horizon. Who are the people doing the King’s and where is the $$$ coming from? Is it an amusement co.? Jam Amusements own our Uptown, so they would do the work I would think. However, due to this recession, I bet ticket sales are hurting at the concerts, and then there is the problem of getting loans from the banks. That is why I am curious who is paying for the King’s.
I did know that. But I realized it after I sent it off. It did open for a brief time. A local woman tried to rent it out and it really never took off. The same reason why the company that called it the New Regal re-habbed it and lost money on it and closed it. Lack of interest and tickets I persume. I never really didn’t understand why Oprah didn’t invest and operate the theater. Being a local gal and all. After all it is quite a landmark on the Southside and would mean more to the people than a school in Africa would. The Paradise NEVER would have made it past the 60’s, unfortuately.
Scott, I am hoping they will give details about Garfield Park in the years it was developed. It was pretty nice along with Douglas Park.
Chicago had very good planners when it came to parks. Sorta like the people that developed Central Pk. in NY. Every little detail was thought about for the comfort and enjoyment of the population. And we were quite safe to roam around in them. I loved the lagoons!
LuisV, You sure know your theaters in NY. Is the Leow’s 175th and the Leow’s Valencia in Queens still operating as churches? I have been to both and my mouth dropped when I entered 175th st. What a wonderful upkeep to a beautiful building. Really was a Wonder Theater! I have to sadly agree with Scott about the Paradise here being saved for a church. Scott “hit the nail on the head”. The area is a ghetto today and no way would a flock pay the high price of keeping it opened and operating. What ever became of Chicago’s Avalon Theater on the Southside of Chicago? Another of Lamb’s creations. It was a major theater/ church/ performing art center.
Now closed I believe. If that couldn’t make it, the Paradise never would have. I wonder if that location on 79th is a ghetto?
Scott, I think you are absolutely correct. It had to be the fondness
factor. They knew I am sure that tv was not to go away anytime soon, and would even grow to make large one screen theaters fade away to dust. It was the old-timers (now us) that came from the west side that had such respect for their beautiful buildings and a long colorful history, they just wanted to “hang-on”. Great point!
I still say, it would have made a great “house of worship” like the Salem Baptist Church and should have been researched more at the time.
Sell it for $1 like Loew’s did in NY. Think of the demolition costs
that would have been saved, AND we would still have our Paradise!
My pleasure Scott, Lets hope they might be new photos of our Paradise and Marbro in the mix. One can only hope…..
I never thought of it until you mentioned it. We were lucky to have been in the Paradise until 1956. I am sure you were there many times as I was when the house was empty. Felt like a big vast empty cave most of the time. Never really thought at the time that somebody had to pay the bills to keep this place opened. Strange also that B&K never booked a “sure-fire” hit there that I can remember. Everything went to the Marbro and State theaters. They had all the latest hits from Hollywood. I am sure this was intentional don’t you? So why didn’t they close it earlier if it was suck a drain? Thank goodness they didn’t. I heard a story that one of the Balaban’s didn’t want too. Also he didn’t want stage shows to cease at the Chicago Theatre
until he passed on. Do you think there is merit to this story Scott?
I think his name was Barney.
Scott, I often wondered myself why West Garfield never gentrified?
The park is beautiful. Oak Park was a skip & jump away as you say. The transportation (even without the trolleys) is close to the loop.
There is a program on WTTW in late November on the Monday after Thanksgivg I believe called “Bicyling the Boulavards” on Chicago Sts.
This is the latest installment of Chicago-remembered. Many of the beautiful parks will be featured as well as the neigborhoods. Should be interesting!
Thanks OeOeO for the map view. It was like being on an airplane looking down to my former “playground” in the 50’s. Scrabbie is right about Robert Hall & Goldblatt’s. Also spent alot of time at Madigans next to the Marbro. I think some of the suburbs are trying to have that feel to them today. A library down from the movie theater along shops and places to munch. Downers Grove is like that. Park Ridge and Elmhurst too. But they all pale in the comparison of the large scale that Madison & Crawford had.
Nor to me Scott.. Who wants to go and see glass towers that resemble one another or row houses that look like cardboard. I wonder how they would reclaim Lake St. around Pulaski? or for that matter Madison St. and Pulaski. I think Lake St. is even worse. How are you going to make the population re-locate in order to build the new buildings? Maybe they are waiting for Socialism to take root where all housing will be paid for by the government. We’ll see after Nov 2nd where this is heading!!!!
Scott, Yes I have been in the Leow’s Paradise since it was been re-opened. Once when they were doing the construction just before the finished job and once when they were setting up for a rock hip-hop concert. I JUST WALKED IN AND SMILED…. It usually gets me in (like the American Express card)!! I must say to you it was very bitter-sweet. They did an amazing job of re-furbishing on one hand, and then on the other what could or might have been done to our own palace if the conditions were differently. After all the Bronx Paradise was still showing films in the 80’s even though it was a quad, it was still open!! Waiting for the day to"re-bloom". Ours never really had a chance.
ShawnS, Great photo of a beautiful sign. Ornate as the great theater itself. My only memories of the theater is 1950 onwards to the closing. I assume the shop was closed by then. Good of you to recall the times. He must have loved going to work in such a beautiful building every day!