Comments from DavidZornig

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DavidZornig commented about Texas Theatre on Nov 22, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Just saw a 3 minute piece about the Kennedy Assassination.

The old black & white footage used in the establishing shot of the Texas Theater (Oswald’s point of capture), showed “Richard Burton’s HAMLET” on the marquee. According to IMDB and a subsequent review, this version came out in 1964. And was “essentially a videotape of a Broadway performance”. Which Burton allegedly ordered all copies destoyed after a limited theatrical run. (So it’s apparently tough to find.)

Two things of note, whoever shot that B/W Texas Theater B-Roll way back when for whatever original Kennedy piece, obviously did it the following year.

Secondly, since Burton’s HAMLET was indeed a taped Broadway performance, it was likely re-dubbed to film in order to play at movie theaters. Since it’s unlikely however many theaters it ended up playing it’s limited run at, would pay the added cost to switch out projection equipment just to play one feature.
Especially since it was likely originally shot/stored on 2-inch videotape or whatever was the norm back then for the original remote shoot.

DavidZornig commented about Academy Theatre on Nov 22, 2008 at 1:31 am

I was a the Genesee Theatre a few years ago. I think the former site of the Academy Theatre ended up just becoming a multi level parking garage.
I don’t remember a steak house or anything else. Unless it was kitty corner from the Genesee, and not directly across the street from it.
I seem to remember taking pictures of the Genesee marquee from the 3rd level of that parking garage. This was maybe 2006 or so.
My full Genesee experience that night is on the Genesee CT page.

DavidZornig commented about Claremont Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm

There was also some type of theatre building just a bit further West on Belmont on the North Side of the street. Not as far West at Clarke’s Diner.
It was torn down about 3 years ago, after standing vacant for a while. Haven’t figured out what it was called yet.

DavidZornig commented about Claremont Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Here’s an answer that’s a little late. Yes, that location was the Guitar Center before The Alley.
The Alley was previously accessed off of what else, the alley on Belmont. West of the Dunkin Donuts parking lot.
Which I’m told you should never park in, even when you are GOING to Dunkin Donuts.
A friend of mine bought his used 12 string bass at that Guitar Center.
I think it was bi-level then, not sure about now.

DavidZornig commented about Colonial Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Just noticed the 105th anniversary of the fire coming up in December.
And 50th for the Queen of Angels School.

There was a theatre in Montreal Canada that had a horrific fire at a children’s matinee in the early 60's. When we visited Expo67, children were still barred from most theaters. Laws were rewritten about outward opening exit doors there too. But not sure how forbidding children in the theatres was going to change anything.

DavidZornig commented about Colonial Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Ah, thanks. I guess I got confused because I thought the Iroquois would be listed as such, because that’s what it was built as. I haven’t mastered the criteria yet on why some theatre’s get listed by their interim names.
I understand listing them by current names, but thought for recollection sake that they’d be listed for sure as their original name.
I guess that’s why there IS a “Theater Search Tool”. Thanks again.

DavidZornig commented about Colonial Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Thanks Lost Memory for steering me in the right direction.
My grandmother told my mother that as late as the 1920’s, a woman who survived the Iroquois fire used to walk the downtown streets wearing “Widow’s Weeds”. Some type of layered black veils to hide the burns to her face.

Also apologies to whatever CT page I wrongly associated the Garrick to be the theatre that burned.

DavidZornig commented about Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm

What name is the Iroquois Theatre listed under on Cinema Treasures?

DavidZornig commented about Bertha Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Had no idea this building ever housed a theatre. Participated in several car shows over the years, right out in front. As part of an annual street fair. Though they stopped the car show portion a few years back. Probably cause it took up all the parking. Couldn’t get an answer out of anyone.

Shot a piece about Martial Arts Master Degerberg when his studio was located down the block to the South. But same building I think. His space was two stories and had an industrial looking ceiling.
The German-American Fest is still a yearly event at the South end of Lincoln.

DavidZornig commented about Muvico Rosemont 18 Theater on Nov 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Wow, I never knew this place existed. And they’re building one at block 37? Awesome.
I agree it will be great if they use the same type of vintage building style.

In hindsight, the great theaters of downtown Chicago might have survived longer even vacant, if they weren’t in the Midwest. (Of course they couldn’t be great Chicago theatres then).
Constant winters with little or no heat had to greatly accelerate the downward spiral of so many of the theatre’s structural integrity.
Since everything was virtually steam heat back then, or worse yet converted from coal, many owners probably just shut everything off when they ultimately closed, and walked away. Especially if they were already losing money.

It’s truly great that the long vacant Uptown has survived as it did through so many harsh winters. Good luck JAM, we’re all behind you.

DavidZornig commented about Wilmette Theatre on Nov 20, 2008 at 9:42 pm

My father worked for John Colburn in the late 50's or early60’s. Before going down to Vougue Wright & Fred Niles Studios (Which Oprah eventually bought).

I was at the Wilmette a couple times in the 60's, then again in the70’s.
Thought I saw “Hot Rod” with Pernell Roberts & Robert Culp there.
But I can’t recall if that was originally a theatrical release or made for TV. Might have been a second run of “The Wanderers” with Ken Wahl.

There used to be a vintage ice cream/burger shop called Bob’s about a block away. It had dark wood walls and old style ice cream glasses. Many families would go there with kids in tow.

DavidZornig commented about Crown Glen 10 on Nov 20, 2008 at 9:32 pm

I was at this complex over the Summer for a car show. It’s truly a city unto itself. Didn’t see the theatres, but that makes it even more complete. You could probably by a condo there, sell your car, and never leave.
They did a nice job of incorporating the old flight tower, (which is kind of short) into the new buildings. Aero related statues, etc. Got a little Stepfordy at the Starbucks, but still plenty going on.

DavidZornig commented about Glencoe Theatre on Nov 20, 2008 at 9:26 pm

I could be mistaken, but I thought the Glencoe Theatre had toyed with idea of live music around 1980. But the village was gonna have none of it.
I don’t think nearby Glenview had a theatre, that’s why I’m thinking it was Glencoe.

DavidZornig commented about Vitagraph Theatre on Nov 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm

So given the description and the odd numbered address, the Vitagraph must have been within that pointy part of the old Goldblatts property where Lincoln and Ashland meet.
Except on the Lincoln side, just South of the renovated Goldblatts building that starts at School Street.
The point where a small bank is today.
That pointy portion of the property sat vacant for a long time. The city used to set up porta-pottys there for years when the “Rock Around The Block” street fair used to start at the Belmont end.

The RATB fair has since been moved further North down Lincoln. Which caused people to simply buy their libations cheaper at Pelly’s Liquors, instead of from the fair vendors.

There was an earlier developer in the `80’s, who tried to do first what was ultimately done to the Goldblatts property. But I think they lacked money, and there were still a lot of vacant bookstores etc along Lincoln Ave. Next to the old Dub-L-Dog.
Oh, to have had some extra money in the early 80’s. It’s Yupdum now over there.
The Woolworths is condos, there’s a Whole Paychecks food store, etc.
An old bank and dance studio were recently converted into condos & retail on the West side of Lincoln.

The next pointy building just North on Lincoln Ave. across from Wishbone, is a classic vintage building that was used for the filming of “Straight Talk” starring Dolly Parton & James Woods. The building was made to look like the radio station DP’s character broadcast from. I believe there is a photography gallery & classes there now. Old time bakery Dinkl’s is North of there.

Does anyone have pictures of The Vitagraph?

DavidZornig commented about Yucca Drive-In on Nov 20, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Ironic that there is a fireworks ad underneath Yucca’s “The Seven Little Foys” promo. The Foy’s are who were performing at Chicago’s Garrick Theatre when it burned killing many who were trapped.

DavidZornig commented about Royal Theater on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Typo: First sentence should read “On "Snapped”.

DavidZornig commented about Royal Theater on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I knew there was something cool about searching theater’s I catch a glimpse of “Snapped”.

This time I find the actual theatre facade from “The Last Picture Show”, which I always wondered about.

As I’ve posted on a few other CT links, “Snapped” is a show in constant rotation on the Oxygen network.
It routinely starts with establishing shots in the hometown of the various female killers profiled.
Those shots often include the hometown/main street like theatres. More so when the theatre is the same name as the hometown.

With this type of filmaking history, you’d think “Snapped” producers would have milked the Royal’s significance.
This time around the shot of the Royal was only the vertical neon portion of the sign at night, and from a distance for only a couple of seconds.
Had they known of it or chosen to, “The Last Picture Show” connection could have been eerily incorporated into “Snapped”.
Guess these creative opportunities disappear or get passed on, the older these movies get.

DavidZornig commented about Varsity Theater on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Ah, you are correct. Thanks Cam!
Only in Evanston would the graffiti read “Rosebud”, on a former vintage theatre.

DavidZornig commented about Loop Theater on Nov 20, 2008 at 7:14 pm

What a telling picture. You can see the transition from electric buses to gas. The bus further back is still powered by the trolley line above, while the bus in the foreground isn’t tethered. They still used the electric trolleys as late as 1970 on some routes. I was on one at North & Clark whose trolley connection popped loose from the roof on a turn. The driver simply climbed up top and reattached what was needed.

The Capitol place on the corner of the alley reads as a lounge. Of course the larger marquee to the left is the Chicago Theatre with a Tyrone Power flick. Funny that the Loop Theatre is running newsreels as entertainment.

You can just see the famous Marshall Fields clock in the background. The Walgreens was just replaced a few years ago.

DavidZornig commented about Cinestage Theatre on Nov 20, 2008 at 3:23 am

There is a framed B/W picture of the Cinestage hanging in the Chicago Cultural Center. Second floor West walkway from the Washington Street side.

It is among other a few other Chicago buildings hanging in the walkway.
The picture appears to be mid `70’s complete with an AMC Gremlin parked in front. A portion of the Cinestage marquee is visible, along with the actual word Porno spelled out.

On the first floor walkway there is a much larger exhibit of historic Chicago buildings & landmarks.

DavidZornig commented about Orchestra Hall on Nov 19, 2008 at 5:36 pm

We were in Orchestra Hall endlessly as school kids. My grade school Ogden had a music program that included regular, daytime concert trips to Orchestra Hall. At least 2-4 times a school year.

One conductor I remember well was Dave Mazur. A girl in our class was an accomplished violinist in our school band, Debbie Hoffman. And her father Irwin Hoffman was at that time first violin at the CSO. As I recall Hoffman briefly took over conductor duties when Mazur’s predecessor, who’d been there a long time, retired or moved on. Might have been George Solti, but I think it was before him. And I could have the chronology wrong.
We definately had the same CSO & conductors as the evening performances had.

The stage was huge as one could imagine with possible dumb waiters that brought the grand piano up when needed. Also 3 giant tubular sections above some choral group areas, all above the stage. Not sure if the tubes were acoustically functional, or just decorative. Either way the acoustics are always perfect at Orchestra Hall.
Nice comfy, deep red velvety seats too.

The last thing I saw there was a St. Patrick’s Day reading by John Malkovich a few years back. Which included a Western Illinois based orchestra surprisingly featuring our percussionist from grade school, after over 35 years. And now on the same stage we used to watch.
Plus a prominent solo Irish dancer who danced on a wood platform at certain points in the story.

The interior seems to the eye to have jsut as much seating area as there is stage area. As the main floor is kind of short, with several levels of balconies directly over the main floor.
Not really staggered back as much as you would expect.

DavidZornig commented about Riviera Theatre on Nov 19, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Passed by the Riviera today. It had some newer looking, protective white tarps over the top span of the front wall, oer the marquee.
Same as the Uptown still has. Though the Uptown’s upper terra cotta arches had been removed a while back.

A good sign that both are being protected from the elements, until brick/facade work can be done.

DavidZornig commented about Ritz Theatre on Nov 19, 2008 at 12:20 am

Sure wonder what “An Evening In Mayberry” was in Lost Memory’s 2005 photo link.
Vintage Mayberry patrol cars out front and two showings? Must have been a unique event what ever it was.
Don’t know of any film of that name.
I’ll have to hit up the old imdb.

DavidZornig commented about Band Box Theatre on Nov 18, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Somewhere on the vast internet, is a link to a `50’s juke box accessory called Band Box.
It was a miniature 24 inch half circle stage with curtains,that had big-band dressed puppets that appeared to play little instruments along to the juke box. The print ad was hilarious.

I beleive the company that made them was out of Chicago as well. Band Box Theatre might have been where they got the name from.

DavidZornig commented about Irving Theatre on Nov 18, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Next door to the North on Pulaski is a small green & black, art deco apartment building. As I remember it has a pointy almost crown like overhang above it’s entrance.
A friend of mine lived there around 1989. It still had the original built-in drop down Murphy beds & ironing boards.
Cool place. A surviving Irving Theatre would have been cooler though.