Roosevelt Theater

110 N. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60602

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GrandMogul
GrandMogul on March 28, 2007 at 11:16 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 1:34 pm

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 8:00 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 2:51 pm

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

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on November 18, 2006 at 12:30 am

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 8:07 pm

Here is a postcard with the marquee partly visible.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on October 6, 2006 at 1:21 am

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 27, 2006 at 5:22 am

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 2:38 pm

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 26, 2006 at 7:26 am

Brian,
Thanks for the info!

Broan
Broan on August 26, 2006 at 3:17 am

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

LYNNMICHALI
LYNNMICHALI on August 25, 2006 at 11:18 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 7:12 pm

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 5:59 pm

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 5:47 pm

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 12:47 pm

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 3:21 pm

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 9:18 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.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on June 12, 2006 at 3:23 am

What was so record setting about the deal?
What other theatres did the Ascher Brothers have?
I am just sorry that it had to be taken down.:(
Thank you for you time.

Broan
Broan on June 12, 2006 at 2:57 am

It was originally built for the Ascher Brothers movie circuit, with some vaudeville too, but was very quickly turned over to Balaban & Katz. It was a record-setting real estate deal, if I remember right.

CHICTH74
CHICTH74 on June 12, 2006 at 2:14 am

Does any one have any more information on this theatre?
Like,what “CHAIN” it was part of or was it a vaudville house that became a movie house?

Broan
Broan on March 27, 2006 at 1:52 am

See here for an update on Block 37.

sdoerr
sdoerr on March 27, 2006 at 1:44 am

Here’s what is set to take place now at Block 37:
http://www.108northstate.com

It appears to have stalled though as there has been no news since 2005 and the only change noted at the site is the movement of earth.

sdoerr
sdoerr on March 27, 2006 at 1:35 am

As stated, there is work going on at the site. Though I don’t know for how long, the sidewalk has a shelter running along the side and the land has been unearthed.