Comments from DavidZornig

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DavidZornig commented about State-Lake Theater on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Wow. Now THAT is what makes Cinema Treasures a truly special forum.

Just reading and knowing that a part of the State-Lake Theatre lives on in someone’s home, is heart warming.
I’m sure everyone would love to see a current picture of the organ.
If it’s not too intrusive on your privacy. If so we’d all understand.

I posted on one of the other CT pages of a suburban Chicago home, that has a huge pipe organ, Kaliope & Victrola collection in essentially what is a museum on the guy’s property.

Thank you for posting your story.

DavidZornig commented about Aardvark Cinematheque on Mar 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm

The Festival/Mode mentioned in the very top bio paragraph was located on Sheridan, and not Sheffield as written above.
Sheffield turns into Sheridan a block South of where the Festival/Mode stood. The Westbound stretch of Sheridan that intersects Sheffield starts at the inner drive of LSD to the East.
It is also why the “L” stop is called Sheridan. Also the name on the Sheridan 151 bus.

DavidZornig commented about Uptown Theater on Mar 11, 2010 at 8:13 am

I am quite certain that JAM’s intentions for the Uptown are and always have been all good. What “evidence suggests otherwise”?

Who in their right mind would spend 3 million or whatever it was, just to prevent competition from spending another 30-40 million, renovating a building with such huge problems that’s been empty for 30 years?
JAM could have NOT bought it and still gotten that result.

My understanding is that JAM owns the Riviera, and only manages the Aragon.
And the simple competition in the music biz, is to book who is most popular for the least amount of money, in the biggest place you have available.
And yes, that would be the Uptown. But there are so many insanely expensive variables to undertake before that could even remotely have been a threat.

Hypothetically, if the Uptown WAS bought and fully renovated/opened by JAM’s competition, it would still come down to who could book the bigger name acts consistently. 3-40 million is a pretty big gamble upfront to prevent competition.

JAM openly claimed it had wanted to buy and renovate the Uptown for years. But the roadblocks and various players invloved were always insurmountable. (Some of which is stated in links in posts above, from around the time they finally purchased it.)

I agree the City of Chicago seems shamefully indifferent to what happens to the Uptown. Or most landmark worthy buildings for that matter. Unless they can get their piece of the action. The City is claiming it’s treading water itself. So incentives are going to be flying out of City Hall any time soon.

DavidZornig commented about Varsity Theater on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:12 am

I don’t know why I remember this, but I think NorthLight Theatre had something to do with trying to resurrect the Coronet Theatre at one time too. I seem to remember their name on the marquee.
Hopefully more will come out of this venture than sadly didn’t, over there.

It will be interesting to see how they are able to reconfigure some type of entrance on Sherman Ave. And not just some side door in the alley.
Since the stage is towards the back.

Some of the previous pictures posted showed that the back half of the auditorium, ceiling, and possibly balcony space had all been encapsulated. Awaiting just this type of project.

DavidZornig commented about Majestic Theater on Feb 27, 2010 at 5:08 am

Wow, “The Fury” is on the marquee in the 1976 photo. It’s actually 1977 or 78 though. "The Fury" was filmed partially in Chicago. We briefly met Kirk Douglas when he ran up to my car from a small Lincoln Park incline in front of the Cardinal's residence at North Ave. & State Parkway in mid77.

I had a 57 Plymouth Plaza, (much like a "Christine" Fury which was a58).
We had slowed down to look at some camera trucks, when Kirk ran up the hill to my drivers window and yelled “Ahhhh!”. Scared the begeezus out of us. He actually grabbed my driver’s door with both hands under the window. They had been filming and he was apparently goofing off during a break. I like to think that the then 20 year old car is what caught his eye.

DavidZornig commented about Majestic Theatre on Feb 27, 2010 at 4:52 am

To Chuck1231, the link with the current pics (10/11/08) you mentioned is still up, and was/is posted above by supercharger96 on 10/21/08.

The dog skeleton has a pretty large skull. I wonder if it was originally a guard dog that was sadly just forgotten about.

DavidZornig commented about Norshore Theatre on Feb 27, 2010 at 4:33 am

Oh, that’s too bad. It was a really nice daytime picture as I recall.
It showed the white ceramic tile work on the spires, etc.

DavidZornig commented about Chicago Theatre on Feb 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Just a quick FYI. The Jewel/Osco on Howard St. near McCormick has some two sided tote bags at the registers with a really nice full color scanned picture of the Chicago Theatre on them.
Not sure if they are available at all Jewel stores or not, but it’s worth a look if there’s one nearby.
They are probably inexpensive as it appears there are multiple designs of other Chicago scenes and/or landmarks.
Point of purchase stuff usually is.

DavidZornig commented about Royal Theatre on Feb 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm

The existence of this theater and a mock up of it played a pivotal part in the 1999 Adrien Brody film “Liberty Heights”. It was shown as the site for a late 50’s James Brown concert that two of the film’s main characters attended.

A rather nice backlot, neon marquee was rebuilt to presumably replicate the original exterior.

DavidZornig commented about Royal Theater on Feb 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I think there were some loft style apartments at the neighboring location up until 2005 or so.
A couple of fires displaced the few who resided or worked there.

DavidZornig commented about Crest Theatre on Feb 18, 2010 at 9:02 am

The April 2009 LoopNet link is apparently now a pay site.
I guess it’s polite way of saying “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it”.
It’s neat to read those sometimes, to see how all of a given theatre’s history gets condensed to sell it.

DavidZornig commented about Academy Theater on Feb 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

If they let you guys take pics, maybe you can post some after your tours.

DavidZornig commented about Academy Theater on Feb 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

If they let you guys take pics, maybe you can post some afterward your tours.

DavidZornig commented about Vic Theatre on Feb 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for posting that RickB.
It’s a shame that it’s the first and only time that Mr. Klein’s name or his ownership of the Vic has been mentioned so far.
When certainly it was his purchase of it in `83 according to the obit, that in hindsight likely saved the theater forever.
If only that same vision had been applied to the Uptown at the same time.

DavidZornig commented about Carnegie Theatre on Feb 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Just another reminder to CT Admins, the year of the fire in the opening bio of the Carnegie needs to be changed from 1996 to 1966.

Also when it finally closed as a theater in 1986, it became Hamburger Hamlet first. It then opened as Hugo’s Frog Bar in 1996.
The former Mister Kelly’s site next door was Sweetwater up until 1989, when it reopened as Gibson’s.

Down the street, the 2 story former Norge Village Laundromat(60's-70’s), later Rubus Jungle (Ice Cream & Miniature Golf- late`70’s), then Guaduala-Harrys, thenu El Torito became Carmines in 1995.

DavidZornig commented about Village Art Theatre on Jan 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Exactly, who knew it was gutted? But more importantly-when? If it closed as a theater, and was still built out as one inside, who pulled permits to gut it out, and how soon after the closure?
In a perfect world, any permit that was applied for at that address should have raised a red flag to the Alderman. Who in turn would hopefully then make a trip over there to see what’s going on. If for not other reason than to see if possibly any ornementation from the original theater had only been covered over during the muliplexing.

Then possibly there could have been a limit applied to the extent of the gutting. I’m fine with the use of it not as a theater is what its future holds. But if any aspects of it’s former interior could have been preserved to just showcase in the new usage, that ship has no sailed.

I do understand about the hesitancy for Landmarking to not be as strict on the protection of interiors. But I think that when it comes specifically to old theaters, there should be an extra effort made by municipalities to protect whatever may still exist of any original ornamentation.

Otherwise developers will just cointinue to gut to the brick, and that’s it. Gone forever.

I know the Village was multiplexed quite some time back. But very often when that was done to small theaters, they just dropped the ceilings and the old interiors remained up in newly created catacombs.

In this instance, and again a perfect scenario, there might have been a chance to see what was left of the original theater. And moniter the gut job accordingly. I just have a sense that it went forward unwatched because so much time had passed. And with the surprise win of a new Alderman, the decisions may have been even more hasty.

In theory, when any new interior buildout moves forward and the gut was under the radar, the permits department would say: “Wait a minute, what happened to the existing interior that was on file?”

DavidZornig commented about Village Art Theatre on Jan 23, 2010 at 7:54 am

It would be interesting to know what the time frame was on the tear out. And if it was done legally via proper building permits.

If it was after the Landmarking process had been started by the new Alderman, and the city somehow wasn’t informed I would imagine there could be hefty fines to be paid that could affect any sale of the building.

I would think the Alderman would have at least toured it once when making the case to Landmark the property.

There could also be a gray area over whether any of the original theater interior ornamentation (ceiling etc) was removed in the most recent tear out. Ornamentation that may have previously been only encapsulated, when it was multiplexed.

Though Chicago Landmarking does seem kind of loose as to interior preservatons.

In any event, it sound as if it is much further from becoming a theater again than anything else. Since it’s not turnkey anymore as they say.

DavidZornig commented about Music Box Theatre on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm

To paul2, there is a store opening in Skokie (on Oakton) called Bob’s Newstand.
They specialize in vintage newspapers & magazines. Copies from specific dates bought as gifts for birthdays & anniversaries etc.

Perhaps you could purchase a Chicago newspaper from that day, and the films at the Music Box would be listed inside.

DavidZornig commented about Capri Cinema on Jan 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

There is a brief exterior shot of the Capri Cinema marquee in the Harrison Ford film “Regarding Henry”, circa 1991.
It can be found on YouTube sorted chronologically in parts.

Ford’s child like character is wandering the city unsupervised and enters one of the porno houses.
He is then shown to be uncomfortable in what he sees on screen.

The underside of another marquee is shown in the foreground, but the theater name is not visible.
The Capri however seems to be the establishing shot for the area he is in.

DavidZornig commented about Terminal Theatre on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:57 am

I was asked by a friend to clarify my 12/08 post about the Terminal’s giant neon marquee being turned back on.

During WWII, some theaters and other venues that would hold large amounts of patrons, were ordered to leave their outdoor signage turned off.
In an effort to not make such buildings that would be full of people stand out as targets, in the event of an enemy air raid.

That is what was mentioned in the PBS “Remembering Chicago” show.
Which BTW is back in rotation now. Updated with a 2nd volume, and again for sale during the many WTTW/PBS subscription drives.

DavidZornig commented about First run movie theatre for sale in vibrant Vermont college town on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:01 pm

What’s the current name of the theatre? I would think any potential buyers might want to read the current CT page about it.
Unless it’s specifically not named for a reason.

DavidZornig commented about Plaza theater for sale on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Is it me, or is there no CT page for this particular theatre?
I checked all 378 Plaza’s listed, and nothing in Burlington KS pops up. Just curious.

DavidZornig commented about Plaza Theatre on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I don’t know why I just remembered this. But I think when we saw “Robocop” here, they ran trailers for “Alien Nation” with James Cann.
And one of the scenes showed a mall parking lot that looked almost like the one we’d just come in from.

I think it was a scene with ET’s Leeza Gibbons as a newscaster, saying something about President Reagan to establish a time reference.

DavidZornig commented about Showplace ICON at Roosevelt Collection on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Wow. Welcome news for downtown.
It’s a shame a new building had to be built though, when we had all those beautiful theaters sitting there vacant as recent as 25-30 years ago.
Maybe this facility could display some sort of tribute/photo gallery of what the old downtown theaters looked like back in their heyday.

DavidZornig commented about Dishman Theatre on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Oh…duh, A.T. Dishman. Guess I should read ALL the past posts first.