Roosevelt Theater

110 N. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60602

Unfavorite 12 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 72 comments

teddy666
teddy666 on September 5, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Here’s something humorous and kind of cool: My former projectionist/friend has been projecting movies all over Chicago for decades and still does. He told me when the Roosevelt was torn down in 1979 his friend walked over to the rubble and grabbed a chunk of the building and kept it. He has it to this day!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on March 10, 2008 at 8:20 am

To Bryan K, per your comment of two years ago:

“Paul, are you familiar with Ross Miller’s 1996 book, ‘Heres the Deal: The Buying and Selling of a Great American City’? It tells the story of the history and politics behind Block 37, from its earliest years up until the clearing of the block in the late 80s/early 90s. It’s really interesting reading, and has some nice vintage photos and drawings of the site, especially during its later years, from the 70s on.”

I did finally read this book. I bought a used copy of it from www.amazon.com for $1.00 plus shipping. You are right, it is a fascinating book and the story of “Block 37” goes back some 20 years prior to the actual demolition of the structures on the block. It all goes back to how “Hizzoner” was riding in his limousine to work one day and saw the buildings on the block and decided they had to go. It also briefly mentions how the single story structures that replaced the Roosevelt and stood there briefly (less than ten years) were merely intended to be “tax earners”—places that could temporarily be on the tax rolls while something permanent was being planned. Oddly enough, the Walgreens across the street from Fields/Macy’s was intended to be such a building, but it lasted for many years.

Further complicating Block 37 was Stop-n-Shop, Hillman’s, and Gapers. For those of you unaware, they were all part of an amazing bakery/supermarket that existed on the block and with all of the people living Downtown these days, would be most useful. The problem was that they had been owned by the same family and the family owned the building they were located in. They were offered a deal in which they could occupy the new building (that never came) as tenants. The catch was that their space would have been smaller and that they would have been paying many times in rent what they were paying in taxes. Plus, no provision was made for an alley, which would have been required for produce deliveries. In short, it was a ploy to get a profitable business out of there. Stop-n-Shop was profitable until the day it closed.

JRS40
JRS40 on December 24, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Here are the bookings for the Roosevelt from 1964 until its closing in 1979.

1/3/64 – THE SWORD IN THE STONE
1/22/64 – STRAIGHTJACKET
2/19/64 – SOLDIER IN THE RAIN
3/11/64 – DEAD RINGER
3/27/64 – A TIGER WALKS
4/17/64 – MUSCLE BEACH PARTY
5/6/64 – THE STRANGLER plus THE NAKED KISS
5/15/64 – THE THIN RED LINE
5/29/64 – LADY IN A CAGE
6/19/64 – HEY THERE! IT’S YOGI BEAR
6/26/64 – THE PATSY
7/10/64 – THE MOON SPINNERS
7/24/64 – BIKINI BEACH
8/7/64 – THE KILLERS
8/28/64 – ENSIGN PULVER
9/11/64 – STATION SIX SAMURAI
9/30/64 – BEHOLD A PALE HORSE
10/22/64- LILITH
11/6/64 – INVITATION TO A GUNFIGHTER
11/27/64- PAJAMA PARTY
12/23/64- GOLDFINGER
3/12/65 – THE NIGHT WALKER
4/2/65 – MAJOR DUNDEE
4/30/65 – YOUNG CASSIDY
5/14/65 – SYNANON
6/4/65 – UP FROM THE BEACH
6/24/65 – THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER
8/13/65 – GENGHIS KHAN
9/3/65 – THE GLORY DAYS
9/17/65 – AGENT 8 3/4
10/8/65 – THE HILL
10/27/65- THE BEDFORD INCIDENT
11/17/65- THE WAR LORD
12/22/65- NEVER TOO LATE
1/5/66 – THE 2ND BEST SECRET AGENT
1/15/66 – THE HEROES OF TELEMARK
2/9/66 – LORD LOVE A DUCK
2/22/66 – THE SPY WITH MY FACE plus TO TRAP A SPY
3/11/66 – MADAME X
4/8/66 – THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
6/3/66 – A BIG HAND FOR THE LITTLE LADY
6/15/66 – STAGECOACH
7/13/66 – WALK DON’T RUN
8/24/66 – A MAN CALLED ADAM
9/14/66 – CHAMBER OF HORRORS
9/28/66 – THEY’RE TOO MUCH plus SONGS IN THE WORLD
10/12/66- ALVAREZ KELLY
11/2/66 – RETURN OF THE SEVEN
11/23/66- NOT WITH MY WIFE YOU DON'T
12/23/66- GAMBIT
1/20/67 – ARRIVEDERCI BABY
2/3/67 – KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE
2/17/67 – DEADLIER THAN THE MALE
3/17/67 – ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.
4/21/67 – AFRICA ADDIDO
5/10/67 – THE HAPPENING
5/27/67 – THE WAR WAGON
6/30/67 – THE ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE
8/2/67 – EL DORADO
8/30/67 – TO SIR WITH LOVE
11/10/67- THE COMEDIANS
1/5/68 – THE INCIDENT
1/19/68 – GRAND SLAM
2/9/68 – P.J.
3/1/68 – BONNIE AND CLYDE
4/12/68 – PLANET OF THE APES
5/28/68 – THE DARK OF THE SUN
6/21/68 – ANZIO
7/5/68 – THE SCALPHUNTERS
7/24/68 – FOR LOVE OF IVY
10/8/68 – THE SPLIT
11/11/68- IF HE HOLLERS LET HIM GO
12/20/68- HELLFIGHTERS
1/3/69 – THE BROTHERHOOD
1/22/69 – THE SERGEANT
2/12/69 – UP TIGHT
3/12/69 – JOANNA
4/4/69 – 100 RIFLES
5/14/69 – SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF
6/4/69 – CHE!
6/27/69 – SLAVES
8/15/69 – THE CHAIRMAN
8/29/69 – THE LEARNING TREE
10/22/69- CHANGE OF MIND
11/21/69- MARLOWE
12/5/69 – ALL THE LOVING COUPLES
12/25/69- THE REIVERS
1/30/70 – TICK…TICK…TICK
3/18/70 – THE LIBERATION OF L.B. JONES
4/24/70 – THE LAWYER
5/8/70 – A MAN CALLED HORSE
5/29/70 – BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES
7/10/70 – BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
9/18/70 – MACHINE GUN MC CAIN
10/2/70 – HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS
10/30/70- IT’S YOUR THING
11/20/70- FLAP
12/4/70 – BEN-HUR
12/25/70- THE GREAT WHITE HOPE
2/12/71 – WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH
2/26/71 – ALEX IN WONDERLAND
3/12/71 – PLANET OF THE APES plus BENEATHE THE PLANET OF THE APES
3/19/71 – COTTON COMES TO HARLEM plus THEY CALL ME MISTER TIBBS
4/2/71 – WATERLOO
4/28/71 – THE BEGUILED
5/12/71 – THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE
5/28/71 – BIG JAKE
6/30/71 – SHAFT
11/5/71 – BLACK JESUS
11/19/71- THEY CALL ME TRINITY
12/10/71- CAPTAIN APACHE plus A TOWN CALLED HELL
12/24/71- THE FRENCH CONNECTION
2/4/72 – THE HOSPITAL
3/24/72 – THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
4/28/72 – GEORGIA, GEORGIA plus TALES FROM THE CRYPT
5/19/72 – THE LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLEY
6/23/72 – SHAFT’S BIG SCORE
8/25/72 – SLAUGHTER
10/20/72- ULZANA’S RAID
11/8/72 – TROUBLE MAN
12/20/72- BLACK GUNN
1/26/73 – BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA
2/23/73 – BLACK CAESAR
4/6/73 – BOOK OF NUMBERS
5/4/73 – CHARLEY ONE-EYE
5/23/73 – SWEET JESUS, PREACHER MAN
6/15/73 – SUPERFLY T.N.T
7/18/73 – CLEOPATRA JONES
9/28/73 – THE SLAMS
10/12/73- THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR plus WHITE LIGHTNING
10/26/73- THE SCREAMING TIGER
11/16/73- QUEEN BOXER
11/30/73- BLOOD OF THE DRAGON
12/21/73- HELL UP IN HARLEM
2/1/74 – BLACK BELT JONES
3/13/74 – THREE TOUGH GUYS
4/17/74 – THOMASINE AND BUSHROD
5/24/74 – LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH
6/7/74 – THE DYNAMITE BROTHERS plus POLICE CONNECTION
6/28/74 – THREE THE HARD WAY
8/23/74 – THE EDUCATION OF SONNY CARSON plus LADY SINGS THE BLUES
9/27/74 – BLACK SAMSON
10/11/74- STREETGANGS OF HONG KONG plus SUPER STOOGES vs WONDER WOMEN
10/25/74- FROM CHINA WITH DEATH
11/8/74 – WALKING TALL plus SLAUGHTER
11/22/74- SUPERFLY
11/29/74- CLEOPATRA JONES plus FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH
12/6/74 – ENTER THE DRAGON plus RED SUN
12/25/74- ABBY
2/12/75 – LORD SHANGO
2/26/75 – BLACK LOLITA
3/14/75 – BOSS NIGGER
4/11/75 – FORCE FOUR plus KUNF FU – THE PUNCH OF DEATH
4/25/75 – BLACK CAESAR plus HELL UP IN HARLEM
5/9/75 – THREE TOUGH GUYS
5/16/75 – RAPE SQUAD plus RAW MEAT
5/23/75 – BREAKOUT
6/6/75 – CHALLENGE OF THE DRAGON plus MAN OF IRON
6/20/75 – MANDINGO
7/25/75 – BUCKTOWN
8/29/75 – SUPERDUDE
9/12/75 – RETURN OF THE STREETFIGHTER plus PLAY MISTY FOR ME
10/3/75 – BLACK CHRISTMAS plus IT’S ALIVE
11/2/75 – FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE plus TALES FROM THE CRYPT
11/21/75- BLACK DRAGON’S REVENGE plus SUPERSPOOK
12/12/75- DIRTY HARRY plus MAGNUM FORCE
12/23/75- LET’S DO IT AGAIN
2/6/76 – GOODBYE BRUCE LEE
3/5/76 – DUEL IN THE TIGER DEN plus SHANGHAI JOE
3/12/76 – THEY CAME FROM WITHIN
4/2/76 – LIPSTICK
4/30/76 – HOT POTATO plus ENTER THE DRAGON
5/28/76 – BRUCE LEE SUPERDRAGON plus GOLDEN NEEDLES
6/25/76 – NO WAY BACK
7/23/76 – ST. IVES
8/13/76 – THE OMEN
9/3/76 – THE BODYGUARD
9/24/76 – BAMBBO HOUSE OF DOLLS plus DUEL IN THE TIGER DEN
10/8/76 – SPARKLE plus HOT POTATO plus ALI VS NORTON
10/22/76- GET MEAN plus TERMINAL ISLAND
11/5/76 – THE MUTHERS plus BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN
11/12/76- J.D.’S REVENGE plus COOLEY HIGH
11/24/76- JOSHUA plus BEYOND THE LIVING DEAD
12/24/76- MONKEY HUSTLE
¾/77 – EMMA MAE plus THREE THE HARD WAY
4/15/77 – DEMON SEED plus BURNT OFFERINGS
5/6/77 – IT’S ALIVE plus FRIGHT
5/27/77 – RUBY plus 3 TOUGH GUYS
6/17/77 – SPARKLE plus BLACK BELT JONES
6/26/77 – BLACK FIST plus SUPER SPOOK
7/15/77 – ORCA THE KILLER WHALE plus BUG
7/22/77 – SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER plus DRIVE-IN
8/5/77 – CAR WASH plus BINGO LONG TRAVELLING ALL STARS & MOTOR KINGS
9/2/77 – DYNASTY plus THE FANTASTIC INVASION OF PLANET EARTH
9/30/77 – THE DEEP plus SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER
10/7/77 – THE MACK
11/4/77 – KING KONG plus ORCA THE KILLER WHALE
11/11/77- RUBY plus RABID
11/18/77- THE TIGER OF HONG KONG plus BROTHERHOOD OF DEATH
12/2/77 – ROLLING THUNDER
12/9/77 – BRUCE LEE SUPERDRAGON plus THREE THE HARD WAY
12/16/77- LADY SINGS THE BLUES plus MAHOGANY
12/23/77- THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN
2/10/78 – COLLEY HIGH plus CORNBREAD, EARL AND ME plus GOLDEN NEEDLES
2/17/78 – 10 FINGERS OF DEATH plus SHANGHAI CONNECTION
2/24/78 – THE BOYS IN COMPANY C
3/10/78 – AMERICAN HOT WAX plus MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE
4/14/78 – YOUNGBLOOD
6/16/78 – GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK
6/30/78 – CONVOY
7/14/78 – THE MANITOU plus EMMA MAE
8/11/78 – DEATH DIMENSION plus SUSPIRIA
9/15/78 – THE EXECUTIONER plus BLACK SAMURAI
10/13/78- THE TEMPTER plus PSYCHIC KILLER
10/20/78- DEEP THRUST – HAND OF DEATH plus HONG HONG CAT plus BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN
10/27/78- A HERO AIN’T NOTHIN BUT A SANDWICH plus PIRANHA
11/3/78 – THE DEVIL’S RAIN plus VIRGIN WITCH
11/10/78- THE WILD GEESE
11/24/78- THE DRAGON LIVES plus NIGHT CHILD
12/8/78 – COFFY plus THE MACK
12/20/78- KING OF THE GYPSIES
1/12/79 – BRONSON LEE – CHAMPION plus GODFATHERS OF HONG KONG
2/2/79 – RICHARD PRYOR LIVE IN CONCERT
4/13/79 – THE REAL BRUCE LEE plus THE TIGER FROM HONG KONG
5/4/79 – DAWN OF THE DEAD
6/15/79 – PROPHECY
7/13/79 – DRACULA
8/10/79 – FISTS OF FURY PART 2 plus YOUNG DRAGON
8/17/79 – MASTER KILLER plus THE CHINATOWN KID

Closed after performances Sunday, August 26th.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 29, 2007 at 9:22 am

They are going great guns on this new development. Whatever argument you might have with the chain of events on Block 37 (and I have a few) it is nice to see something finally under construction there.

CatherineDiMartino
CatherineDiMartino on August 16, 2007 at 9:45 am

Here is a 1970s vintage photo of the Roosevelt. You’ll have to enlarghttp://chicago.urban-history.org/ven/ths/roosevlt.shtmle it once you click on it.

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on March 28, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Famed “Schmeling-Louis” fight film shown at Roosevelt—–

NEWS ITEM:

Chicago Daily News, Friday, June 26, 1936, p. 36, c. 1—–

FIGHT FILMS OPEN AT B-K THEATERS

The Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight pictures, complete from beginning to end have been booked in as extra screen attractions at eight Balaban & Katz theaters starting today. In the loop the pictures will be shown at the Roosevelt and Apollo theaters; west side Marbro; south side, Tivoli and Southtown; north side, Granada, Varsity and Uptown. The pictures showing the knockdown in slow motion, also start at the Regal theater on the south side on Sunday

CatherineDiMartino
CatherineDiMartino on March 15, 2007 at 6:34 am

Per Paul’s and Bryan K’s comments on the http://members.aol.com/citypan/BLK3791789.JPG photo of “Block 37”, I found an old photo of a CTA bus, which my husband took. In the background can be seen the non-descript “boxes”, which stood on the Roosevelt ’s site circa 1981-1990. The stores were Shifrin-Williams, The Limited, and Kinney Shoes. Why did they bother to build these single-story stores only to tear them down a few years later? Were they supposed to be incorporated somehow into whatever what was supposed to be built there?

All of the structures in the photo http://members.aol.com/citypan/BLK3791789.JPG look like they’re awaiting demolition because of the scaffolding on them. If you look in the distance down Randolph Street (the street that the taxi is not on), you’ll see the blank marquee for the United Artists.

This photo also clearly illustrates the failure of State Street Mall. State Street was converted into a “pedestrian friendly transit mall” circa 1979. It was intended to make the street more walkable and to lure people back. Unfortunately, it was ugly. Critics panned the mall when it was built. Shoppers stayed away. Finally, in 1996 the “mall” was removed. Traffic was again allowed on the street. State Street is vibrant again, despite the loss of Carson ’s. Actually, with the re-opening of the Oriental and the Cadillac Palace and the opening of the Goodman Theatre, this is again a lively corner.

LYNNMICHALI
LYNNMICHALI on March 13, 2007 at 1:00 am

Yes, you are right. The Roosebelt was in the ABC chain and I also buying Plitt Theater tickets and using them there.

CatherineDiMartino
CatherineDiMartino on March 7, 2007 at 6:51 am

I vaguely remember that this theatre was in the ABC and later Plitt chains. Am I correct?

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on November 17, 2006 at 4:30 pm

Ret. AKC(NAC) Bob Jensen,

Boy do I remember Stop ‘n’ Shop and its side business Gaper’s Catering! Fresh ice creams, sorbets, baked goods! I believe that Stop ‘n’ shop closed circa 1982. Ironically, with so many people actually living in the Loop, it would do very well today!

Broan
Broan on November 1, 2006 at 12:07 pm

Here is a postcard with the marquee partly visible.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on October 5, 2006 at 5:21 pm

The october edition of Chicago mag on page 114 very good picture of the ROOSEVELT not to metion all of the very good pictures.

LYNNMICHALI
LYNNMICHALI on August 26, 2006 at 9:22 pm

BOB,
NOW THAT YOU BRING IT UP, I DO REMEMBER THE STOP AND SHOP. I REMEMBER AN ARCADE ON THE RANDOLPH SIDE THAT SOLD MAGIC TRICKS AND GAGS. I ALSO THINK I REMEMBER A STEAK HOUSE/RESTAURANT ON THE DEARBORN SIDE. I WANT TO GET THE BOOK AND SEE WHAT IT HAS. LET ME KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER ANYTHING ELSE. I HAVE BEEN ASKING PEOPLE I KNOW WHO USED TO WORK DOWNTOWN.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 26, 2006 at 6:38 am

Funny thing, I can’t recall anything on the block the Roosevelt was on either, and I should as many times as I walked by it! I don’t know if your going to get the book or not, but here are some things that I seem to remember from mostly the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. I can remember on the other sides of the block. On the Washington St side was a very fine food grocery store (really to good to be called a grocery store) called STOP AND SHOP. At the corner of Washington Blvd and Dearborn St was a very historic building (I can’t recall what was in it), but it should have never been torn down, SHAME ON CHICAGO! In the middle of the Dearborn St side was a Comonwealth Edison sub station (I guess that’s what it’s called) and it is the only thing that is still standing on the whole block. At the corner of Dearborn St and Randolph St was the United Artists Theatre. Randolph because of all the theatres had the most interesting area. Seems to me there was a resturant or bar called FLO"S that would have a young lady outside on a swing up on the second floor, wired for sound trying to get you to come into “FABULOUS FLO’S”. I think it had a fire and it was a Burger King in the 1970’s. I also remember a magazine store, it might have had books too, but it sure had a lot of magazines. It might have had adult magazines, but I don’t recall, I like trains, so it was the train magazines I was checking out! Accross the street, I think in part of the OLD HIDELBERG they grilled steaks in the window. Remember late at nght when new movies would play the next day. White Way Sign Co. would come and change all the letters and those big boards with info about the movie that just about covered up all the brick. What did they call those boards. Seems to me the PIT AND THE PEDULUM PLAYED at the Roosevelt and they had a wood pedulum that swug back and forth against the building! Help me out, did I get anything mixed up or what can you add. It would be neat to be able to know every business around that whole block anchored by those two great B&K’s!

LYNNMICHALI
LYNNMICHALI on August 25, 2006 at 11:26 pm

Brian,
Thanks for the info!

Broan
Broan on August 25, 2006 at 7:17 pm

The book Here’s The Deal covers Block 37 in detail

LYNNMICHALI
LYNNMICHALI on August 25, 2006 at 3:18 pm

I was looking at photos of the Roosevelt yesterday and my husband, who comes from Iowa, asked me what else was on the block with the theatre before they razed it. Does anyone remember what was there in the late 60’s or do you know where I can go to find out. I should remember, but I don’t.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on August 3, 2006 at 11:12 am

The Block 37 straddles the Blue Line and Red Line subways. It is also close to the Loop L structure and the Metra Electric and the South Shore Line. So, yes, a transit facility is going in as it would make sense to have it there.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 3, 2006 at 9:59 am

Block 37 is now being excavated. A friend of mine tells me that they are building some sort of public transit facility.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 18, 2006 at 9:47 am

I have always wondered what made the Roosevelt go so early. I don’t think any other vintage buildings on that block went down until everything got leveled during the 90’s. The larger State-Lake and Chicago Theatres continued to operate for a few more years after this (in the same theatre chain as the Roosevelt), which is counter-intuitive.

Broan
Broan on June 18, 2006 at 4:47 am

Here is a profile from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s HAARGIS system. It includes a small picture.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on June 12, 2006 at 7:21 am

Well that answers my question,thank you.
Now i see what you mean by a record setting deal.
Thank You.

Broan
Broan on June 12, 2006 at 1:18 am

B&K leased the theater from Aschers for $260,000 a year and 50/50 profit sharing; that high of a lease was unheard of in the theatrical community. Also, since B&K owned the nearby Chicago, it let them fix the prices since they no longer had to compete with the Roosevelt for bookings or films. The Aschers were biggest in the city at the time, having a total of 22 theaters. B&K only had 4 at the time, but was quickly gaining prominence through the quality and size of their theatres and presentation.