Biograph Theater

2433 N. Lincoln Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60657

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Showing 26 - 50 of 121 comments

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Wow, that pic must be from last week. Depp & crew were just here for the premiere at the AMC theatres down on Illinois Street. WGN’s Dean Richards interviewed Depp the day of. I didn’t realize they did another promotional stint actually at the Biograph.
I didn’t think the renovated Biograph?Victory Gardens space included provisions for showing films.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 12, 2009 at 3:33 am

FYI. Trailers for “Public Enemies” are now starting to appear. Brief glimpses of the Biograph’s 1934 transformation from their time shooting here, are in edited into some of them.
Since everyone pretty much knows the story ends there, they are likely using the Biograph footage sparingly for the promos. Just the right amount of tease. Having witnessed some of the Biograph/street scene build-out, I can’t wait to see how it transfers to film.

cyn1223
cyn1223 on February 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Does anyone have info on the rose dish set they gave away for dish night?

MKuecker
MKuecker on October 20, 2008 at 10:28 am

I just saw pictures of the new Victory Garden Theatre. I can’t believe it. I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 15, 2008 at 6:29 pm

My mom grew up in the Biograph’s neighborhood. We drove by recently during the “Public Enemies” 1934 street recreation, and she bolted from my car to take pictures for her brothers. She said it was exact down to the street car tracks laid down the middle of Lincoln. She then remembered as a child in the `40’s, that on the Dillenger anniversaries, someone would loosely paint footsteps of where Dillinger ran from the Biograph and down the alley, where he met his demise. Neighborhood kids would run the same path while playing.

Which triggered my memory that up until 1980-something, the theater itself had one seat painted silver inside. Supposedly where Dillinger sat.
I’m pretty sure it was still painted when I saw “Tucker” there in 1988.
My last film to enjoy at the Biograph was “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
A freebie a friend had gotten passes too. NBC’s local critic Norman Mark sat in a previously taped off seat in front of us.
I asked him if Dillinger sat there, and got my smile for the day.

P.S. The Three Penny Cinema across the street from the Biograph, was already closed down prior to the recent filming. A vintage, prop hotel sign was hung off the front.

Broan
Broan on May 16, 2008 at 11:12 am

View link Has a nice view of the temporary facades

Broan
Broan on May 12, 2008 at 7:43 am

Supposedly filming for “Public Enemies” will happen on the 20th. So far, scenes have been shot at the Pittsfield Building, Clark and Newport, Union Station, a church at 2259 S Damen, 18th & Throop, 106th & Torrence, 35th & King (Probably the Bronzeville Cultural Center)

More historic Dillinger sites: View link

Broan
Broan on May 8, 2008 at 9:22 pm

That should read a false front facade. The other two nearby buildings are getting them too, and they are temporary, unfortunately.

Broan
Broan on May 7, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Currently, the recently built building two doors down (home to a Qdoba) from the Biograph is receiving a false floor facade, presumably for the John Dillinger biopic starring Johnny Depp. It looks quite faithful to the actual grocery store that used to be there, and I hope they keep it up as it looks a lot better with it. Ironically, this may mean the insignificant grocery two doors away from the Biograph will have a more historically accurate appearance than the Biograph itself. It’s a shame the interior wasn’t restored for other scenes…

In other news, the debt Victory Gardens incurred in the extravagant Biograph work has forced it to sell its longtime home down the street. In another irony, the sale includes a covenant that it remain a theater for 25 years; the Victory Gardens, then, will be preserved in the way the Biograph wasn’t.

Broan
Broan on September 10, 2007 at 4:09 am

The cornice has recently been repainted to match the terra cotta and the old lighting sockets in it were covered over, so it’s unlikely we’ll ever see that lighting function again. I’m not sure if the color is historically accurate or not.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 18, 2007 at 2:24 pm

The building looks great. Very uplifting. Every time I drive through that intersection it catches my eye.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on March 8, 2007 at 3:05 pm

This link will take you directly to the Biograph http://www.mekong.net/random/cinema14.htm however, I recommend using the link in the above post to check out many good pictures of Chicago Cinemas. Just keep clicking on “next set” after you view each set of photos.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on March 8, 2007 at 3:01 pm

The Biograph was extensively modernized by Cineplex-Odeon (refer to my above post. For additional views of the auditoriums in the post C-O era, click on here http://www.mekong.net/random/cinema4a.htm and then find the set that has the Biograph.

All of the Cineplex-Odeon details are present. Look at the carpet, the zig-zag patterns on the wall (Cinemark Fan would enjoy that, he’s asked me if several former C-Os had that pattern). It was true that a lot of historic details were lost. But it was an attempt by C-O to modernize its theatres and it didn’t look too bad (or more accurately it didn’t look as bad as some “modernizations”) Cineplex-Odeon entered the Chicago Market with good intentions, however the company really over-extended itself.

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on February 8, 2007 at 6:01 am

Ad for the Biograph, Chicago Tribune, Friday, July 22, 1960 (theatre section):

BIOGRAPH, 26th anniversary of Dillinger’s killing in front of the Biograph! See it now at this theatre where it happened! James Stewart “The FBI Story” plus Myron Healy as John Dillinger in “Guns Don’t Argue” Open 1:30 Cool!

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on February 7, 2007 at 9:55 am

The Dillinger police shoot-out was not the only one that took place in, or near, a Chicago movie theatre, as the following news item explains:

Chicago Daily News, Thursday, August 18, 1955, p. 5, c. 9:

DILLINGER, DURKIN, AMEDEO
RECALL OTHER HUNTS FOR COP-KILLERS

The biggest—and bloodiest—manhunts in Chicago history have always been staged in the tracking down of cop killers. The search for Richard Carpenter recalls other names: John Dillinger, Martin J. Durkin, Gus Amedeo. The search for Durkin ended in his capture. The hunts for Dillinger and Amedeo ended with their deaths.

The bloodiest of manhunts was staged for the notorious Dillinger. Sixteen men lost their lives in the months he was being sought. Several of the dead were policemen, jail guards and an Ohio sheriff. Others were hoodlums and Dillinger himself. Dillinger was shot down by FBI men July 22, 1934, as he left the Biograph theater, 2433 Lincoln. This is three miles from the Biltmore theater, where policeman Clarence Kerr staged a gunfight Wednesday night with Carpenter.

Gus Amedeo was shot 13 times last Oct. 29 by police who had searched the city for the cop killer. He died in a gun duel at Clark and Berwyn, where police intercepted him, a few minutes after he left a movie at the Calo theater, 5401 Clark. Amedeo was wanted for the slaying of Detective Charles Annerino, who tried to arrest the killer in a saloon.

The hunt in 1925 for Durkin, slayer of federal agent Edwin C. Shanahan and once indicted for the slaying of Police Sgt. Harry Gray, was staged by hundreds of police and FBI men. It led from Chicago to Hollywood and back to St. Louis, where Durkin was captured and sent to prison.


Please see under Calo and Biltmore theatres for information concerning the Carpenter and Amedeo shoot-outs.

Broan
Broan on January 15, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Meridian, yes, from 1998-2000.

CatherineDiMartino
CatherineDiMartino on January 15, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Didn’t a short-lived chain called Meridien (or something like that) operate the Biograph for awhile?

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 7, 2007 at 1:16 pm

My close up black and white photo of the BIOGRAPH.

www.flickr.com/photos/lastpictureshow/349822888

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 15, 2006 at 4:57 am

In July, 1934, crowds started gathering outside the theatre as soon as news circulated of Dillinger’s death. A woman in the center foreground of this photo is already displaying a newspaper “late extra” with the front-page headline, “DILLINGER SLAIN”:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/biomelo.jpg

melders
melders on December 5, 2006 at 5:52 pm

Brian is correct about the Marquee orginally having ribbons with two colors. If you look at View link you can see a picture that claims to be right after Dilliger was shot. Also Brian is right about the lettering on the old sign being different. In the photo it is a black background with white letters. This being said I do like the new marquee. It is a very good job, glad to see the used actual light bulbs! Only compaint is that I think they could have made the Victory Gardens a little bit bigger on the sign.

Broan
Broan on December 3, 2006 at 3:41 pm

Here are my photos of the Biograph.

Patsy
Patsy on October 20, 2006 at 3:05 pm

This theater certainly has interesting history with its connection to the infamous Dillinger name!