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Must have been a sad day when the Marbro organ was removed. It was played until it left, mostly on week-ends I remember. Would love to see the wonder organ of Loew’s Kings back in the theater again. Its possible. The organ is in mint condition sitting in a home in the western suburbs of Chicago. And its a gem!
The only problem I can see regarding the parking at Loew’s Kings is the lack of it. I do not know how safe the neighborhood is at night for the thousands of people it would take to fill the theater to walk to from their cars. I know here in Chicago, The Uptown has a public parking lot a block away. I really don’t know what the safety factor would be. There was talk of buying the businesses across from the Uptown to build a large parking lot for the theater project if it ever came to be. A great theater needs a great parking arrangement. Thanks again for the great links.
I’ll be there also. Re-opening night at the King’s. Sounds like a dream! Thanks all for the information everybody. The original wonder organ sits in a home in a suburb of Chicago. I have heard it played many times and is the most ornate, beautiful cream colored music machine I have ever seen. I understand it is for sale and maybe, just maybe Ace would buy it and once again it would thrill the masses once more!!
Scott, My feeling exactly as I turned the corner in my car. The vertical is out of size. Too small. Must look nice at night with the chasers on. When was the original taken down and replaced with this one? When you think of the Marbro’s giant sign which could be seen for many blocks away, that’s a vertical!! I loved the inner lobby with all the beautiful lamp treatments. They were setting up for the night performance of RSO. I plan to go back again! I was also sad to see all the vacant lots and stores for rent around the theater.
Scott, I made it to the Coronado Theater Sat morn. What a GEM as you said. It reminded me of a smaller Atlanta Fox with all the courtyards lit up. It was in excellent condition and the organ sounded wonderful. What a thrill you must have had watching movies there. Almost like the Marbro as far as ornate surroundings are concerned.
Scott, I have never been to the Coronado or seen a picture of it. I should be quite impressed by your description. Blue uniforms huh.
Wasn’t the B&K ushers dark red or maroon? Was the Coronado ever under the B&K umbrella? I hope March 28 works out.
The Nortown on Chicago’s north side once during Christmas had red and green builds replacing the regular white and the lower chasers. Probably done by the manager. This is when it was still B&K’s.
Scott, I am sure there are pictures taken with little kodaks of the Marbro’s lobby holiday decorations. They are probably sitting in someones draw or basement. They did blend in with all the ornate marble. I never saw anything that looked like a decoration at the Paradise except for a few flags during 4th of July week. And by then the Paradise was hanging on by a string…
Scott, I am getting my first look at the Coronado Theater in Rockford this Saturday. CATOE is having a Social there at 10am. I am excited. What is even more exciting, I just learned the St. Louis organ group is having a 4 day tour and concerts with a all-star show on March 28th for the finale at the Fox!I am coming down to see this beauty of a theater! May I buy you a ticket for Monday night? Remeber the final line in “Meet me in St. Louis”… “Right here in our own backyard”……..
Scott, People are lazy as a rule I believe. I was too. We cut down going to the palaces twice a week to once a week because of tv dinners and all those FREE shows on television (some were very very good). Especially when the winds blew on a cold night, it was nicer to stay in a warm house than go out to the garage or hop on a streetcar and go to a movie theater. The handwriting was certainly on the wall for the Paradise & Marbro Theaters. But then there always Saturday Matinees…
Thanks for sending. And that was 1956! Can you imagine if the Venetian were still operating today what kind of a crowd would attend. A “Home” to the homeless and many unmentionables that roam Racine streets. It would
have to be ushered by military police from Great Lakes. and you know what that would cost!!
Scott, it wasn’t every year. I don’t know how often managers were changed. I think it was up to the manager if he wanted to celebrate. Sometimes the State theater had decorations and sometimes not. I wonder if there was an allowance from management for that purpose.
Someone took me into the Kings in 1990. We were on the look-out for rats living there. Didn’t find any. But a few pigeon sightings were welcome. If this Ace group was responsible for the Chicago Theater, it remains alot to be said. This was not a first-class re-hab. I think the walls were only washed down. No repainting that I could see, certaintly not like the Rialto Theater in Joliet, IL. or the Oriental in Chicago both of them gleams with rich colors! 70 million
dollars sounds right if it is to be done right. But to quote a line from GWTW, “Asking ain’t Gett'in”.
Hi Scott….. Its Me!!!!! Merry Christmas to you. I visited the King’s twenty years ago and it was a very strange experience. Dark and scary, but still a wonder for me. I wonder if the restoration has began!!!!!!!
Does anyone remember the Christmas tree in the Marbro lobby?
One year they had it between the balcony stairs that were divided. Another year they had it on a side lobby wall with garlands hanging between the marble columns.
Scott, I also think the Paramount is outstanding without any disrespect to the King’s. It was dark when I was in the King’s, but
I did manage to see something of what it must have been. I think I read somewhere the school built or was building a new building and perhaps the theater was for sale. I cannot remember. Can you imagine all those movie palaces operating within blocks of each other with blazing marquees. Kind-of-makes me think tv should never have been invented.
Scott, No I just thought msybe you did visit Ny with all your knowledge. I have only been to two Fox Theaters. Atlanta Fox and of course the Brookyln Fox. I was at the Brookyln Paramount about ten years ago and walked around in the lobby and in the “Auditorium”. I wonder what is going on these days since the school left I believe.
I think I would rather drive down to St. Louis to see that Fox and have dinner with you.
Scott, I thought you visited the Fox in Brooklyn in person. I also wish you had. William Fox sure know “how to build them”. I will check on the next organ concert which is usally on a Sunday I believe. I think I will come for the Saturday tour also. I wonder if Amtrak is still runninbg from Chicago. I can’t wait for the high-speed train to be built! Maybe I can ask “Trolleyguy” if there is a trolley to take from Chicago. Of course it would take 6 weeks to get there!!!!!
Life’s too short, your question asking if anything has been started at Leow’s King’s reminds me what is going on in Haiti. After billiins of dollars being pledged, nothing seems to have changed sine the earthquake over one year ago. After Sarah Palin’s visit recently,she said we need to send billiins more because the people are srtill living in tents. So I will have to check the website or visit there in person on my next trip to NY. Barbra Streisand recently said on a tv interview that she and Neil Diamond were ushers at Loew’s Kings.
Scott, Great word:fanciful. They were all fanciful in a way wern’t they? Sounds good to me. I am really looking forward to visiting. The Uptown is prime for re-develooment and could became a gem again. I just hope it will be in my lifetime (and we are not getting any younger)!!
Sounds wonderful Scott! I do plan on coming down when the local theater organ chapter has a show. I could not attend the last one they had in the fall, but would love to this time. They must have spent good money on it. The Rialto in Joliet, where I attend regularly, looks like a real gem. New carpets, cleaning of the massive light fixture in the lobby and really spic and span. On the downside, the city of Joliet might curtail some allowances $$$$$$. The state owes them hundreds of thousands-and we know how Illinois is doing these days………
So very true Scott. I am afraid the ranks could never keep the movie palaces in business. Thank goodness some are still around thanks in part for the performing arts centers they have become. Nothing will ever beat watching a first-run movie in a first-run movie palace with all trappings included. I am glad I never missed that era!
Scott, I think the Tivoli was successful at it. My family told me the Marbro was not. They did not have an audience. Too bad. If the accustics were better at the Paradise, maybe they would have chosen that theater for the stage shows. But alas, the audience would not come out for that venue either! The south siders appartently did. Good for them. It is hard for me to believe that a small tv box in a living room would keep someone from going down a few blocks to see live entertainment at a beautiful movie palace. But not everyone thinks like us! Otherwise they would still be in operation. At least some of them MAYBE.. Looking forward (in a way) to the last installment of “Moguls”—— the end of an era.
Youbetcha Scott. It would have been great to see the Duke on the Paradise stage. The Marbro and I believe the Uptown and Tivoli began the stage show/movie policy in the late 40’s. I wonder who decided this at the downtown offices of B&K. I know it was short lived at the Marbro, nill profits, I don’t know about the others. I thought everyone knew this.