Comments from DavidZornig

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DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Oak Theatre on Jan 6, 2009 at 10:31 am

Ah, you are correct, a Drive-Thru of a bank. What a waste.
Why couldn’t the bank have been incorporated within the Walgreen’s lot? Or maybe built where that vacant Checker’s/Title Loan joint was?

The Oak Theatre had huge new potential, and the area surely would have supported it had it been given more time as a live venue. They even could have reinstalled a screen and ran some art-house type stuff in their down time.

For all the land that spanned the Oak, White Castle & subsequent parking lots along Milwaukee, they could have easily fit the Walgreen’s and bank/drive-thru on the Milwaukee side whilst keeping the Oak in place. It all just needed a better layout.
They should have built the Walgreens structure where it’s own parking is now, instead of having two walls face the Armitage/Milwaukee corner.
The entrance isn’t even ON the corner. So what was the geographic benefit? It’s silly.

Not sure who built 1st or wanted to one-up who, but CVS is notorious for building stores a block from existing Walgreen’s stores. (CVS is in a former grocery store just up Milwaukee).

Down on Division St., there are 2 CVS’s a block in each direction of an existing Walgreen’s. Which coincidentally replaced the Playboy/Sandburg Theatre.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Tiffin Theatre on Jan 6, 2009 at 10:03 am

Greetings all. What was the name of the giant ballroom that was on North Ave., West of at least Sacramento?
The building is still there, and the second floor has been long boarded up for years. I’m not sure of the cross street.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Mode Theatre on Jan 6, 2009 at 9:53 am

My Festival/Mode recollections had inadvertantly gotten posted to the Sheridan/Palacio page. Probably because I was expounding on the area a bit.

The ultimate demolition & building of condos on the Mode site, likely took much longer to happen due to hesitant developer speculation in the area. That gas station at Irving & Sheridan seemed to hang in deveolpment limbo even when it doubled as Cubs parking.
There was also a hip hop clothing store under the “L” that had grafitti signage visible from the tracks. It too seemed transitional at first.

Further West on Irving at the tracks by the cemetary, I remember a small, freestanding triangular garage type building for sale in 1991 or so. They wanted an unbelievable 1.5 million or something for the thing. And it was on an alley, and later I found out had some kind of variance/clause about if the CTA ever needed space to do work.
So if that was the land pricing mindset in 1991, how long did it take for actual usable land to start hitting the high mark. It seemed the 1998-ish condo boom had passed the area by.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about 13th Avenue Warren Theatre on Jan 4, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Wow, this place looks spectacular. Kudos to them for recreating such a classic deco look on such a new theatre. Complete with Diner neon.
Thanks for the pics.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Plaza Theatre on Jan 4, 2009 at 8:39 pm

I just remembered that Ogden Ave. actually used to “start” back then at North Ave. Not too far West of this locale. At approximately Larrabie St.
Where the giant lot for Father & Son Pizza is.

Ogden then wound S/W starting at Clybourn, then up & over a huge bridge at Division & Halsted. A bridge that became badly deteriorated over time. Concrete falling, etc.
That portion of Ogden Ave. was closed off to traffic for many years before ultimately being torn down in 1991. Remnants of that bridge can be seen across the river from the S/W corner of Division & Halsted. Behind the towing outfit.

Several chase seens were filmed on that bridge before it’s demise.
I believe for either Steve McQueen’s “The Hunter”, Chuck Norris' “Code Of Silence” or both.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Stephen Joseph Theatre on Jan 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the photo links.
Looks like “The Aristocats” yet again make their mark in theatre marquee history. If only I’d kept track.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Plaza Theatre on Jan 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Thanks for clarifying it had closed by `74 KenMc. I knew I hadn’t missed theatre that obvious.

A lot of the Wells Street clubs & shops had promotional hawkers out front on a regular basis back then.
I could see how the Plaza Playmates might have worked double or even triple duty as advertising for the Plaza. Dancing as well as popcorn sales, etc. I haven’t reached my friend who grew up a block from there just yet. I’ll post back his recollections, and/or steer him to CT.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Lincoln Village 1-6 on Dec 31, 2008 at 4:42 am

Greetings KingBiscuits. I never met Michael. Only met Virginia 2 times, before she’d done any films. We only had mutual acquaitances.
I then saw her at a Chicago tavern around 15-20 years ago. Fortunately I’d remembered enough names from the past, to legitimize talking to her in that instance. Sadly the hubcaps drew a blank with her.

However, I knew a couple actors from the Practical Theater Company on Howard Street.
So I happened to once meet Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Brad Hall in the late `70’s. Practical Theater was a storefront, comedy based theater that was near Damen-(Custer) & Howard. About 4 blocks West of The Howard Theatre. It was comprised of mostly NU theater students.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Loyola Theater on Dec 30, 2008 at 5:06 pm

The Loyola Theater facade was again used in a different episode of a 2004 “King Of Queens” rerun called “Frigid Heirs”.

Normally that show was more true to it’s New York surroundings with it’s establishing shots of theaters and everything else.
But this time it was clearly again the Los Angeles Loyola Theater whose exterior was used. Possibly to aid the storyline’s use of “Silent Film Festival” on the marquee. A choice made by Carrie’s father and reluctantly agreed to. Plus a classis style theater would be a better suited visual for that type of festival, than the generic NY multi-plexes they’d used in some previous episodes.

I’m not sure if it was still open in 2004, but the front was certainly not of the current medical center look.
They could have used old footage of computer generated the marquee of course.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Plaza Theatre on Dec 30, 2008 at 12:27 pm

This one I completely drew a blank on. I went to high school right up the street at St. Michaels in 1974. So I rode the bus past here every day for a year. Can’t see how I missed it unless it was then recently gone. The address would put it where that giant subsidized housing high rise is near North-North Park Street, West of Weiland St. I’m not sure it’s Orleans on the North side of North Ave.
I worked at Old Town Players on North-North Park & Eugenie, and don’t remember the Plaza at all. Unlike the Aardvark, which I remember all to well.

I’ll ask my friend who grew up on Weiland about the Plaza.

P.S. So needless to say I know nothing of the Plaza Playmates. Now the Key Club though on Burton-(now Burton Place), I remember from delivering pizzas. There was always an instant dispute as to which driver would deliver there. And why it took so long to return.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Lincoln Village 1-6 on Dec 30, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Thanks BWChicago, I posted over there. The Devon Ave. address of the Plaza threw me. But as the Plaza bio stated, it actually faced McCormick regardless.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Plaza Theatre on Dec 30, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Not to beat the Zayre thing to death, but didn’t Zayre start out as a store called Venture? They had several Chicago locations, but two were North and close to each other.
The one mentioned above and one on Peterson Ave. East of Western, where the Target is now.

I saw the first run of “Robocop” at the Plaza. Thanks BWChicago for steering me towards the Plaza’s name.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Glencoe Theatre on Dec 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

Thanks. I seem to remember seeing a play in Glenview around 1980.I thought it was in an older theater like building with an equally old stage.
But I could be wrong. Maybe it was strictly an old playhouse of sorts. Glenview was kind of far, and too wealthy for us to have been hangin' out there regularly.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Glencoe Theatre on Dec 30, 2008 at 11:28 am

You might be right. I can’t imagine a place the size of Glenview not having a theatre at some time.
The Glenview House tavern has been there for over a hundred years.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Lincoln Village 1-6 on Dec 30, 2008 at 11:24 am

“Hearts Of Dixie” was the last film I saw at the old Lincoln Village. Maybe 1989 or so. Starring the North Shore’s own Virginia Madsen. I gave her a set of hub caps for her Camaro back in `81.
How about a shout out Ginny!

What was the name of the multi-plex theaters on the North Side of McCormick East of Lincoln at that point? I think there was a Handy Andy there to or something. This would have been across McCormick from where Eric The Red’s North was located. In a completely different mall lot than Lincoln Village.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Camera Theater on Dec 30, 2008 at 10:32 am

Chester Gould also lived in Northern Illinois for quite some time.
The McHenry/Wonder Lake area. I think he lived there until his death. There was a small museum dedicated to him there that closed up a few years ago.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Valencia Theater on Dec 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm

I believe you are correct Life’s Too Short. The fallen economy likely will take “The Tower” with it. Not to mention Evanston’s rather high property taxes. NU still pays next to nothing I believe, even though they have prime lakefront & downtown land. Some of which they surely must rent out to others.
But that’s another story.
There did seem to be quite the downtown condo glut last time I was through there. Our 30th H.S. reunion was actually at Blue Moon Restaurant on Sherman, in the block South towards Lake St.

Thanks for the pictures mp775. They sure brought back memories. Smithfield Foods had a deli I often bought sandwiches from 77 -81. It then closed and became a Bennigan’s in `85 or so. There were some piano studios above Smithfield Foods. Long time (and long ago) Susie Wong’s pianist Bobby Cook had his studio up there as well.

In the second pic, you can just make out the B&G restaurant that was at the corner of Grove & Sherman. Now a trendy Bar Louie, after having a few other short term names over the years. Melbert’s was one in 1982. The Keg was the next restaurant West of that. Still is I think.

I didn’t remember the Valencia Theater being that close to Grove. I thought it was closer to Davis. But the CTA bus kind of blocks out what stood around it.
Definately early 70's though. In both shots the Ford Maverick, Dodge Dart & boat-tail Buick Riviera (71-`73), all seem period correct. But the much older model CTA bus in the 1st shot though, seems almost out of place to even it’s own surroundings.

Seeing that older bus reminded me that when they filmed part of Danny Kaye’s movie “Skokie” in Evanston, they used a bus on Sherman at Lake. Completely awash in it’s own mobile lighting. Several takes were done in front of our Holiday Texaco at 1450 Sherman. Now the site of tavern Tommy Nevin’s since 1990. Fitting.
We had based our name on the Holiday Inn that was relatively new, 1974 or so, across the street. The Holiday Inn was actually home to Evanston’s very first bar.
Most restaurant’s were allowed a “bring your own” policy, but none could serve their own alcohol until 1980 or `81. The 1st liquor store, Evanston’s First, opened in 1985 on Davis St.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Ellen Theatre on Dec 23, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Guess I should proof read posts a little better.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Ellen Theatre on Dec 23, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Someone should send forward page to Ellen Degeneres producers. A perfect way to increase the Ellen’s donations kitty.

She could comically build a road trip show around “her” name finally being up in lights, and bring a few days revenue boost to both the theatre and the town of Bozeman.
She could interview the famous residents listed above, as well as any folksy local residents exclusively.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Bertha Theatre on Dec 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Thanks for the description of the layout. I initially thought Mr. Degerberg’s rear office wall, (directly behind his desk), faced Lincoln Ave., but with no windows that faced out. I do remember the two-way glass overlooking the workout area.

When we showed up to tape there, we went up the stairs from the 1st floor, then I thought turned back towards Lincoln into his office/the former projection booth.
It was rather small, for such a larger than life figure.
When he took us out of his office to give us a tour, I thought we were then facing East, towards the blue mats. I guess I got turned around if his office actually faces North. So the screen would have faced South then, or West? I guess I have no bearings on what space encompasses the former auditorium.

I do not recall the boxing ring being in place as of yet then, just mats. It was 2003 or 2004 now that I think about it.

His office was filled with pictures and vintage armory of sorts. Flourescent lighting, but maybe a tin ceiling. Almost taller than it was wide.
He was very pleasant and even witty, a gentle giant of sorts.
Yet at the same time, extremely menacing looking.
Even the youngest and smallest of students were highly disciplined and respectful of others as classes proceeded.

There was a Degerberg retail store with workout clothing, t-shirts, etc. on the 1st floor. Which we must have cut through to access the stairs to floor 2.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Kent Cinema on Dec 23, 2008 at 10:43 am

Oh, and remembering to click on the “Notify Me” box. Computers…Ha!

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Kent Cinema on Dec 23, 2008 at 10:42 am

Greetings Sontaran6. Great post, and may I say that is exactly, what I feel anyway, that the Cinema Treasures “Comments” pages are for.

Were it not for the many memories of the folks that attended or worked at the various theatres over the years, we’d only be able to visualize from the initial description and whatever changing era photos get greatfully supplied, as the list grows.

I’ve only been gently informed once that a subject was a bit off topic.
It was about a large non-theatre building that had long ago functioned as a niteclub.
But ironically, in that reminder about the off topic subject, I was provided with even more great info about it, and I was reminded of another theatre BEHIND the very non-theatre I had mentioned.
Which sparked a whole new set of memories I could then add to THAT theatre’s page.
So it was a bonus for me and hopefully the list.

I too had difficulty at first with posting to Cinema Treasures.
First it was a WebTV thing-(incompatible server), then once that was solved, it was remembering to “Log In” everytime I posted.
The latter being the most frustrating. As everything you’d just painstakenly written, gets wiped out if you hadn’t Logged In.
I remind/warn any folks that I forward Cinema Treasures pages to, of that very “Log In” criteria.
Now that’s, off topic!

Anyway, thanks for sticking with it, and adding your vast personal life experiences and memories to Cinema Treasures. They will now reach other generations for ever.
I’m confident that’s how CT’s creators meant for it to be used and enjoyed.
All the Best!

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Wollaston Theatre on Dec 23, 2008 at 9:40 am

Thanks for the link. Great news, local community arts related folks are the potential buyers for a change. It should be noted that the posted Boston Globe link also includes a recent picture. A bit deceiving that an 1100 seat theatre exists behind that small facade. But the article claims the sale includes several storefronts, so the auditorium and such must run sideways behind them all. Instead of straight back and up. Since no large auditorium building is visible behind the facade. Only a chimney.

You can tell from the ornamentation within the brickwork over the storefronts, that it was likely all built as one. Thanks again.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Werba's Brooklyn Theater on Dec 22, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Correction, it was the “Marx Brother’s Scrapbook”. An extensive late life pictorial history compiled by Groucho. Which I’ll try and find, and help identify the theatres when I can.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig commented about Werba's Brooklyn Theater on Dec 22, 2008 at 1:37 pm

The last post reminded me that the Marx Brothers would do a similar exercise, even after they were established film stars. But their trial-runs were mini tours deliberately designed to retool material for use in their then upcoming films.
Since they came from a live stage/ Vaudeville revue background, they were at ease testing out jokes to a live audience. Then change up whatever got the bigger laughs there, before the new routines were subsequently used in films.
I seem to remember reading they did this up until Irving Thalberg’s death. After which the fun had gone out of making pictures for at least Groucho according to his book “Why A Duck” I believe. It’s the only autobiography I once read by just him.

Not sure what various theatre’s this practice was done at, by I think they went back to New York from Hollywood to do so. If anyone can connect them to specific New York theatres, maybe they could post it here first.