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The marquee sort of mirrors that of the Genessee Theatre in Waukegan.
I didn’t know there was already a renovated performing arts theatre in Rockford, that is “hoping to break even”.
I guess that doesn’t bode well for any renovation hopes for either the Midway or the Times Theatre’s. On the Midway page it’s listed for sale, but it includes an entire building that would need attention and other tenants.
Wow. Quite sizable balcony over the marquee. Wonder what the original intention for such a structure was.
Public speaking or parade viewing, etc.
Thanks, Got it! Great Pic. I see now that it was actually three ushers inlaid on the sidewalk, standing at the ready.
A unique design feature that should have been harvested before the demolition. Thanks again.
Does anyone have a link to an old picture of the foyer sidewalk out front?
The name Adelphi & an inlaid image of a uniformed theater usher, adorned the sloped, terazzo floor out front.
The usher resembled the old Phillip Morris cigarette character.
I think the Image closed as a theatre in the late 70's. It was in the process of being converted into a night club in the late70’s, when a Stop Work Order was issued by the city. An expensive sound system had already been installed, but never got utilized.
Unless the Image reopened again as a theatre after that in the early `80’s, I believe it was done as any kind of venue after the failed opening of the night club.
70's. It was in the process of being converted into a night club in the late
FYI. 1936 Parkway exterior photo in Sunday 02/22/09 Chicago Tribune Magazine. When I pulled the link though, the photo wasn’t included with the caption.
FYI. There was a two page pictorial of Chicago Movie Palaces in the Sunday Feb. 22nd Chicago Tribune Magazine titled Portfolio/You must remember this.
It was surprising brief with only 3 b&w pictures. No article, just captions describing each photo.
A 1936 exterior of the Parkway Theatre on South Michigan Ave. A 1931 interior shot of the Nortown, and a 1921 shot of just the lobby doors of the Chicago Theatre.
All three photos were courtesy of the Theatre Historical Society of America in Elmhurst.
I agree, not unusual. Just disturbing when it comes to theaters.
I understand the no-compete thing. I just think that when it’s applied to old movies houses, it’s pretty much the kiss of death.
The amount of money to prep a place for live events only: code upgrades, insurance etc., versus just firing up the projector again to get folks in the door, would be vastly different. Mixed use would at least give a new owner a chance to utilize the theatre as is, until they could get all their ducks in a row. Continue to run films until they found their new niche.
Or theres that…Thanks.
I just reread RiisPark’s 2007 post that cited a 1986 selling criteria, as a “stipulation that the buyer cannot show movies in the building”.
This would seem a disturbing clause even by today’s standards.
It all but insures that the/a theater won’t sell, except to a developer with no intention of saving or restoring such a site.
To think that C-O was that ruthless to avoid competition even back then, seems shameful. Apparently to C-O, it was not a vintage theatre. Just another temporary screen to bring in some numbers.
The irony that such a corporate action took place involving a theatre named after Will Rogers, needs not even be said.
Yeah, that seems cheap. Not sure what the level of Cheap Trick’s Rick Neilsen was initially going to be. (March 2008)
I believe he is already involved in the development of a giant hotel/entertainment complex in Rockford.
This could be a neat thing for him to pick up to further bolster the other project though. Show financial commitment to restoring the historic, while building the new, etc.
C'mon Rick. You’re all allright!
Go to the Commodore Theatre-(in Chicago) page on Cinema Treasures.
The link is embedded in the 01/29/07 post by Cam.
It’s got Mekong.net in the link.
Clicking on that link takes you directly to it’s theatre’s page.
Follow the instructions in the post. The Will Rogers is in the same gallery as the Commodore.
Did the Rollier & Meta Theatre’s mentioned above as owned by old okie’s parents, ever get added to CT?
I couldn’t find either listed even in a previous names or city search. Just curious.
Greetings Warren. Maybe the CT admin could determine what happened to your post.
But as far as the magnified size of photos from linked-to sites, you may want to try going directly to the “brooklynpix” site via your search feature. Then click on the “Theaters 1” link in the margin. (That’s where the Meserole pic is.)
My WebTV is probably the oldest, non-computer server still going.
And often if I just search for a site directly, instead of clicking on an embedded link, I’m able to reach the site in a different size. Not always. But I have a “Resize Page” key if it’s the wrong size.
FYI. I just happened to catch some exterior pictures of the Will Rogers Theater on the “Mekong” site/link, that is on the Commodore Theatre in Chicago page. As well as a many others. I’m posting this because I see no other active links with exterior photos currently on this page.
Great pic. It shows the giant ABC logo that replaced the Balaban & Katz neon in the photo at the top of this page.
Nice Toronado in the traffic too. A year or two later they had an optional funky, wrap-around rear window. Which today would cost more than the car to replace.
Thanks JRS40 for your last post. I must have forgot to again click on the notify me box.
Again I persued your film list and realized how many more films I’d seen at the Playboy than first thought.
I even remember buying a Sha Na Na album around the corner at Downtown Records & Tapes on State, after seeing “Let The Good Times Roll”.
Also saw Python’s “ANFSCD”, “Bang the Drum Slowly”, Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea", “King of Hearts” and the Marx Bros. stuff.
Not as many after it became the Chelex, but some. Thanks again.
An acquaintance recently told me the 60’s “developer” who bought the Granada and a lot of these old theaters, was initially intending to convert them all into Bingo halls. If they were already shuttered at the time of purchase, he likely got the properties on the cheap. But the Bingo angle never materialized.
That was supposedly also the intention of the Devon Theatre. But it was able to live on a little bit longer as a movie house.
Interesting. They added it to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, even though the original architecture was covered up in the 1940’s. Ironically that designation probably saved the structure.
Wow, what a unique structure and history. Similar to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan Illinois.
Surely the 4.2 mil asking price was for the entire Wilma building.
Good to see it’s still operating.
Does anyone have more history on the difference between the 1919 & the 1945 photos? It’s almost as if the shaved the entire facade of the building off. Eliminating window configurations and the giant arch completely.
Although the building to the right appears to be the same, the bay windows seem wider in 1945 pic. Although the reveal around them is identical.
In any event, that’s quite a massive transformation for their to be no record of.
I just caught a repeat of a 2006 episode of the British version of Antiques Roadshow. A woman showcased her vast collection of over 100 autographed pictures, posters and memoribilia from the Grand Theatre during it’s stage days.
She was looking for an insurance value as they intend to display them all within the theatre once it is refurbished. She herself was also in one of the full cast stage photos.
The episode might be accessable via the Antiques Roadshow website.
Opt out?… I’m there! Guess I let my WebTV run my life. Open the pod bay doors HAL.
Ironically I couldn’t post to CT until late last year, even though I’d signed up in 2004…Tech-NO-logy!
Thanks for all the clarifications & insight.
Oh, I see. Thanks Lost Memory. And thanks for the second of the previous links. I never knew of the Norshore Theatre, ad posted over there.
Oh, I get it. It’s where the Howard Bowl ended up being built.
This theater came down, while I was just blocks away in the hospital after being born. Sorry I missed out on it’s beauty. This must be the closest two theatres were ever built next to the “L” tracks.
There is also a long time cab company in Evanston called Norshore. Their taxi’s used to line up directly across Howard Street from where this place stood. Waiting to take “L” patrons into Evanston where the “L” and buses couldn’t, and at night before the Evanston line ran 24 hours.
I found this page after checking Lost Memory’s most recent post to the Howard Theatre page. That post’s second link has a clearer picture of the above picture.
Wow, that second link took me right to a theater & pic I’d never heard of, the Norshore. Also on Howard Street. I learn something new everytime I visit CT. The larger link did go right to the Tribune site for me. But I’m then again I’m eternally signed in. Maybe I’ll try from another address.
But I agree with you that my original speculation appears wrong.
Your first link on the word “Here”, doesn’t signify that it’s from the Tribune. I’m not sure what the difference is between that and Ken Mc’s link. Am I missing something?