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According to their website, a fair amount of renovation has already been completed. The exterior has been completely repainted, building secured and roof replaced on the front portion. Restrooms gutted, prep work completed for insulation, new HVAC unit installed, with ductwork underway. No date on their description, but it’s good to see this much is already done. They indicated a “june” opening date but didn’t say which year.
Haven’t seen URL’s posted for these two great photo galleries on flickr:
The first has 51 photos posted in August 2007 and June 2008, about a third exterior, 2/3 interior shots.
The second has six interior shots from 2007:
According to this article (http://cinematreasures.org/news/20189_0_1_0_M/),
the La Grange is now owned by David Rizner and John Rot, who have just received $1,000,000 from the city (through the tax increment financing system) for infrastructure repairs, including plumbing and electrical, and will use $650,000 of their own money for interior and business upgrades. In addition, the La Grange Business Association has pledged $50,000 to build a replica of the original marquee.
The above links to a Chicago Tribune article which also says the theatre was constructed in 1925 and the architects were Rapp & Rapp.
According to their web page, they will install solar panels soon and are claiming they will be the first cinema in the nation to be completely solar powered.
According to the article, there is still a lot of work to be done – the nlobby, intermission room and the “east” auditorium (the addition) have been refurbished; future stages call for renovating the main auditorium and balcony; total cost would be about 4.5 mil, to be completed by 2012.
Correction to links to Warren G. Harris’s from his 5/1/2006 post:
The original interior as the Lyric (1895):
The stage as re-built for the Vitagraph Theatre (1914). This permanent setting had a drop curtain in front of it that was raised just before a performance started:
A fuzzy image of the Vitagraph’s box seats adjoining the stage:
The Criterion in 1933, showcasing a German import released by Universal:
Basically, you want to remove “i18” from the domain name in the links. Looks like Photobucket reorganized their structure at one point.
Their official website doesn’t mention anything (that I can find) about the status of the theatre building itself. Their box office at the building is open but all of their events for the 2008-09 season are at other temporary venues.
Ironically they had just began a new capital season about a year ago to raise several million dollars to do a range of infrastructure improvements.
The website mentions (in french) something regarding interior renovation in 2003 or 2004. I am not sure if that meant the renovation was done then or if they merely got approval or funding. The photos make it look very good (nice color scheme) – can’t tell if it is renovated in the photos but believe it is not. It still looks very attractive though!
Sorry for my goof — Lost Memory’s link IS correct.
The link from two messages above is incorrect. Here is the correct link:
Their webpage is:
The theatre was remodeled in 1999. They show some before & after photos. The 1942 renovation looked like a slightly squared off version of the Radio City Music Hall design – the radiating sunburst pattern with some art-moderne swirly decorations with an oriental motif on the sides. Not in very good shape. It has a new design now, from the small photo looks fairly modern, but with vibrant red and white colors, a fantastic fancy chandelier in the auditorium ceiling and new old-style side boxes. The lobby has some asian-themed paintings covered over in the renovation but the marble and gilt grand staircase has been nicely restored.
Forgot to mention. My estimate from looking around is that the auditorium originally seated about 1,100. Interesting – the auditorium walls had windows in then – looked original and must have simply been curtained off (The building may have been built earlier than 1912). Bowker Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst about 10 miles east also has windows along the sidewalls, but virtually all of their performances are at night anyway.
sorry for the mispellings in my message above. I was referring to a “curved ceiling room”, which was the former back portion of the orchestra seating area under the balcony.
The story of 3/15/08 states that the city has pledged 2,500,000 bucks towards the renovation of the capitol, but that the tax-increment financing plan cannot be used if a private entity buys the building. But it appears the city is very interested in getting it reopened, calling it vital to the redevelopment of downtoan.
THS’s Marquee magazine for 4th quarter 2005 describes the Strand constructed by National Realty Company, headed by Rose, Archibald and Charles Silverman, and opening June 12, 2005. Architect was Thomas J. Hill Pierce, organ (installed 1930, later removed) was a Wurlitzer 3/13, style Balaban 2. Originally seating 2,500.
In January 1916 the Strand Theatre Orchestra was formed, followed by the Strand Operatic Concert Company in April 1917. They both provided concerts Sunday afternoons and evenings that drew large houses. That was the only live action on the stage until the rock concerts of the 1980s.
In 1930 Paramount Publix leased the theatre, renovated it, rebuilding the proscenium and lobby. The console for the organ was destroyed in the 1938 hurricane. Paramount gave up its lease in 1934,.
The Paramount originally opened in 1909 as the Olympia.Had a large squarish classically designed proscenium and opera boxes on the side. Photos just prior to its 1970 closing show the balcony side walls had been covered with a very light (white with gold?) damasque pattern. Entrance by then had a v-shaped marquee out front with 7 lines for lettering. A nice one-story classical facade with retail stores to the left side.
Described in a 1993 edition of Marquee Magazine as having been a small, narrow, quite shabby theater, later converted to retail and eventually demolished. Ads for the State stopped appearing in local newspapers in 1958.
An account by Gary J. Bravy in the Theatre Histocial Society’s Marquee magazine of 1993 describes the Arch Street theater as being a newer theater built probably during the 1940s, not really distinguished, but clean and servicable, with a vaguely art deco motif. The theater stopped appearing in newspaper advertisements in 1964 and the building was later converted into apartments or demolished and replaced by an apartment building.
Architectural style could best be described as Sullivanesque
Accoring to Marquee Vol. 20:2 (put out by the Theatre Organ Society), Charles Dawley designed the theater based on a design by John Eberson. As of 1988, the theatre was still owned by the Chakeres chain.
The Regent was opened in 1919. Originally built by Gus Sun for the Sun Vaudeville Circuit. Sun Circuit was considered the bottom rung of the vaudeville hierarchy. Performers who could survive a season could then go on to the Orpheum and other circuits.
The Madison (along with the Ohio Theatre) both closed in 1980. An attempt was made to restore the Madison but it failed. Attention was then turned to the Ohio which was renovated as the Renaissance Theatre. According to Marquee vol. 20:2, the Madison opened in 1931.
The above link doesn’t work. Try this instead:
Nice, art-moderne single-level design. I got an exterior shot in 1985; may be able to post it sometime.
Good news! according to the article, there will be new seats and carpeting and wider rows, and new auditorium wall coverings. They’ll also renovate the restrooms and put a new single-pattern carpet in the main lounge. The last renovation had been done in 1996.
According to CRATOS, organ consoles at the Theatre Cedar Rapids are the Paramount were both flooded, particularly the one at the Paramount, which was toppled over and tossed around by 8+ feet of water. The console at the Theatre Cedar Rapids was hit by 4 feet of water but remained standing. Both organ consoles have been removed to a restoration site by the CRATOS, and will be restored.