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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.
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.
70's though. In both shots the Ford Maverick, Dodge Dart & boat-tail Buick Riviera (
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.
Guess I should proof read posts a little better.
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.
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.
Oh, and remembering to click on the “Notify Me” box. Computers…Ha!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Since my shoe store/boot analogy went over so big, I’ll spare everyone anything about the watch repair guy running out of time.
Good luck with the Conservancy angle Nushboy. Maybe you could scan a few of the items & post them for the list, before parting with them.
Not to mention the presumed cost of heating & air conditioning a giant space, whether it had much of an audience or not. I remember some cold days at the State-Lake and a few others. Alienating what little audience you did have, was the next to last step to closing.
I don’t remember the State-Lake becoming as run down cosmetically as say the McVicker’s in the end. But no vandals is no people, either way.
That was a huge building. Is it me or does “The Aristocats” always seem to be on the marquees of these places?
Nice pic. An old Ford Anglia I believe parked in the middle. With the opposite angled rear window. Like some early `60’s American Mercury’s had.
Maybe some of those who attended/arranged the Landmark Commission meetings would be interested in your vintage items. Might help them scan some to put together a booklet or something about the Nu Wilshire. Especially if the facade gets saved. Best of luck in your efforts.
Is it too soon to say Buster’s Shoe Repair next door got the boot?
Wow. This place was actually pointed out to me when I was in Phoenix a few years back. The car rental place was 4 blocks from here on Van Buren. I got the mini-tour by the courtesy driver who picked me up at the airport.
Phoenix had an insane 28 percent tax on all cars rented “AT” the airport. So we always rented from a outfit several miles outside the airport property. Literally saving hundreds.
The driver drove us past the trailer park and indicated it was previously a drive-in. As well as the apparent colorful past of the rest of Van Buren Street. Once ripe with run down motels, and apparently no shortage of working girls to fill them.
I can only assume this illicit activity helped hasten the end of the Acres Drive-In as well.
There were also many `50’s looking roadside buildings along Van Buren as well. Steak & Egger restaurant, public pools, etc.
It was attempting a resurgence of sorts with newer motels and the like last I was there. Trying to erase the once seedy image of the area.
One of the major concert venues of today is not far from the former Acres site. Might be the Dodge, but if not, it’s the other one.
Well, I reread the “Source” again, and somehow I missed that it pretty clearly says “the State Theatre currently houses the Islamic Center of Chester”. So I guess in Chester’s eyes, it’s still standing.
I was wrong,(a lot today), in that the picture above the Islamic Center in the “Source” link, is from the another angle. And the two rooflines are not as easily comparible.
It is the very top Old Chester PA link that has the `60’s photo with roofline.
I personally am still suspect that the Islamic Center is actually in a/the old neighboring building. But the Chester website folks should definately know better than I.
I think it’s time for my nap.
Though to perpetuate the confusion, the Islamic Center is also pictured within the same link that says the theatres are all gone except two.
Other than a perfect example of the two rooflines pictured above each other, I’m still confused. Is there a reason the Islamic Center isn’t included in “beautifully utilized as churches”? Or is it an admission that it is indeed not the same building, only pictured with it.
Lost Memory’s “Source” link is still the BEST source, for what was and is now. I defer to Lost Memory for the final determination, if the status should be changed from Religous Services to Demolished. The wrong address is a given. Especially since the town of Chester seemed to change things around at one point or another.
Thanks Lost. I still was, until I read the link you posted as “Source” completely to the very bottom.
It ends with the quote: “All the theaters are gone now, but the Boyd and Roxy are beautifully utilized as churches.”
Since the State Theater is not included as one of the two theaters remaining, we can assume it was torn down. And that Ken Mc’s link of the vacant Islamic Center is most likely the building next door to where the State Theater was, and is not the former State Theater itself. Regardless of address. Given the identical roofline in the `60’s picture and the Islamic one.
Neat looking theatre. It’s a shame it’s ended up in the condition it is.
Years ago in Chicago, some owners deliberately did little to prevent the desecration of buildings they were interested in tearing down. It sometimes gave them an ironic upper hand in court, if any preservationists were seeking landmark status of “their” properties.
The subsequent graffiti and damage could bolster both arguments. Protect it before it’s damaged more. Or grossly remodel or tear down to prevent an “ongoing” eyesore. Like the owner would be “helping” the city out.
Sadly, some municipalities seemingly more often side with building owners than preservationists.
Because it is a faster route to increased tax revenues on “developing” properties.
New construction permit fees, business licenses of the ultimate new tenants, increased individual property taxes if something ends up as condos, etc.
Especially if everything around it in the neighborhood is simultaniously taking a dive too.
Nothing happens by coincidence when landmarking is thrown into the mix.
An honest mistake. I was just making light humor of the x3 in both.
Thanks for the additional link to the Cinerama page.
Hats off to your insightful contributions to CT.
Hmmm. I think you are right. A possible mix up on the East/West address distinction.
However, NOW I notice that the roofline of the vacant Islamic Center in Ken Mc’s Dec.19th post, mirrors that of the building NEXT to the State Theatre in the `60’s photo from the Old Chester PA— “New” State Theatre link. Under the very top description. (The photo with the construction equipment parked in the middle of the street in front of Henry’s.)
Maybe the marquee/entrance and auditorium were in neighboring buildings. Or it could just be coincidence, and the marquee helps hide the roofline we need to distinguish. Beyond any wrong addresses.
Hope I didn’t confuse things worse.
Correction, silly me.
“New building on the site of the old State Theatre & Washburn, etc.”. As referenced in the Old Chester PA link under the State’s description.
Oh, I get it. Thanks for the clarification Lost Memory.
Seems the Chester Time’s folks tried to throw a curve back in 1939, by posting the words “Old & New” in reverse order, over the Newest & Old State Theatre pictures. So whether they were built on the same site or not remains a mystery, no?
I just saw a promo on VH1 for something called “Fall Out Boy-Live from the Chicago Theatre”.
Apparently “hometown” band Fall Out Boy filmed a live concert at the Chicago Theatre very recently, to be broadcast via FuseTV and/or VH1. In conjunction with a Dec.16th CD release.
It apparently has aired several times since.
As when Conan O'Brian was here several years back, maybe some of the interior architecture will get camera time.
Sure wish the recent Brian Wilson show had been filmed too. I know nothing of Fall Out Boy.
Though the architecture appears similar, the 1939 picture & vintage 1890-ish website picture is clearly a 2 story or better building.
The recent shot of the vacant Islamic Center, is that of only a one story building. With a similar type of ornamentation across the top. Coincidence most likely due to like construction styles in the area at the time.
Sorry if this analogy is redundant.
I don’t see it clarified as two different buildings though, in previous posts.