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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.
Scott, Great point. I guess 1946 was the best one to date after the war ended. People went to the movies weekly if not more. It was automatic. Then came the little box and profits dried up to many of the screens. I suppose that is why the Marbro tried to revive the stage show policy in 1949 to no avail. I think it was very short lived. Too bad, I bet plenty of money was spent to “upgrade” the stage and lighting and musicians etc. etc. It should have worked when you imagine the population was still strong. I just think people got used to their living room couches and the free entertainment.
Scott, Good point. They were a bunch of lucky guys being in the right place st the right time. Didn’t realize Marcus Loew never lived to see most of his wonder theaters in all their glory! At least the Balabans and William Fox did enjoy all their beautiful buildings. It was a very short period of time that changed the way people enjoyed the films in great splendor. Next week should be a sad one, the demise of the movie palace as we knew them.
Scott, I am sure it will be on again and again as WTTW does. Go to their website and find out more. I am looking forward to tonites “Moguls”. This is the “50’s” and the beginning of the wide screen epics at the Marbro and all over the US. This is our era, when we “fell in love” with those wonderfull “Popcorn
palaces” and all the glamour of the settings. You might say they were made for each other: the epics and the places they played in……..
Scott, I loved it. Enjoyed the Marbro picture and wish there were more about the Paradise. At least they mentioned it right? Amazing how the area, the whole city, from gorjous and plentyful to what you see today!!!!!
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?