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Maybe the posting of some daytime photos would help to showcase the theatre better. Is there a link to a current listing or something?
I’m not in the market, but thought anyone who might peruse the site, might take a second look if there were pictures.
“Theater for sale” is indeed a great moniker to start with. I linked over just based on that alone.
Best of Luck!
Silly me, I guess I should have read the “Add A Photo” criteria first.
I wasn’t critiquing Cinema Treasures, just curious that if accurate photos were already posted in discussion, why couldn’t they just be chosen & moved to the top. I had no idea of the volume of additional photos CT receives.
Like I should talk with my lowly WebTV.
Wow, that 1939 photo posted by tkpepper seems the perfect picture to post at the top of this Linda Lea CT page. Maybe blow it up a tad, and crop off all but the theatre. It also seems the oldest representation of The Arrow in reference to it’s original opening.
I’ve often wondered why of all the theatres profiled on Cinema Treasures, CT doesn’t just use one of the many photos posted during discussions, as the main header establishing photos.
Instead of keeping the “No Photo Available” image up.
Is it a photo copyright’s issue or something? Just wondering.
I just saw a Retro Minute feature from www.getback.com that said on 11/17/68, The Who, Small Faces, Mindbenders and one other band played live at the London Hippodrome.
I searched the CT list for London Hippodrome, and this was the only one still standing at that time.
Nice picture indeed LTS. It kind of shocked me when it scrolled up.
Somewhere I have an octagonal paving brick from the State Street Mall.
Can’t blame Mayor Bryne for trying.
The city actually maintained the cab & bus traffic only thing long after the mall idea fizzled. If only the 1992 flood hadn’t occurred, we’d still be able to street park down there. Once they saw how traffic was moving, meters were history. (Not counting Wabash)
I thought that the Roosevelt Theatre had run a closed circuit showing of the Frazier-Foreman fight back in `74. But I see no break in the movie action on the list.
Must have been one of the other downtown theatres. The Aragon Ballroom also ran closed circuit fights occasionally.
The Shubert is one of my favorites. I walked by there every night on my way to a security job at the old USG building at Monroe & Wacker in the early 80's. A unique early60’s structure in it’s own right with heated sidewalks, etc., now gone though.
80's. A unique early
However my favorite story about the Shubert is seeing “A Little Night Music” with Jean Simmon’s and Margaret Hamilton there in late 1977.
We all waited in the ornate lobby as it was promised Ms. Hamilton would come out and say hi.
Almost 40 years from Oz, after a short wait a door slowly opened and she shuffled out carrying shopping bags.
Hauntingly, many children who had waited to see her, and surely understood nothing of “ALNM” which they just sat through, all in unison took one step backwards for every step she took forwards. Always keeping themselves at at least a 5 foot distance.
A chilling site that Ms. Hamilton surely but understandibly, must have encountered her entire life after Oz.
I was 17, but still for a brief second felt the fireballs might come flying.
Kind of sad really since it’s documented that she was a kindergarten teacher before ever taking the Wicked Witch role. And surely adored children early on. Even as Cora the Coffee lady, she was sweet.
In 1991 I saw Robert Morse as Truman Capote in “Tru” at the Shubert. Currently in AMC’s “Madmen”.
He too greeted well wishers in the lobby afterwards. Yet pointed at his throat, and could only shake hands, smile & sign what was put before him.
Then he just casually walked out the front door alone, and off to his hotel. No entourage or TMZ back then.
About a year ago I shot a piece for Cable 25’s “Your Town Chicago”, about Broadway In Chicago. We interviewed the top lady of BIC, in one of the upper side balconies at the Shubert.
The stage was set up for “12 Angry Men” with our own George Wendt.
However we couldn’t shoot the stage, and had to supply all our own power.
BIC graciously provided all other footage we needed from current shows though. It was just the interview, theatre facade & background we needed anyway. I guess I didn’t notice that it was now BoA Theatre when there.
Ah, Thanks BWChicago. I don’t suppose Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre is listed on CT under another name by chance is it? I’m pretty sure it never ran films.
And I don’t think the Blackstone did either, now that I think about it.
Haven’t been over there to see how it fared during the Blackstons Hotel’s massive renovation.
I don’t recall seeing many films at The Oriental, other than maybe “The Mack”. I’d have to study JRS40’s list.
I did see the stage play/musical “Scrooge” starring Richard Chamberlin there a couple of years ago. Our original night was cancelled after arriving due to Mr. Chamberlin falling ill.
But you somehow felt as if they wanted a fuller house, so they combined two nights. They compped/reimbursed everyone though that came back the next night, so box office money wasn’t behind it. Hence we actually saw it for free.
Many senior ladies in the audience giggled when Chamberlin sang the line “I hate Women”, from the song “I Hate Life”. Given Chamberlin’s timely pause and smile, it sure seemed intentional.
The staging and prop work of “Scrooge” was truly exceptional.
Up to and including a mirror he was singing into. And the characters flying.
I noticed someone posted elsewhere on CT that The Shubert at one time briefly showed films. Yet Chicago’s Shubert is not listed on CT. Could they have meant the old Blackstone Theatre?
I’d completely forgotten about the Studebaker Theatre.
For some reason I remember seeing Pearl Baily perform there, in about 1969 or 70 with my family. We then met her backstage and I shook her hand. Being all of 10, I wore a glove on the one hand at school the next day so I could tell the story. So I guess Michael Jackson owes me something for intellectual property.
The last film I saw there was maybe 1992 or so, a John Sayles film set in Texas or something. Kris Kristofferson was a sheriff & Elizabeth Pena a waitress maybe.
I also helped move some drafting tables & equipment out of The Fine Arts building around 2000 when the Harrington Design school vacated their space.
The elevator operator was still there, and they had a plaque on the wall about his 50+ years of service, etc.
There was also a freight elevator behind the theatre space at the alley.
The floor of the passenger elevator was concave it was so worn.
My mother had several singing coaches & pianists that rented space there as well. There were some small performance type rooms on upper floors that faced Michigan Ave.
I thought that The Art Institute had bought it at one time.
P.S. Wikipedia has a full description of Quonset Hut history & construction.
The Byron Theatre structure would definately qualify given the photo of several on Wiki.
For the record, the Byron structure is what I would consider a true quonsot hut.
They were military in nature, though I’m not sure originally for what purpose. Other than fast construction during wartime. Or the correct spelling.(Scrabble dictionary doesn’t have it.)
I noticed it mentioned on the Southside Theatre page.
Thanks for posting the picture.
FYI. There is a brief glimpse of the Fox marquee in a current Kid Rock music video, “Roll On” or something.
It features KR driving around the Detroit area in an `60’s Lincoln convertable.
A giant fenced-in classic building with arches is also featured. Presumably an abandoned auto manufacturer’s headquarters.
Wow, that’s quite an article. Thatnks for posting it.
It’s amazing that any developer could have spent 8 million dollars just four years ago for some place so massive, only to sell it off yet again.
I hope the Time’s get’s a new lease on life soon.
That club interior is reminiscent of the famous Bergoff Restaurant in Chicago.
Maybe the club portion could be opened up as a money maker first, with hopes of generating interest in reopening the theatre portion.
Maybe the new, young Hollywood millionaires could pool their resources ala Planet Hollywood, and become heroes for restoring such a landmark theatre.
Wikipedia lists the Warner Theatre as the venue that ventriloquist Jeff Dunham taped his 2007 show/DVD “Sparks of Insanity” at.
It’s possible that DVD includes good footage of the Warner’s interior.
As did his recent Christmas special taped at Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Theatre.
The Orinda marquee was briefly seen in a recent episode/montage of “Snapped”.
Utilizing the marquee’s in the various hometown’s of profiled murderesses, seems to be a pattern of “Snapped” producers/editors.
Especially when said theatre’s share the same names as the towns.
Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham filmed his Christmas Special in the historic Pabst Theatre.
It is currently in rotation on the Comedy Central Network, and slated for DVD release on Nov.18th 2008.
There are many tilts & pans of the Pabst Theatre’s classic interior within the show.
He opens his show citing the Pabst Theatre’s Vaudeville history.
I am quite positive the Michael Todd Theatre is where my family & I saw the musical film “Scrooge”, when in first came out.
In response to Mr. Keating’s 2004 comment about Liz Taylor, I had heard the same thing. Except I was told that she was literally driven by the theatre at her own request during a Chicago visit, and was then appalled to see that it was showing X-rated films.
She then set in motion the wheels to close it down.
She’d been quoted as Michael Todd being her only true love throughout all her marriages, with even two to Burton.
I think I read somewhere that Michael Todd’s body/jewelry or both was stolen
shortly after her death in a plane crash I believe.
So one could assume that she was already super sensitive to matters involving him & his name.
In regards to Smell-O-Vision, my late father had told me that one of the exagerrated scents that was pumped into the audience, was that of a pipe being smoked by one of the films characters.
Since this effect was done chemically and obviously not with real smoke in a theatre, it in turn caused some patrons to become ill and have to depart the theatre rather quickly.
Since Chicago was a little sensitive itself to theatre fires, I could see how this could be a problem.
Does anyone have a link to any pictures of the Valencia? Thanks.
Has anyone been inside of this venue recently?
Was the interior restored or maintained as original?
Did the sky painting on the ceiling remain?
Just a bit more about the current Park West.
There are comfy black vinyl booths that are on ascending levels from the main floor which has tables of it’s own. These booths are seemingly always reserved in advance. However they kind of force the customer to turn their heads right or left for an entire performance. Since the seating in each booth does not truly “face” the stage. Though still the best seats to have, as the view is over the heads of all below you.
Next level up has many small round tables & chairs then a main aisle. Then some railing type counters with bar stools and a wall for some standing room. Also some VIP and railings with bar stools up at an upper catwalk like level along the back walls.
Drink service is brought to the all tables via waitstaff. However one can venture up to a main bar on the East wall, or to one of a few smaller bars if they wish to purchase their own.
Potentially losing an unreserved seat seemingly wouldn’t be worth it though.
There is a giant, rotating mirrored ball that hangs from the center of the original circular recessed ceiling. Some ornate plaster work is still visible in this gently backlit recess.
It’s really the only visible part of the theater’s original interior. There are some small suspended screens that highlight upcoming events hanging from the sides.
The lobby, hallways and restrooms are all mostly black & silver and modern looking. Even though most of the decor is 20 to 30 years old, one would never know it.
Normally the acoustics are perfect in the Park West. Making it a great place and preferred choice to see anything.
It did seem however that in some instances though that required an excess of individual mics, the sound suffered at times. Not sure whether it was the house, or the particular artist’s traveling sound or crew.
It seemed as if a performer wandered, the next mic he/she got to was not ready for them. But these were isolated instances, and not the norm by any means.
I’m also surprised at the amount of non-stop talking that goes on during some performances. As if the patons actually WERE in a nightclub or something. This practice seemed to increase as the night went on.
Still a great place.
Remember, if you go to Geja’s Fondue next door first, hot oil really IS hot oil. Maybe they should offer all the “talkers” gift certificates.
My mother has told me stories of taking the street car with her brothers in the `40’s to see movies at the Lane Court Theatre.
A friend of mine was also involved in the 1977 conversion.
Since 1982, at the Park West I’ve seen The Turtles, James Brown, Nick Lowe, Bjorn Again(don’t ask), Cheap Trick/Benefit for the Chicago Homeless, John Entwistle(worst sound ever), Polyphonic Spree, Tributosaurus, Jenny Lewis, & JAM’s Christmas is for Kids auction in 2001. Along with countless other shows I can’t recall.
In 1985, a local radio personality named Brad Palmer or something had an event at the Park West that our dealership Fanning Cadillac partially sponsored.
Brad was famous for doing street slang style soap opera updates, on several radio stations under the name Clarence and other psuedonyms.
He then took that gig national after an apparent brief legal threat by one of the TV networks. Guess they gave in after realizing any publicity is good publicity.
He was close friends with one of our sales managers. I think he even had chrous girls called “The Bradettes” or another play on one of the names he used. It was a wild night that we provided cars for.
I’m not sure about the Park West’s “nightclub” status on dark nights. I’ve never known them to be open without name entertainment or a specific event.
Down the street at Armitage & Sedgwick was a place called The Ultimate Sports Bar & Grill. Where the bank is now.
Ultimate had a boxing ring with dining tables inside of it, among other sports themed stuff. Pop-a-Shot, etc. It was one of the few places in Chicago to ever have just their specific address voted dry.
After countless complaints of rowdy patrons exiting the premises and urinating on neighboring lawns.
Strangely the 4-5 other bars nearby never had that problem.
Across from the Park West was one of the original Playboy Clubs, on the upper first floor of the tall residential building. When Playboy closed, the site reopened as the Four Torches. Which had just that burning across the facade about 20 feet apart.
Around the corner on Lincoln in 1982 or so, Augustana Hospital had a newly built, multi level parking garage that also served the Park West. Strangely the hospital & lot was then sold and all torn down to construct the town home/row houses that now line Lincoln North of Armitage Ave.
Wow. I remember those scaffolds going up, and getting scared that it was all doomed. I always thought a higher end thrift store would do well on that Clark Street side. Much like the one that got booted from S/W corner of Erie & Clark, then sat empty ever since.
Thanks for the link.
I took my mother here to see Olivia Newton John. Our seats were in the last row of the main floor. It was halfway over before she realized it wasn’t Ann Margaret.
I also saw Bjorn Again, an ABBA cover band here… I know…
The crowd was mostly seniors. So there must have been some kind of group packages offered or something.
The Paramount is an absolutely beautiful place. Took a while to get to, but well worth it. Right on a river, with storefronts that should be booming but weren’t.
They run stuff like the above, Brad Garrett, Turtles, etc. I think the parking as free and shared by a casino.
McDonald’s Corp. owns Chipotle. So they must have been stuck with the lease or possibly land.
Oddly symbolic of the conversion from American to Foreign films.
Don’t want to touch the deeper symbolism behind the conversion to porn.
We also have a Royal George Theatre in Chicago, located on Halsted Street just North of North Ave. It has a main floor theatre and a small theater space upstairs. I believe it only runs stage shows and no films.
Across the street is the famous Steppenwolf Theatre.