Showing 401 - 419 of 419 comments found
Scott, Yes I did sense the trouble they had taking the Paradise
down. It took forever I thought. I met Joe Ducibella watching
the project unfold. We were neighbors and you know his interest.
He was a Marbro usher in the late 50’s and told be one day the
box office took in $10,000 for the entire day (must have been a
week-end) and that was 1950’s money when adults I believe were
$.75 maybe $1.25 and children were $.50 or maybe $.75. I don't
remember. Anyway. that is alot of change don’t you think? Even
with that amount, magagement did not consider that a good day.
When I heard that, it must have been a “big nut” just to open
the front door. Electric bill alone to run all the signs and to
light the interior and to pay the staff and insurance etc. etc.
No wonder they closed it in 1964 with dwindling crowds. Someone told
me the owner of the wrecking co. that took down the Paradise took
his own life over it. Was that true? Heard he hung himself from
the balcony. At least he picked ornate surroundings!
Scott,I think the store was a National Tea. There was an A&P store
west of the Marbro. I know that for sure because we shopped there.
I loved to pass the coffee aisle to smell the freshly ground 8 o'clock coffee. Wow!! Strange we never went to the new store on
the Paradise lot. It was not popular. A real bad move to lease
that land in 1958. Not much reshearch went in to it concerning
the amount of people that it would serve. Guess that is why it “burned” down. I am really surprised I never went in especially
since they used the lobby floor of the theater. I remember watching
the demolition from across the street days on end “with a tear in
my eye”. As far as the treats at the Byrd, all us kids rolled out
the lobby doors after seeing a double feature. I can only compare
it to eating two Thanksgiving dinners back to back! Guess I was afraid we would never go back. But then next Sat came along and we
were at one movie theater or another again!
The Bryd, probably named for Admiral Bryd, was located near
Madison St. and Cicero. I believe there was a ballroom in the
building but I never saw it. Building razed. Went there alot
with cousins of mine. Saw alot of horror films and there were
plenty of screams and chills- all in good fun. I don’t think
there was a balcony. One of the cousins' father was a wealthy
man and we would always ask them if they were coming. We knew
if they would be there, we would all ahve a ton of candy etc.
If he drove us in his car, I would watch him give the eldest a 20
dollar bill to “treat the kids”…..And treat they did. Popcorn was
15 cents I believe and candy was the same. We made sure there
wasn’t much change to give back to Dad !!!
The Paradise would have made an excellent church. They had the
sky and the word Paradise is the place we are all trying to get to
in the end aren’t we? Better than a bland grocery store!!
One of my neighbors had her purse taken while in the rest room
at the Paradise. Her and her husband had just watched the last
feature and she went in one room and he in his. A hand reached
under the stall and took off with her purse. She screamed and ran
out along with her husband and chased the bandit outside and south
on Pulaski, who disappeared between the buildings. They could not
find an usher and nobody was in the box office. They never went
again to see another movie there.
The West End was closed around 1953 I believe. I remember walking past it and the glass on the doors had soap on them and half the bulbs were gone from the marguee. It was not a big house. Forgot
the cross street, but was near West End. Torn down I believe before the Paradise. Too bad B&K were so quick to tear down the Marbro.
Loews in NY did the right move. They donated their palaces to local
churches for one dollar and took the write-off and the church
got a beautiful building and pain 0 property taxes. A win-win!
The Loews 175th St. was sold to Rev. Ike for $1 in the 70’s. I was
in in the 90’s and it was in perfect condition. They gave them the organ and everything. The service on a Sunday was out of this world.
Choirs etc. The lobby was all restored, new carpeting. The vertical
was repalced with a large cross covering up the LOEWS words.
The same thing happened to Loews Valencia in the QUEENS. Been there
and it looked like the Avalon here. There are about 100 churches
on Madison St. today. They should have all consolidated and take turns
having services at different hours. Who knows, maybe it would have still be there today and we could have gone to services on Sunday
and still see that wonderful temple. After all, did it not look like a church already Scott?
Scott, Come to think about it, maybe the fires did not come
that far west. Why didn’t some organization take over the
Marbro to continue showing films? It would have been a lot
cheaper to sell that beautiful place than to pay to have it destroyed. I don’t know how much they paid in 1964 dollars, but
it did have to be quite alot and then leave a “for Sale” sign on the empty lot. You should have taken Madison St. I had relatives living on West End. Do you remember the theater called West End?
What about the Bryd? They showed alot of horror films packed with
pre-teens and teens. Saw “Them” there and it was a full house for a Sat. matinee. Lots of fun. Saw lots of friends from the neigherhood.
Yes I have been back. Once in a while while taking the Ike west,
I take a little trip on Madison to see “what’s new” in my old
playground. I don’t stop, just continue on. I move pretty fast.
I agree with you someone or the alderman with the help of the
City of Chicago should have done much more than they did. After
all, think of all the sales taxes they were losing with the businesses being closed. They were laws on the books. Why weren't
they enforced? Also why did the Marbro not survive and the Senate
did? The Marbro was in a better location and by 1963 it was not
that bad yet. If it had however, I am sure it would have been burned
with the 1968 West Side burnings like the Senate had. I don’t know
what year the Senate closed, but I passed there in the 1970’s and
it was a burned out shell!
Its MARBRO, not Marlboro the cigarette!
I think I remember the restaurant on the SW corner. The violence
was taking over the West Side. It was slowly losing its “Great
West Side” namesake. Small wonder people were moving away. As
far as the ushers stopping the vandalism at the Marbro Scott,
I heard B&K were “trimming down the staff” in the 60’s due to
reasons of money..Probably also of fear for themselves too.
Scott, A “Green River” is selzer water with lime syrub in it. Sorta
like a chocolate physfate. I am sure you had those. These were a
favorite of mine after seeing a movie—like I needed anything after
being stuffed from the treats at the Marbro! The vadalsim started
in the early sixties not just with the boxing matches. All the B&K shows
had them. That is why they removed all the furniture and paintings.
I heard from relatives of “Snow” coming down on them from the balcony
that was the stuffings from the seats being ripped open. They had to close the balcony eventually. They would still attend, but never at night. Of course they had to move away themselves in 1964 after
watching that beautiful place be demolished. I am glad you never had to witness it. But now you know…….
Scott, I think we moved away the same year. Right after “Ben-Hur”.
I was not happy. I loved the area with all of my entertainment
venues and such. We left because my father saw what was coming. ALot
of relatives thought we were crazy to go. We would go back often
and visit and hear the “horror stories” of the Marbro. The Paradise
was dust by then of course. The relatives would tell us about the
riots in the theater, the muggings, the vadalism in the theater eg.
seats being slashed and stuffings thrown from the balcony, pictures
being slashed with knives, robbies of patrons when the last show let out and drive-bys. Hey, sounds like the 10pm newscast on any given
night today! I bet you had “Green Rivers” at the Walgreens after
a movie at the corner of Pulaski & Madison. They were great. Probably
saw you there
Thanks for remembering the Marbro’s candy counter. It was very
wonderful and larger than the Paradise. I’m sure to serve more patrons. I enjoyed most of their treats. It was as special as
seeing the movie. I think the popcorn was better than today's
being popped. Though I am not sure. Maybe it was popped in pure
butter. I have had some popcorn in some of the chains around
Chicago and I swear they used motor oil.
Scott, So glad we are keeping the spirit of the Marbro “alive”.
Com'on everyone lets add to memory lane. My first film there was
“Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” Couldn’t wait to grow up so I could bleach
my hair! The new screen was the largest one I ever saw beside Radio City in NY. It was much larger than the one at the State-Lake that
showed “The Robe” first. The screen was a little curved I think and
was very large in size. “The Robe” was magnificent. My last film before we moved away was “Ben-Hur”—and I saw everything in between.
All the big ones and the lesser ones too. Always enjoyed that palace
and all the milk duds and halloway candy I could eat.
Scott, Do you remember when Cinemascope came to the Marbro?
I think the Marbro was closed for a week to put in the new screen.
“The Robe” opened in 1954 with alot of fanfare! I thought maybe
B & K should have put that massive screen in the Paradise. Maybe it
would have survived a few more years don’t you think? I don’t recall
the Paradise ever having a 70mm screen do you? Maybe they already
had intentions of closing it down. I do recall very large crowds
on the week-ends at the Marbro for these epics. So maybe they did the right move.
Never went to Tiffen. Stayed on Madison St. alot. Alex, Marbro,
Crawford not too much. Went to the State alot on West Madison.
The Paradise was beautiful but never ever had a large audience I
felt. The movies were not that good I thought. Sort Of a dumping
ground for B&K. Went to State for a re-lease of “King Kong"
in the 50’s. Half way through, a kid yelled "Fire” “Fire” from
the balcony. Next thing I knew, we were out in the ally behind the
Stat. Firemen arrived and they caught the kid. He was from my
Scott, Do you remember the Crawford theater around the corner
next to the library? I remember one sat afternoon matinee,
the theater was packed with teens. The film was “Our Lady of Fatima"
The final scene when the Lady speaks to the children, there were
plenty of sobs and tears because of this beautiful story. Can
you only imagine tears and sobbing from today’s teens while watching
the newest addition of "Twilight,Vampires” or Freddie from “Nightmare on Elm Street”/ On the other hand, one might
hear sobs if their battery from their cell phone goes dead and
they cannot text & tweet their friends…………
Scott, jwballer and Life’s too short, Thanks for the info and
the pix’s. I used to sneak out of the house ( not an easy thing
for a pre-teen in the 50’s to do when every move was controlled
by the parents) and walk thru alleys and gangways two blocks to
the Marbro and watch White Way Sign Co change the attraction
signs and re-bulb the burned out ones and replace if needed the
pink neon on the massive M-A-R-B-R-O veritcal. This was a ritual of mine on Thursday nights for years. And nobody was the wiser!!!!!
So happy to read about my beloved Marbro Theater. Went every
time a new movie opened. Also the Paradise, but loved the Marbro.
Does anyone have a color photo either day or night of that beautiful
marquee in the 50’s. Would love to see it. It was something at night
to stand across the street. What a great west side it was!
posted by BobbyS on May 4, 2010 at 11:15pm