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What are the other Water Tower Theatre’s, that were located upstairs and inside of the Water Tower Place Mall listed under on CT?
I’m not sure how this place ever got away with using a Wells Street address. When it is clearly located on North Ave.
I understand desiring the Pipers Alley tie in, but the original buildings this one replaced wasn’t even really connected to or part of Pipers Alley. It was behind it & next to it. Approximately where the rear of the Aardvark Theatre actually would have been. And that’s a stretch.
This strip of North Ave. had some older 3 flats with various taverns and shops in them before the current building was built. I guess Aardvark Mutiplex wouldn’t have really had the same punch. We should also be thankful they didn’t call it Second City Cinema. Which is even slightly further down Wells Street.
I like the tag line on that vintage ad. A “Safe” Place for Your Family.
Reactivate Notification Status.
Well I guess that confirms my “Cat People” recollection. I just reread the very first post about this theater. I had no idea of the Herschell Gordon Lewis ownership/connection.
My late father briefly knew or worked with him in the `60’s. My father had worked at/with Vogue Wright, Wernecke, Joy Recording & Fred Niles Studios(now Harpo) back in the day. I wish I’d known of the connection when I lived above the Devon Theatre
Lewis is still alive. I think he released a CD called “The Eye Popping Sounds of Herschell Gordon Lewis.
I’m looking for a possible link with any exterior pictures of the Trianon Ballroom also on 63rd St.
All that seems to ever come up is postcards of the same interior shots.
Exterior shots of the Trianon have proved quite elusive. Thanks.
CT wonders never cease. I had no idea that this hotel was ever part of a theater. I was at a giant garage sale in this very rear parking lot in the early `80’s.
You entered through the tunnel/Clark St. entrance under the hotel. You could tell by the design that something odd had been done. Dumpsters lined the tunnel.
There was a guard rail across the back of the lot, that people from the alley and the then Post Office next door stepped over to access the sale. The alley behind was almost like a street. And about as wide as the side street were around there.
I also moved someone into that hotel about 5-6 years ago. The interior was like something out of “Paper Moon” or “The Sting”. There was a stairwell office with a glass partition that the on-duty hotel staff sat in/behind.
The tall hallways were old hardwood with carpet runners up the centers. The rooms all had operational transom windows above each door. The rooms however were all of about 8 feet wide by 10 feet deep, if that. An old metal frame bed & waterfall dresser were included. The window overlooked the rear lot.
The Post Office next door has since closed to the public, but is maintained as a sorting station. Next to that going South is a twice built McDonald’s with drive thru. Next to that is a condo building that replaced the Playdium Bowling Alley. Where my grandfather sanded the lanes in the 60's. It was open into the70’s.
60's. It was open into the
Did you click on the word “here”?
The link still works for me, and I only have a WebTV server.
QuillHill is only an e-mail address.
The link is above that in the word “here”.
That combined with the vintage rooftop signage is a true throwback to another era. Thanks for posting that.
Complete with an AMC Hornet moved twice, into a fire lane. Enough said.
I remember driving past this place a lot in the early 80's. I loved that swooped underside to the marquee.
There was a deserted50’s suburban feel to that stretch of North Ave.
With giant bridal shops & stores that seemed to never have foot traffic.
Also the Wagon Wheel & Randall’s Ribs restaurants, plus Kiddieland weren’t too far away. I think a CVS or Walgreens also replaced the Wagon Wheel.
80's. I loved that swooped underside to the marquee.
There was a deserted
The Manor going from weddings to wrestling is interesting.
Interesting. I didn’t think that the marquee overhang had been added after 1982. Ricky’s restaurant is just to the left with the broiled foods signage above their window.
I think there was a tavern called Reflections just a few doors South of that art studio awning. Reckless Records is just South of that. I think there is also an old bi-level parking garage building in the next building South. Possibly with some white terra cotta details.
I didn' realize that the blade letters were removed prior to `82. For the record, that used car lot pictured is also now gone. Maybe within the last 3-4 years.
Note to CT administrators: The opening theatre description by Bryan Krefft needs to have the year of the fire changed from 1996 to 1966.
Great picture Ken Mc. What was the source for it?
The picture is pre-1966, as that is the Carnegie that burned down.
We lived in the building just East,(to the left), of the corner building with the turret style wrapaound bay windows, in the lower left hand corner.
That building housed Gus' & the first incarnation of Jay Emerick’s many taverns.
Jay still has a place called Jay’s Amore in the West Loop. He also was involved in Face’s in the `70’s.
The Singapore Room was indeed a restaurant. That giant marquee had neon monkeys on timers that ran up the sides.
FYI. There’s a 1983 picture of the Fine Arts facade on the American Classic Images site, should anyone want to post it that is able.
Yep, the yellow one in front of the orange Dodge is the Pinto.
Alas, it was alledgedly the metal bolts on the gas tank straps that punctured the tanks upon rear end collisions. The subsequent recall replaced them with plastic bolts. Which doesn’t exactly sound safer, but apparently was.
P.S. Can you post the pic of the Norshore from American Classic Images to the Norshore page? Feed the addiction. Thanks.
FYI. There’s a great b&w daytime shot of the Norshore, within that “American Classic Images” site where everyone’s pulling pictures from as of late.
It has a towering presence that must have been awe inspiring at the time.
I can’t post anything from my WebTV server except comments. So if anyone can do the honors, it would be appreciated.
Is the Ramova still standing?
Last I drove by it had a “Property of City Of Chicago” metal sign attached to the front. I think the buildings on either side may have also been gone.
Wow. There’s a movie promotion & technique that could never take place today. As wholesome & good natured as it was.
The fact that it was co-sponsored by Packard is also cynically somehow fitting.
An auto industry historian would later be quoted on a PBS special, that the merger between Studebaker & Packard was “tantamount to two drunks helping each other out of a bar.”
I would think the fact that it is still open would end the mystery. Can’t someone just call there and ask if they are/were the only Iola 54 Drive-In?
Surely they should know if they have/had a 2nd location or any competitors of the same name.
I was just reminded by a childhood friend, that we exited this theater quite quickly on one occasion.
Apparently with the head shops in such close proximity, their customers took the path of least resistance as to where to “light up” & test out their purchases.
The Aardvark was indeed that cheap, sparsely occupied, quite handy locale.
Since the films were often avant garde, it would go virtually unchecked.
I know, I know… check the box.
Great pic. It’s a shame it survived 70 years, and came down so recently. Current economic conditions can’t possibly help to save a lot of these places that may still exist.
Years of no heat, who knows how much asbestos, etc. just takes the fight out of most of them.