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The doors of the Rialto would not open without tax money. City council gives the theatre $600,000 quarterly. No idea how much the state gives yearly. Buts it’s plenty I bet. The events booked are one nighters with shows that travel the nation from city to city. Yes they do alot of weddings, but expenses are high. Probably the same for the Genesse theater in Waukegan, IL which changed hands many times since it was restored. Can you imagine how much the Uptown would have to make to fill all those seats and to make a profit and pay all of the bills & taxes to the city of Chicago. These palaces were built with the idea of filling seats three or four times daily!
Without money coming in on a regular basis, these places cannot exist…all the movies and music acts mentioned above. Just heard the Rialto Theatre in Joliet is closing this month. The city is withholding their share and of course the state still owes them a grant from last year. Two events planned in April demanded their money in advance. Vendors from previous shows have not be paid in months. I wonder how the King’s in NY is doing and if they are filling up the seats?
Hi Scott! I really believe they thought the City of Chicago would kick in and pledge the $$$$$$$ since they have a favorite son in Washington. Eight years later, Chicago is as broke as a church mouse!
Anybody have a picture of the last writing on the marquee which said “THEATER CLOSED, PLEASE VISIT THE B&K STATE”? Wasn’t lit up of course, but sure looked sad on that giant marquee.
In Chicago, the Music Box Theater just finished a 70 mm week of ten days. They put up a large temp screen wall to wall in front of the stage. with special sound. Saw “Cleopatra” &“Lawrence of Arabia”“2001”..So beautiful & clear and bright colors. This is their 3rd year and first with new sceen. Puts Dlp or Dcp digital to shame. Go to their website to see if they still have the booklet to view. Radio City should show these films as a special event. Our theater was full! Oh, It was beautifully masked. AMC ruined Loews when they bought it.
Thanks Lou..I can imagine the electric bill was HUGE !!
The marquee bulbs were so bright and made quite a statement at night. What wattage was each bulb? So much better than the LED’S of today. I do not like the led lights the Chicago now has on their marquee.
These of course were not LED, but very bright. What watt bulb was in use those days in B&K theaters? The LED’S in use at the Chicago Theater are not as good I believe.
Beautifully said NYer…
Wow…Stripping her the next day! What an insult!
Wouldn’t you think Radio City would bring back those big classic beautiful films on that great screen once a month for one day with four showings…has to make more money than having dark days with nothing…popcorn alone might make it work with proper advertising. On the other hand unions in NY which are probably the highest in the nation might make it difficult. But they did it once. Mid-town is perfect with so many people in the area. I can’t wait to attend the new summer show this year. I don’t know much about it, but I hope it plays well into august and has huge crowds which might bring back the concept once again..
I wonder why Radio City Music Hall doesn’t have a classic movie day once a month. When they did about about 25 years ago they had very good attendance. With so many dark days, you would think they would try. I also wonder if they still have the projectors. Biggest screen I ever saw anywhere and with the waterfall curtain lowering along with the side curtains closing it made even a more sensational event!!
When in NY years ago went to see “Jazz Singer” at the Ziegfeld. The matinee showing was almost filled! It was a wonderful experience and a beautiful movie palace. Not like the movie palaces of the past, but wonderful !! Sorry to see its passing…..
I wonder where Balaban & Katz got the money to buy out two major chains in Chicago in the late 20’s. Lubliner & Trinz and the Marks Bros. Where they both ripe for take over? Or did they have too much debt?
The San Fillippo Foundation in Barrington, Il. purchased the decal recently that was located above the marquee of the Byrd theater. They placed it above the stage and displayed it at their annual Christmas party/show… I could not make it out for I was sitting in the balcony. Does anyone remember it? I did not. I was always too busy reading the marquee. It was large. Next time I go, I will make a point to study it. It wasn’t Admiral Byrd.
Wonderful sign. Hard to understand how this corner looks today! Chicago had just great neighborhoods and beautiful theaters.
Thanks for site. Very very sad to view…This theater keeps hanging on & on. Its almost like trying to survive!
Thanks for the site Matt. I stand corrected.
I heard from the owner himself that ACE turned his offer down….If this new developement is true, it is very welcome news. Thanks
Didn’t the ACE people predict shows 300 nights a year? It could never have happened. No theater is that busy. One only has to look at Radio City to see that. Great idea to put up a screen and show films. TCM should be interested…What about installing the donated organ that once played there…Owners refused the offer!!
The Coranado theatre marquee in rockford once was struck and ripped open by a truck passing too close after the theatre was re-opened. Guess it isn’t too hard if the driver is distracted and doesn’t realize the size of his truck and how close he may be. And this was before cell phones!
Hope you can all make it to the BIG SHOW at the FOX on Sunday, August 23rd. See my post on CT/Fox for details. A show this big in that theatre should be breathtaking!
August 23rd at 2pm, The Fox will present “Those Were the Days”. The program will include Colonel Jack Moelman, Walter Strony and Lew Williams on the mighty wurlitzer. Also an audience sing-along, Laurel & Hardy movie, and a musical “Tribute to America”. $25 general admission, $35 for the mezzanine. What a Show!!! I won’t miss this one. Come one, Come all !!!!!