Comments from BobbyS

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BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Scott, Thanks for info about the Rockne. I was only there once I believe. It was converted to a church and was torn down rather recently as the neighborhood got worse, if thats possible. I can’t believe the Pulaski and Madison area getting any lower. Probably in 20 years or so, the area will be redeveloped. But I find that hard to imagine. Did you ever travel to Lawndale? I read about all the lack of grocery stores in these areas and how the people can’t shop in a decent store and that is how Walmart is needed so badly. Well,
I can tell you that we left the area with plenty of stores and churches and movie theaters and what became of those establishments
is what the new crowd did to them. There is nothing more to say…

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Aug 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Scott, I thought the same thing too. Lots of cops walking the beat in the 20’s. Maybe no one looked up. He said lots of kids did it in all the buildings going on then. He said the dome changed colors when the Marbro opened. Anyone remember the Will Rodgers Theatre?
Belmont and Central. We had relatives there also and you guessed it,
they put us all in the show on a sat or sun to watch a movie or two and drown ourselves in popcorn and candy. I remember riding home with a tummy ache in the car. I am glad there wasn’t anything like cell phones or watching a dvd on a gadget in the back of the auto.
I wouldn’t have missed seeing all those movie palaces for anything!!!!

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Aug 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Scott, my dad and uncle were daring guys. I don’t know if the parents ever knew about that at the time, but I did remember them speaking about it years later. I asked how did you get up there? They said the scaffold and ladders were all in place when the workers went home for the night. All they did was climb them. Not only were they in the dome, but in the oval cut-outs just at the top of the facade. They would play “cops & robbers”. I said weren’t you afraid coming down especially if the sun was setting. They said it never bothered them. Good training for the army years later I bet.
Can you image on a resume: Climbing the Marbro Theater in Chicago!

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Scott, The Manor was on North Avenue and Central. We would go when we visited friends. All the parents gathered the kids and dropped them off to the local theater to “get them out of their hair” for a few hours. Five cartoons and a double feature would do it. I mainly
stayed around Madison St. for films. B&K State was as far west we would go. My brothers would always insist me to come along only beacause they got more money for treats from our parents. I hated John Wayne and all those damn indians and all the rest of those cowboy movies. But they bribed me and I tried to bring a friend along. The Manor was a nice size house and was converted to a banquet
dinning hall in the 60’s. The lobby was good and the marquee was saved and called “Ferera Manor” and retainted all the chasers and the vertical. By the way, I did see John Wayne there along with Davy
Crockette. It was no Paradise or Marbro and I was glad to get back to them. Did you ever go to the “Rockne” on Division west of Austin?
The vertical was larger then the theater. Maybe it was named after Knute! I spent half of my childhood being shuttled from one theater
to another. And you know what, I wouldn’t have changed a thing…..

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 9, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Scott, I never went. Went to the Manor on North Ave.
I have a great picture for you of the Tiffin theater.

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Aug 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Scott, my grandmother was sort of a prude you might say, She probably
knew of Sophie from the newspapers and of course no tv. I have no idea if she ever heard a record or two. Maybe they went there for the film and the stage show happened to have her on bill. I remembered the story. Also living two blocks from the Marbro, my dad told me he and his older brother watched it being built in the 20’s and even climbed up the building when the workers left and played in the dome on top of the facade. One can only imagine the joy to the neighborhood when all this excitement and fun came to Madison St.

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Probably the most sad of all, our beautiful Paradise didn’t even last 30 years. I remembered when I told you my dad and his brothers went opening week, his mother and her daughters went to the Marbro to see Sophie Tucker. My Grandmother hated it. They had to sit high up in the balcony because the place was packed. She came out in a red dress with red feathers and started to “revolve” her hips and sing suggestive songs according to Granny. She was appalled. Imagine back in ‘28 & 29" both of these two palaces were packed up to the top!

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Scott, It amazes me that there was only a 6 year period when one chain tried to outdo another one by building the most ornate and stunning movie palace with one being larger than the one just opened. Like there was no tomorrow and the audiences were to ever come in large crowds. I suppose the thought of tv never entered their minds even though it was on the horizon. You are right, the Granada should have been incorperated into something with that large
amount of people in that area. Also it is still a nice neighborhood.

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Scott, I am glad you got to see the Lans Theatre. This computer age is wonderful isn’t it? I just started computer classes and I will eventually learn to scan photos and put them on a link. I want you to see the Senate and the Crawford theaters of course our Bryd.
Too bad many theaters worn torn down to make way for stupid parking lots or some other cause. The Granada should be there today and the building built around it. It was a gem never to built again!!

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 4, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Scott, the Lansing theatre is located in downtown Lansing, Il.
It was a nice house with a large screen, no stage. Was very popular til the mid 50’s and I believe closed in the 70’s. The screen was removed and converted to a pizza parlor with teir seating on many levels. The organ is great and has all the pipes exposed with many lights flashing at times. I think you would enjoy it. The original marquee is still used and the box office is there. If you are ever up north, it would be worth a visit.

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Aug 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm

The Patio had issues with the City Of Chicago about amusement tax I believe. The city is spending alot of money on street lamps and sidewalks along Irving Park Rd. Now that the City is in millions of dollars in the red, they are re-thinking their strict rules. We will
see. Patio is a nice house. Stadium seating in an earlier time. I think it also has a “sky” and “stars”. But I might be confusing with another. It has been a long time since I was in there. Yes Scott, I wish we were talking about the Marbro too- reopening. I would surely
attend, even if I had to hire a bodyguard. What about you???????

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Scott, Dangerous isn’t the word… Suicide is more like it. But it would have been a hoot anyway. I will ask Richard at THS next time I see him about the basement which I still believe exits. Does he know you? Can I ask him for your address? Sometimes we meet at the former Lansing movie theater with a few friends. It is now a pizza parlour
with a big grand pipe organ and performances on Tues and Fri night 6-9pm. And the pizza is pretty good too. Beggers Pipe Organ Pizza!!!

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Aug 2, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I am willing to show up on a Saturday morning with a wheelbarow and
a shovel to start digging. How about it Scott and Lifes too short??
I am convinced the entire lower level is still there preserved for
future generations to ask “Did they really build something like this
just to show movies? I do remeber the murals and running through the tunnels in the balconey during intermissions. What a thrill!!!!

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Aug 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Interesting data about the Uptown. I didn’t know about the larger
lobby going to Lawrence Ave. It did make sense in 1925 to think about the vertical cost and all the machinery to run, however why wasn't
the cost taken in to effect when they spent all that $$$ for the Paradise. Can you just imagine all the steel needed to support that thing!! Plus all that wiring for the sockets and the bulbs not to
mention the control board in the basement. Then you have the same
story for that fabulous marquee, miles and miles of wireing for the
sockets and the flashers. I heard the city went to the ownwers of the Patio. They want to get action back on Irving Rd.

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Jul 31, 2010 at 5:02 pm

continued…..So it is possible that the entire basement lobby is still there like some treasure in the Middle East. I guess B&K got so disgusted with the demolition that they just closed off the lower level in order to rent out the land for the grocery store. Joe told me that story. Did you hear that one before? Wouldn’t that be something if something was down there. Would you be willing to show up there with your shovel Scott? I did hear from neighbors at the time that parts of the grocery store flooring and walls were used in the building of the store. After all, if they can down to the Titanic anything is possible!

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Jul 31, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Scott, the same holds true for the Leow’s Paradise in the Bronx. The large university sits nearby and Bronx itself is very populated.
This is what saved it from demise I am sure. It is nothing like our corner of Madison & Pulaski today. I know I said it before, but why oh why did it have to go so very bad in such a fast way? Now for the tiles. The tiles may still be there under the dirt or whatever is on top of them today. You do know that the tiles were used for the flooring of the grocery store built on the Paradise’s site. The entire basement area under the lobby was never excavated and the staircase was just concreted over on the outside rear. So it is poppossible

possible technillay

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Jul 31, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I forgot about the roof sign. Didn’t the Southtown also have one?
So maybe what Life’s too short stated sounds correct. Anyway I hope they re-open it soon. FLASH FLASH FLASH !!!!! HOT OFF THE PRESS…..
Heard this morning, Sat at 9am on WGN radio, The Patio theater will re-open this year. The owner and his son will combine and settled
their dispute with the City of Chicago and all systems are a Go. They plan to refurbish and didn’t say what the menu will be. Of course they never mentioned the same old problem: PARKING PARKING PARKING!!!!!!!

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Jul 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Scott, I thought I knew the Loews theater by the photos. But when you actually see it in person it takes on a different place. It is large as I stated, but not the scope of our Paradise and as you say not the magic. It was very successful from the beginning and into the years it became a quad. Think Goodness some one had the forsight
to bring it back to its glory. I do hear from friends it is not used to often due to the ecomony. Certaintly not as much as your Fox is.
How is the neighborhood where the Fox is located? I hear there was a pipe organ concert there sponsered by the local chapter of organ groups last May. I was thinking of driving down but I had a conflict
of dates. So next time they have one, I hear they do it often, I will drive down and maybe we can have dinner and talk about our beloved Paradise. Do you mean tiles on the floor or the walls. I have to pull the annual out tonight.

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Jul 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Scott, Good for you attending the Belmont. I was in there while still a bowling alley and was able to sneak into parts of the theater. I am pretty good at that. I cannot believe what a bland vertical given to the Uptown in 1925, while so much was spent decorating the inside! I thibk they realized it because the Tivoli
was quite different and then of course they went ‘over the top’ three years later when they put up that one on the Paradise. Still,I wonder what they were thinking when deciding on the Uptown. This was their showcase for the North Side and look what the Marks Bros. did a year later to the Granada.

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Jul 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I think ours was nicer and certainly larger. I got the feeling the Loews was built in a cramped space. Ours was vast and seemed endless.
Of course, I was a tot and everything looked bigger. Both theaters had the same designer and is a great way to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the experience of Chicago’s Paradise. The moment you turn the corner on the Grand Concourse, you know you are coming to a very important building, then you see the words LOEW’S PARADISE THEATER which are still lit up as they were in the late 20’s. Want more Scott??????

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Jul 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I don’t know what happened to above,but what I mean is after the Marbro was modernized in such a wonderful way, I suppose the expense had something to do with the decision to ‘scale-down’ future
projects in Chicago. The Uptown was a very successful house in the 1940’s with lines forming all around the block and her marquee was nothing to write home about. I am sure you will agree Scott? Most if not all of their houses looked the same. The Senate, State, Belmont, Century etc. etc. etc.

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Jul 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Scott, I don’t think the first marquee was as bright as the second.
I am sure the Genesee Theater marquee was made by the same sign company. It is quite nice with the cascading colors on both the front and sides. It is much smaller that the Marbro’s or Granada’s because the building is not as wide. But the second marquee was quite a change of pace. They went all out. When I asked Joe why the Marbro got the star treatment and not our Paradise, he said they wanted to showcase this theater with a similar flashy style as the Chicago because it was making lots of money and it was their perferred theater to market. So the Paradise was already taking a back seat. And this is 1941. So that is why the paradise got the
underwhelmed marquee—and the writing was on the wall……

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Jul 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Scott, I have that picture. It is black and white. What I want is a color photo of the last marquee after 1941. I have a still B&W day time shot with Buy War Bonds on the attraction board. But I remember turning around as we walked out across the street and want to capture
that feeling again. The marquee was twice the size of the Chicago.
It covered the entire lobby and it had to be the largest in the Chicago area, and certainly the most ornate! With my fascination
in showbusiness and electric lights, no wonder I made my way to Las Vegas for five years. You really needed “sun glasses” for all that beautiful glare of neon!!

BobbyS commented about Paradise Theater on Jul 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Scott, I never heard the word gaudy referred to the Paradise. But I can see some people thinking that. If there was a rescue plan to save it, I never heard of it. Must have been a dozen or two. I did hear people call it a relic of the past, a by-gone era, a palace of yesteryear….. So Joe wrote you a letter. He wasn’t very talkative
to me. I would love to read it. I think my dad was upset about the demolition. But then again, I don’t remember him going out of his way
to attend it. So much on tv and home life. I was always there with friends and schoolmates. I do remember the Garrick campaign. I saw “Bambi” there and we went to Henrici’s afterwards. Can hardly believe not one movie theater in the loop today!

BobbyS commented about Marbro Theatre on Jul 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Scott, Driving past the Chicago Theater at night last week, I happened to be under the marquee. I looked up and thought how the Marbro must have looked with all the colored bulbs in rotation and the flashing. I can only remember when they changed them to all white.
That is how I “see” the Marbro. Massive pink neon and massive amounts of white bulbs. Still hoping for a night shot of the marquee.