Nortown Theater

6320 N. Western Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60659

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Showing 51 - 75 of 228 comments

Batwoman
Batwoman on October 5, 2007 at 8:29 pm

very cool. It’s funny you should post this. I drive down to Sycamore on a regular basis for work and the first time I went there I saw the old, original hospital. I walked in and it was great. I wanted to learn more about it. You don’t see workmanship like that anymore. Now you have houses that are slapped together with wood frames and sealed off with vinal siding. Doesn’t feel very sturdy on very windy days.

I keep thinking if I ever have the money, I’m going to build a house like they used to. Good quality materials, solid wood. None of this hollow core door crap.

I was even thinking of doing a basement into a theater. A brief idea popped into my head right after that (I should add, I spend way to much time in my car alone with my thoughts) I was thinking of doing it in an artdeco theme or maybe a little touch of Nortown.

Lostnyc
Lostnyc on October 5, 2007 at 6:38 pm

For those who might be interested in learning about or seeing how those salvaged terra-cotta facade ornaments and panels were originally made, I began my reduced scale model of the first of the set of three frieze panel designs that were located on the ground floor facade.

I begin with my wood form built to the size I wanted, in this case roughly 22x14, and this photo shows 75# of clay packed into the form;

View link

Once that is filled, the clay is then screeded flush and flat with the form;

View link

And finally, about an hour later the design and it’s guide-lines are roughly drawn on the surface of the clay;

View link

As I work on this model in the coming week, the design gets developed, deepened refined and detailed, but this is how all of these were done in the old days, and this is how I do them as well.

Randall,
Randall’s Lost New York City.
Sculpture studio and web gallery of historic lost NYC buildings and ornaments.

Lostnyc
Lostnyc on September 28, 2007 at 6:29 am

Thanks BW, but all of the salvagable stuff has been long removed right? All that would remain now is part of a hulk the machines will remove in a matter of days as rubble/site clearance.

Randall,
Randall’s Lost New York City.
Sculpture studio and web gallery of historic lost NYC buildings and ornaments.

Broan
Broan on September 27, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Last I checked a couple weeks ago the lobby section was still partly left

Lostnyc
Lostnyc on September 27, 2007 at 7:20 pm

“…doing the salvage on the Nortown”

DID I think you meant to say, It’s my understanding the theater was already gone some time back, I saw the last part of it’s demolition photos on flickr.com I believe, it’s “history” now, no more salvaging left to do.

Randall,
Randall’s Lost New York City.
Sculpture studio and web gallery of historic lost NYC buildings and ornaments.

Nortown
Nortown on September 27, 2007 at 7:03 pm

I have pictures and 35 mm slides of the exterior and interior of the Nortown from the late 70’s and early 80’s taken when I worked there. They are currently on loan to the owner of Urban Remains Chicago, the company doing the salvage of the Nortown. I will contact him and see if I can get them back in time for the Historical Society.

By the way, Batwoman, I also lived a block from the Nortown. West Ridge was used by some of the community organizations in the area. Technically, there is not a West Rogers Park and an East Rogers Park. It is West Ridge and Rogers Park. I grew up in both areas.

Lostnyc
Lostnyc on September 27, 2007 at 10:28 am

I decided on the size of my models to replicate the Nortown frieze panels, the two with the comic and tragic faces as well as the plain Art Deco design, so it will be nice that these will live on and be more widely enjoyed.
The orignals on the theater facade were almost 31" wide and 20" high, as well as about 6" thick, and that’s HEAVY.
My clay models will wind up a nominal 21-1/2″ by 14-1/4″ and maybe 2" thick which is a practical size to display on today’s modern walls.
I expect to be starting on the first one in a week or two.
Randall,
Randall’s Lost New York City.
Sculpture studio and web gallery of historic lost NYC buildings and ornaments.

Batwoman
Batwoman on September 26, 2007 at 9:13 pm

huh, I have never heard it called west ridge before. I’ve always and only known it to be West Rogers Park. In fact, there’s a marker by Loyola that says Rogers Park. granted it’s not right there by the theater, but I did grow up across the street from nortown.

sadly, I have no pictures of the place. wish I did! Would love to seen any and all pictures people have of the old place.,

Broan
Broan on September 26, 2007 at 9:04 pm

West Ridge has been a seperate community area since the 1890s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Ridge%2C_Chicago

Batwoman
Batwoman on September 26, 2007 at 7:42 pm

west ridge? that must be new. it’s always been west rogers park as far as I know.

Batwoman
Batwoman on September 26, 2007 at 7:42 pm

west ridge? that must be new. it’s always been west rogers park as far as I know.

mbrewer
mbrewer on September 26, 2007 at 7:38 pm

For those who live in West Ridge (home of the Nortown), our Historical Society is currently seeking photos and memorabilia of historic interest for a new book called Images of America: West Ridge. The deadline is October 15, 2007. For more information contact: or call 312.545.7792.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on September 18, 2007 at 7:17 pm

I think that C-O put its logos in its new theatres and the ones it renovated such as the McClurg Court and Lakeshore/Broadway. I have a feeling that C-O knew it was getting rid of its older non-renovated properties.

Batwoman
Batwoman on September 18, 2007 at 4:01 pm

not that I remember. I lived across the street from the Nortown until 10 years ago.

CatherineDiMartino
CatherineDiMartino on September 18, 2007 at 5:55 am

The Will Rogers was closed within a year after the Cineplex-Odeon takeover and some people stated that they never saw C-O logos at that theatre (the Plitt/Plitt-Essaness/CO-Plitt name continued for about a year after that, say into 1986). Did Cineplex-Odeon ever place its logos at the Nortown, which lasted about 5 years after CO took over?

Batwoman
Batwoman on September 6, 2007 at 8:50 pm

that picture really doesn’t do it justice.

Lostnyc
Lostnyc on September 2, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Seen some of the interior around in a Google search for the theater name Cubby, though the quality of some were pretty poor- like newspaper photos scanned.

Randall,
Randall’s Lost New York City.
Sculpture studio and web gallery of historic lost NYC buildings and ornaments.

Cubby
Cubby on September 2, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Does anyone have pictures of the Nortown Theatre from the 1960’s and 1970’s? I would love to see them posted.

Lostnyc
Lostnyc on September 1, 2007 at 10:13 pm

Re Salvage

I am glad to see saved what could be be saved, I have one of the plaster deco’s from the interior, nothing special about it and its somewhat crumbly, but I like it.
I like the 30"x20" alternating Art Deco facade panels, as a sculptor who specializes in re-creating Victorian and Art Deco elements, I decided to sculpt at least one model of the 3 different Art Deco panels if not all 3, but in a smaller more apartment/home friendly size, I’ll start on a clay model soon as I decide on the size to make it. These are simple designs but attractive, these designs will continue to live on.

Randall,
Randall’s Lost New York City.
Sculpture studio and web gallery of historic lost NYC buildings and ornaments.

Chgojim
Chgojim on August 31, 2007 at 6:25 am

Batwoman, what is your Brother’s Name? if you would like you can respond to my email address to remain private, I think I might have an idea.

Batwoman
Batwoman on August 29, 2007 at 1:28 pm

88 and 91 myself

my sister… 76 and 80, my older brother 80 and 84….

Chgojim
Chgojim on August 29, 2007 at 6:20 am

Class of 79 and 83 respectively

Batwoman
Batwoman on August 28, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Stone and Senn. Yeah we went there.