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Wow. This place was actually pointed out to me when I was in Phoenix a few years back. The car rental place was 4 blocks from here on Van Buren. I got the mini-tour by the courtesy driver who picked me up at the airport.
Phoenix had an insane 28 percent tax on all cars rented “AT” the airport. So we always rented from a outfit several miles outside the airport property. Literally saving hundreds.
The driver drove us past the trailer park and indicated it was previously a drive-in. As well as the apparent colorful past of the rest of Van Buren Street. Once ripe with run down motels, and apparently no shortage of working girls to fill them.
I can only assume this illicit activity helped hasten the end of the Acres Drive-In as well.
There were also many `50’s looking roadside buildings along Van Buren as well. Steak & Egger restaurant, public pools, etc.
It was attempting a resurgence of sorts with newer motels and the like last I was there. Trying to erase the once seedy image of the area.
One of the major concert venues of today is not far from the former Acres site. Might be the Dodge, but if not, it’s the other one.
Well, I reread the “Source” again, and somehow I missed that it pretty clearly says “the State Theatre currently houses the Islamic Center of Chester”. So I guess in Chester’s eyes, it’s still standing.
I was wrong,(a lot today), in that the picture above the Islamic Center in the “Source” link, is from the another angle. And the two rooflines are not as easily comparible.
It is the very top Old Chester PA link that has the `60’s photo with roofline.
I personally am still suspect that the Islamic Center is actually in a/the old neighboring building. But the Chester website folks should definately know better than I.
I think it’s time for my nap.
Though to perpetuate the confusion, the Islamic Center is also pictured within the same link that says the theatres are all gone except two.
Other than a perfect example of the two rooflines pictured above each other, I’m still confused. Is there a reason the Islamic Center isn’t included in “beautifully utilized as churches”? Or is it an admission that it is indeed not the same building, only pictured with it.
Lost Memory’s “Source” link is still the BEST source, for what was and is now. I defer to Lost Memory for the final determination, if the status should be changed from Religous Services to Demolished. The wrong address is a given. Especially since the town of Chester seemed to change things around at one point or another.
Thanks Lost. I still was, until I read the link you posted as “Source” completely to the very bottom.
It ends with the quote: “All the theaters are gone now, but the Boyd and Roxy are beautifully utilized as churches.”
Since the State Theater is not included as one of the two theaters remaining, we can assume it was torn down. And that Ken Mc’s link of the vacant Islamic Center is most likely the building next door to where the State Theater was, and is not the former State Theater itself. Regardless of address. Given the identical roofline in the `60’s picture and the Islamic one.
Neat looking theatre. It’s a shame it’s ended up in the condition it is.
Years ago in Chicago, some owners deliberately did little to prevent the desecration of buildings they were interested in tearing down. It sometimes gave them an ironic upper hand in court, if any preservationists were seeking landmark status of “their” properties.
The subsequent graffiti and damage could bolster both arguments. Protect it before it’s damaged more. Or grossly remodel or tear down to prevent an “ongoing” eyesore. Like the owner would be “helping” the city out.
Sadly, some municipalities seemingly more often side with building owners than preservationists.
Because it is a faster route to increased tax revenues on “developing” properties.
New construction permit fees, business licenses of the ultimate new tenants, increased individual property taxes if something ends up as condos, etc.
Especially if everything around it in the neighborhood is simultaniously taking a dive too.
Nothing happens by coincidence when landmarking is thrown into the mix.
An honest mistake. I was just making light humor of the x3 in both.
Thanks for the additional link to the Cinerama page.
Hats off to your insightful contributions to CT.
Hmmm. I think you are right. A possible mix up on the East/West address distinction.
However, NOW I notice that the roofline of the vacant Islamic Center in Ken Mc’s Dec.19th post, mirrors that of the building NEXT to the State Theatre in the `60’s photo from the Old Chester PA— “New” State Theatre link. Under the very top description. (The photo with the construction equipment parked in the middle of the street in front of Henry’s.)
Maybe the marquee/entrance and auditorium were in neighboring buildings. Or it could just be coincidence, and the marquee helps hide the roofline we need to distinguish. Beyond any wrong addresses.
Hope I didn’t confuse things worse.
Correction, silly me.
“New building on the site of the old State Theatre & Washburn, etc.”. As referenced in the Old Chester PA link under the State’s description.
Oh, I get it. Thanks for the clarification Lost Memory.
Seems the Chester Time’s folks tried to throw a curve back in 1939, by posting the words “Old & New” in reverse order, over the Newest & Old State Theatre pictures. So whether they were built on the same site or not remains a mystery, no?
I just saw a promo on VH1 for something called “Fall Out Boy-Live from the Chicago Theatre”.
Apparently “hometown” band Fall Out Boy filmed a live concert at the Chicago Theatre very recently, to be broadcast via FuseTV and/or VH1. In conjunction with a Dec.16th CD release.
It apparently has aired several times since.
As when Conan O'Brian was here several years back, maybe some of the interior architecture will get camera time.
Sure wish the recent Brian Wilson show had been filmed too. I know nothing of Fall Out Boy.
Though the architecture appears similar, the 1939 picture & vintage 1890-ish website picture is clearly a 2 story or better building.
The recent shot of the vacant Islamic Center, is that of only a one story building. With a similar type of ornamentation across the top. Coincidence most likely due to like construction styles in the area at the time.
Sorry if this analogy is redundant.
I don’t see it clarified as two different buildings though, in previous posts.
FYI to those interested. If you go to Wikipedia and enter “Laurier Palace Theatre Fire”, it gives a synopsis of apparently hard fought Canadian cinema laws that at one time banned children.
I mentioned on CT’s Colonial Theatre page, that we had encountered such a ban when we visited Montreal during Expo `67.
The Laurier Palace Thearte in Montreal, was the theatre that a 1927 fire apparently impacted laws for over 40 years regarding children attending cinemas. If you Wikipedia “Laurier Palace Theatre Fire”, it gives the entire story. The subsequent laws seemed even more complex than just a reaction to that fire.
Expo `67 is also mentioned in the article, and that is when we were in Montreal.
CT only has a “Le Laurier” Theatre in Montreal listed. I will post about the Wiki story there as well.
Wow. The sordid tail of this theatre could be a movie in of itself. Except it should be called “Bold Mountain”. Given the lengths the players all allegedly went to, in order to fulfill their greed.
Maybe the computer was trying to correct the typo of Cinerama film number eleven.
Which should read “Tora! Tora! Tora!”.
Otherwise CINERAMA would have had quite a task in 1970, showcasing lawnmowers or Oldsmobiles.
Greetings. I had thought the same thing too. But a friend of mine reminded me of how massive the entrance to the United Artists Theatre was.
It’s multiple glass doors spanned a good distance East, even though it was located on the West corner of that block. It’s possible there was one or two storefronts between it and Flo’s, but not much more than that.
I remember the swing girl had her own set of spotlights isolated on her alcove. Wireless technology was pretty scarce back then, if available at all. So any corded mic would seem cumbersome for someone swinging out over the sidewalk. Presumably needing both hands. Otherwise she’d start going sideways.
As with the old Vaudeville folks, she probably just projected her voice really well. The movement is all that was necessary to capture attention.
I beleive that there is a residential building at this location now. Chestnut Station Theatre is listed on CT as being at 830 N. Clark, which was located on the S/W corner of Chestnut & Clark. The Newberry Theatre’s address would put it further North of Chestnut. Aproximately where the 100 W. Chestnut building is.(N/W corner)
In the time frame listed for the Newberry, there was a small manufacturing building just North of that, then Jocke Buick which had a rather large car lot with a rotating neon spired star. Just North of that on Clark at the S/W corner of Oak & Clark, was the massive Henrotin Hospital. Torn down in the late 80’s or early `90’s to make way for a townhome community that reaches all the way around & down Oak to LaSalle Street.
It’s possible the parking lot mentioned in the Newberry’s description is that belonging to 100 West Chestnut building.
I drive by it once a week, and will confirm in a subsequent post.
To correct my earlier post, it was not the Garrick Theatre but Chicago’s Iroquois Theatre that burned while the Foy’s were performing in the early 1900’s.
Caught an establishing shot of the Midway’s vertical sign and marquee in a 2006 rerun of the CBS show “The King Of Queens” last night. The theatre as well as the United Artists marquee played pivotal roles in the show. As the characters bounced from theatre to theatre. Interior shots of theatre seating were likely done within a studio though.
Ronny’s, wow. I remember the plastic lunchroom style trays like it was yesterday. I think there’s some version of it at Clark & Lake now. Adjacent to the entrance to the “L”.
The Crump Theatre marquee was used in the promos for an upcoming BIO Channel presentation about Indiana native and singer John Mellencamp. Presumably the concert footage used in the piece was shot at the Crump as well. The interior appears to be a smaller, intimate concert setting.
This is a tad off topic, but Foremost Liquors also utilized another classic building as their main office. Nearby only blocks away from the Argmore site, at the S/W corner of Broadway & Berwyn.
Their offices were on the second floor and were very art deco inside as of 1985 or so. There was also a giant statue of their smiling bottle/logo in their inner lobby. I believe Matanky Realty then took over the space.
Next door was briefly the 2nd home to former Sheridan Rd. & Berwyn niteclub Coconuts.
Oh, I get it. Geez. Well they succeeded at that game. Since it took almost 70 years to finally re-develop.
Still a shame.
If that building had remained and went condo even in todays market, the historic aspect would be monumental.
Masonic Temple Lofts…hmmm, maybe not.
Another one I’ll have to check out this week. The very corner space used to have a consignment antique store called The Time Well as a tenant. I think the rent increased, and then they had no tenant for years.
It was an art gallery for a brief time too.
It is an interesting building, as you can see clear through the space to Racine from Lincoln Ave. I helped a buddy fabricate the dental sign across the street on Racine back in 1989 or `90.
Nice pic. Showcases those perimeter lights on the arch again.
I just happened to notice in BWChicago’s Sept 1st post/photo from 1939, that they are actually in the process of demolishing the Masonic building next door. What an absolute waste.
How and why on earth was such a mammoth building ever destroyed, when it clearly couldn’t have been that old by 1939? Only to be replaced by low rise retail space (including the Loop Theatre) until just recently. What happened?