Comments from DavidZornig

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DavidZornig commented about Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:42 am

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

DavidZornig commented about Bertha Theatre on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:14 am

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 6:57 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 6:42 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 6:32 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 6:26 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 6:16 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 5:27 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 4:56 pm

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

DavidZornig commented about Royal Theater on Nov 20, 2008 at 4:54 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 4:28 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 4:14 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 12:23 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 2:36 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 1:51 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 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm

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 8:59 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 8:43 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.

DavidZornig commented about Boston Theatre on Nov 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Wow, what an ornate facade. It didn’t even last 15 years. What a waste.
This is one I never knew about.
Thanks CT.

DavidZornig commented about Orpheum Theater on Nov 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Neat looking building. We can assume the original Orpheum name built into the brickwork is safely behind that newer facade.

The Orpheum’s website history though, doesn’t say when the newer facade was installed. Obviously before the 1973 photo. Maybe late 50's early60’s given the style?

Looks like their band schedule is a little thin as of now. I thought maybe The Misfits was a screening of the 1960 Gable/Monroe film, set in a Western town. The skull logo though solved that.
Not far off though, as The Misfits was easily one of the most depressing films I’d ever seen.

DavidZornig commented about Wicker Park Theater on Nov 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm

This theatre would have been pretty close to the elevated tracks. Is it possible it shared some of the space that the Double Door is in?
Or was the Wicker Theatre in it’s own building a tad further South on Milwaukee?

The Double Door was previously a large tavern called Main Street that was kind of bi-level. Until about 1991 or so.
It had giant “L” shaped pool tables with carved legs. And a small stage towards the Damen entrance side. Not sure if Double Door has multiple entrances on boh Milwaukee & Damen as Main Street did.

DavidZornig commented about Des Plaines Theater on Nov 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Ah, thanks. Saw Ravi Shankar & a real early stage version of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Auditorium.
Ravi Shankar used a really strong, on-stage incense that worked it’s way up to the balcony. And about knocked us out.

DavidZornig commented about Crown Theatre on Nov 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm

That’s it! Thanks yet again.

DavidZornig commented about Des Plaines Theater on Nov 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Interesting. I hadn’t known that the owner could pass in theory pass along a tax break, let alone write his losses off in the bigger picture.
I’m still surprised the village doesn’t snatch it up. Of course who has almost 4 mil. lying around.

Do you happen to know how the Arie Crown or Auditorium Theatre’s in Chicago are listed on Cinema Treasures? Thanks.

DavidZornig commented about Crown Theatre on Nov 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Given the address and various descriptions above, the Crown would have been where the Wendy’s restaurant, it’s drive-thru and adjacent parking lot is now.
Across from the small U.S Post Office, also on the South side of Division St.
As noted above, The Crown Theatre would have faced the Manufacturers Bank which is still on the N/W corner.

The dark brick building to the left of the Crown in the 1909 photo, would be where the Pizza Hut and it’s parking lot is now at Ashland & Division. On the S/W corner.

It should also be noted that there recently was/is a small live theatre group that works out of another classic white enamel brick building, just East on Division. In the short block between Milwaukee & Ashland. Next to the old Arandas Burrito place.