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Wow, what an ornate facade. It didn’t even last 15 years. What a waste.
This is one I never knew about.
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.
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.
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.
That’s it! Thanks yet again.
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.
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.
Greetings BWChicago. I guess I thought that if the village owned it, they wouldn’t have to charge potential tenants as much in rent as the current owner might have to, in order to keep up with his own taxes. Which surely must be high if if’s valued at 3.7 mil. Epecially if the buildings largest space/tenant goes largely unused. Then the only ground floor tenants are the restaurants. Are those rental apartments above everything?
Would the village have to pay the same taxes as a regular owner? If it was partly used for community use, it must be partly tax exempt somehow.
Also hypothetically if the village owned it, they could use or lease the theatre space out for community theatre events, etc. I thought they could pt mini Des Plaines museums in any vacant storefronts. I didn’t know there were only 2, and both were active restaurants.
I drove by the Des Plaines a few months back after a car show at the Metra station. I seem to remember the marquee was lit, but only advertised a phone number, no movies.
Just a thought, if the Des Plaines had some success with the New Years/Disney HSM2 showing, maybe the managemnent would consider events of the same genre. The Music Box Theatre in Chicago had good success with some “Grease” sing-a-longs. Even a “Wizard of Oz” sing-a-long might garner some viewership not normally prone to come out to the movies.
It could still share the theatre with the Indian films if all scheduled correctly.
Odd to read the city council wouldn’t purchase such a historic building when it had the chance to. If for no other reason, than to have a hand in regulating and revitalizing all the other storefronts within the building.
It could have been a flagship Des Plaines Cultural Center of sorts. Building out any vacant storefronts as they come & go, to highlight Des Plaines history. Also the Village would be more able to offer tax breaks to potential tenants on land it owns.
Wow, the theatre looks great. Appears they must have done a chemical cleaning of the exterior brickwork during their renovation. The new signage looks sleek too. Updated but not overbearing. Went back to the original name. Nice job!
Thanks TFS. My e-mail is:
I think it may be the only thing in my profile. Which I blindly used my real name on back in 2005 or whatever. I was Googleproof until then. Well, losing out on a 2006 Emmy saw to that too.
Good luck with your sale, and the hopes The Ritz will remain a theatre for ever.
Not that this matters, but I’ve often heard Ukranian Village referred to as Uke-Ville, rather than Uketown.
Many young artists reside in the area. Until the expensive gentrification firmly takes hold. As it did in Wicker Park.
Thanks Lost Memory. I did click on the Loopnet link, but it only had 4 very dark photos. 3 really, as 2 of the 4 were the same interior shot. I thought the realtor might have some more current sales type pics. One’s that showed the exterior in daylight, etc. Thanks again.
Maybe the posting of some daytime photos would help to showcase the theatre better. Is there a link to a current listing or something?
I’m not in the market, but thought anyone who might peruse the site, might take a second look if there were pictures.
“Theater for sale” is indeed a great moniker to start with. I linked over just based on that alone.
Best of Luck!
Silly me, I guess I should have read the “Add A Photo” criteria first.
I wasn’t critiquing Cinema Treasures, just curious that if accurate photos were already posted in discussion, why couldn’t they just be chosen & moved to the top. I had no idea of the volume of additional photos CT receives.
Like I should talk with my lowly WebTV.
Wow, that 1939 photo posted by tkpepper seems the perfect picture to post at the top of this Linda Lea CT page. Maybe blow it up a tad, and crop off all but the theatre. It also seems the oldest representation of The Arrow in reference to it’s original opening.
I’ve often wondered why of all the theatres profiled on Cinema Treasures, CT doesn’t just use one of the many photos posted during discussions, as the main header establishing photos.
Instead of keeping the “No Photo Available” image up.
Is it a photo copyright’s issue or something? Just wondering.
I just saw a Retro Minute feature from www.getback.com that said on 11/17/68, The Who, Small Faces, Mindbenders and one other band played live at the London Hippodrome.
I searched the CT list for London Hippodrome, and this was the only one still standing at that time.
Nice picture indeed LTS. It kind of shocked me when it scrolled up.
Somewhere I have an octagonal paving brick from the State Street Mall.
Can’t blame Mayor Bryne for trying.
The city actually maintained the cab & bus traffic only thing long after the mall idea fizzled. If only the 1992 flood hadn’t occurred, we’d still be able to street park down there. Once they saw how traffic was moving, meters were history. (Not counting Wabash)
I thought that the Roosevelt Theatre had run a closed circuit showing of the Frazier-Foreman fight back in `74. But I see no break in the movie action on the list.
Must have been one of the other downtown theatres. The Aragon Ballroom also ran closed circuit fights occasionally.
The Shubert is one of my favorites. I walked by there every night on my way to a security job at the old USG building at Monroe & Wacker in the early 80's. A unique early60’s structure in it’s own right with heated sidewalks, etc., now gone though.
80's. A unique early
However my favorite story about the Shubert is seeing “A Little Night Music” with Jean Simmon’s and Margaret Hamilton there in late 1977.
We all waited in the ornate lobby as it was promised Ms. Hamilton would come out and say hi.
Almost 40 years from Oz, after a short wait a door slowly opened and she shuffled out carrying shopping bags.
Hauntingly, many children who had waited to see her, and surely understood nothing of “ALNM” which they just sat through, all in unison took one step backwards for every step she took forwards. Always keeping themselves at at least a 5 foot distance.
A chilling site that Ms. Hamilton surely but understandibly, must have encountered her entire life after Oz.
I was 17, but still for a brief second felt the fireballs might come flying.
Kind of sad really since it’s documented that she was a kindergarten teacher before ever taking the Wicked Witch role. And surely adored children early on. Even as Cora the Coffee lady, she was sweet.
In 1991 I saw Robert Morse as Truman Capote in “Tru” at the Shubert. Currently in AMC’s “Madmen”.
He too greeted well wishers in the lobby afterwards. Yet pointed at his throat, and could only shake hands, smile & sign what was put before him.
Then he just casually walked out the front door alone, and off to his hotel. No entourage or TMZ back then.
About a year ago I shot a piece for Cable 25’s “Your Town Chicago”, about Broadway In Chicago. We interviewed the top lady of BIC, in one of the upper side balconies at the Shubert.
The stage was set up for “12 Angry Men” with our own George Wendt.
However we couldn’t shoot the stage, and had to supply all our own power.
BIC graciously provided all other footage we needed from current shows though. It was just the interview, theatre facade & background we needed anyway. I guess I didn’t notice that it was now BoA Theatre when there.
Ah, Thanks BWChicago. I don’t suppose Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre is listed on CT under another name by chance is it? I’m pretty sure it never ran films.
And I don’t think the Blackstone did either, now that I think about it.
Haven’t been over there to see how it fared during the Blackstons Hotel’s massive renovation.
I don’t recall seeing many films at The Oriental, other than maybe “The Mack”. I’d have to study JRS40’s list.
I did see the stage play/musical “Scrooge” starring Richard Chamberlin there a couple of years ago. Our original night was cancelled after arriving due to Mr. Chamberlin falling ill.
But you somehow felt as if they wanted a fuller house, so they combined two nights. They compped/reimbursed everyone though that came back the next night, so box office money wasn’t behind it. Hence we actually saw it for free.
Many senior ladies in the audience giggled when Chamberlin sang the line “I hate Women”, from the song “I Hate Life”. Given Chamberlin’s timely pause and smile, it sure seemed intentional.
The staging and prop work of “Scrooge” was truly exceptional.
Up to and including a mirror he was singing into. And the characters flying.
I noticed someone posted elsewhere on CT that The Shubert at one time briefly showed films. Yet Chicago’s Shubert is not listed on CT. Could they have meant the old Blackstone Theatre?
I’d completely forgotten about the Studebaker Theatre.
For some reason I remember seeing Pearl Baily perform there, in about 1969 or 70 with my family. We then met her backstage and I shook her hand. Being all of 10, I wore a glove on the one hand at school the next day so I could tell the story. So I guess Michael Jackson owes me something for intellectual property.
The last film I saw there was maybe 1992 or so, a John Sayles film set in Texas or something. Kris Kristofferson was a sheriff & Elizabeth Pena a waitress maybe.
I also helped move some drafting tables & equipment out of The Fine Arts building around 2000 when the Harrington Design school vacated their space.
The elevator operator was still there, and they had a plaque on the wall about his 50+ years of service, etc.
There was also a freight elevator behind the theatre space at the alley.
The floor of the passenger elevator was concave it was so worn.
My mother had several singing coaches & pianists that rented space there as well. There were some small performance type rooms on upper floors that faced Michigan Ave.
I thought that The Art Institute had bought it at one time.
P.S. Wikipedia has a full description of Quonset Hut history & construction.
The Byron Theatre structure would definately qualify given the photo of several on Wiki.
For the record, the Byron structure is what I would consider a true quonsot hut.
They were military in nature, though I’m not sure originally for what purpose. Other than fast construction during wartime. Or the correct spelling.(Scrabble dictionary doesn’t have it.)
I noticed it mentioned on the Southside Theatre page.
Thanks for posting the picture.
FYI. There is a brief glimpse of the Fox marquee in a current Kid Rock music video, “Roll On” or something.
It features KR driving around the Detroit area in an `60’s Lincoln convertable.
A giant fenced-in classic building with arches is also featured. Presumably an abandoned auto manufacturer’s headquarters.