Paradise Theater

231 N. Pulaski Road,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 76 - 100 of 341 comments

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 21, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Scott, I thought you visited the Fox in Brooklyn in person. I also wish you had. William Fox sure know “how to build them”. I will check on the next organ concert which is usally on a Sunday I believe. I think I will come for the Saturday tour also. I wonder if Amtrak is still runninbg from Chicago. I can’t wait for the high-speed train to be built! Maybe I can ask “Trolleyguy” if there is a trolley to take from Chicago. Of course it would take 6 weeks to get there!!!!!

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Life’s too short, your question asking if anything has been started at Leow’s King’s reminds me what is going on in Haiti. After billiins of dollars being pledged, nothing seems to have changed sine the earthquake over one year ago. After Sarah Palin’s visit recently,she said we need to send billiins more because the people are srtill living in tents. So I will have to check the website or visit there in person on my next trip to NY. Barbra Streisand recently said on a tv interview that she and Neil Diamond were ushers at Loew’s Kings.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm

have they actually started doing any work on the Kings yet?

LuisV
LuisV on December 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I will not give up hope for the Uptown. I want to remind everyone that the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn was also closed for over 30 years before finally beginning a $70MM restoration which will take at least 4 years. Granted, New York’s budget is in much better shape than Chicago’s, but assuming the theater remains structurally sound, I have hope that it will be around long enough to be be reborn. After the Kings is restored, it will likely rank among the top 3 restored theaters in the country. The Uptown (when restored) would easily join that rank.

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Scott, Great word:fanciful. They were all fanciful in a way wern’t they? Sounds good to me. I am really looking forward to visiting. The Uptown is prime for re-develooment and could became a gem again. I just hope it will be in my lifetime (and we are not getting any younger)!!

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 17, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Sounds wonderful Scott! I do plan on coming down when the local theater organ chapter has a show. I could not attend the last one they had in the fall, but would love to this time. They must have spent good money on it. The Rialto in Joliet, where I attend regularly, looks like a real gem. New carpets, cleaning of the massive light fixture in the lobby and really spic and span. On the downside, the city of Joliet might curtail some allowances $$$$$$. The state owes them hundreds of thousands-and we know how Illinois is doing these days………

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm

So very true Scott. I am afraid the ranks could never keep the movie palaces in business. Thank goodness some are still around thanks in part for the performing arts centers they have become. Nothing will ever beat watching a first-run movie in a first-run movie palace with all trappings included. I am glad I never missed that era!

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Scott, I think the Tivoli was successful at it. My family told me the Marbro was not. They did not have an audience. Too bad. If the accustics were better at the Paradise, maybe they would have chosen that theater for the stage shows. But alas, the audience would not come out for that venue either! The south siders appartently did. Good for them. It is hard for me to believe that a small tv box in a living room would keep someone from going down a few blocks to see live entertainment at a beautiful movie palace. But not everyone thinks like us! Otherwise they would still be in operation. At least some of them MAYBE.. Looking forward (in a way) to the last installment of “Moguls”—— the end of an era.

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 10, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Youbetcha Scott. It would have been great to see the Duke on the Paradise stage. The Marbro and I believe the Uptown and Tivoli began the stage show/movie policy in the late 40’s. I wonder who decided this at the downtown offices of B&K. I know it was short lived at the Marbro, nill profits, I don’t know about the others. I thought everyone knew this.

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Scott, Great point. I guess 1946 was the best one to date after the war ended. People went to the movies weekly if not more. It was automatic. Then came the little box and profits dried up to many of the screens. I suppose that is why the Marbro tried to revive the stage show policy in 1949 to no avail. I think it was very short lived. Too bad, I bet plenty of money was spent to “upgrade” the stage and lighting and musicians etc. etc. It should have worked when you imagine the population was still strong. I just think people got used to their living room couches and the free entertainment.

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Scott, Good point. They were a bunch of lucky guys being in the right place st the right time. Didn’t realize Marcus Loew never lived to see most of his wonder theaters in all their glory! At least the Balabans and William Fox did enjoy all their beautiful buildings. It was a very short period of time that changed the way people enjoyed the films in great splendor. Next week should be a sad one, the demise of the movie palace as we knew them.

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 6, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Scott, I am sure it will be on again and again as WTTW does. Go to their website and find out more. I am looking forward to tonites “Moguls”. This is the “50’s” and the beginning of the wide screen epics at the Marbro and all over the US. This is our era, when we “fell in love” with those wonderfull “Popcorn
palaces” and all the glamour of the settings. You might say they were made for each other: the epics and the places they played in……..

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Scott, I loved it. Enjoyed the Marbro picture and wish there were more about the Paradise. At least they mentioned it right? Amazing how the area, the whole city, from gorjous and plentyful to what you see today!!!!!

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 29, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Hello Paradise and Marbro lovers! Tonite Geoffrey Baer is doing his special on WTTW Chicago feature “Biking the Blvds” aT 7:30 PM cst. It will also be repeated later tonite and twice more this week. I think Wed and Thursday. He will give a history before the ride on how the boulivards came to be and how they were designed. One can only hope it will include how the beautiful theaters in the area came to be and what became of them. I would imagine the Paradise might be mentioned for its closeness to Garfield Park.

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Scott, Go see that movie. I hear the new Cher movie opening wed is something! I have a photo of Washington & Pulaski dated in the late 20’s showing the Guyon and the Paradise theater. I have a scanner. How do I scan this photo from the printer to this site?

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Thanks Scott for the numbers. I sometimes “live” in the clouds I guess. Murder is as common in that area today as movie theaters were in my time. I would like to believe that those palaces,if survived, would have changed the neighbood for the better. I know better. I will always think of that area that I knew and loved as the way it was. I saw a mayoral candidate today saying if elected, he would give every student in Chicago a lap-top. No Exceptions! My thoughts: It was a few years ago, there were murders over a pair of Michael Jordans shoes and Nikes, just imagine the murder rate soaring over laptops!

GaryParks
GaryParks on November 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Movieman:
That is correct. See my post of 2003 near the very beginning of this thread, for more info.

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Did anybody see on Turner Classic Movie channel last night the first in a series of seven new shows on “Moguls in Hollywood”? Every Monday
for seven weeks. It was great. Bob Balaban, grandson of the founder,
told how his grandmother Goldie told her husband “We are in the wrong business” as she walked past a nickeloen, They lived above a grocery store. Thats how it all began. It will repeat Wed I believe and again on the week-end. No. 2 will air next Monday. #7
will dicuss the 50’s when movie palaces closed and the upstart of the cineplex. Check TCM.com

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 2, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Scott, What a sad story! It was demolished the same year as the Roxy
in NY. I was trying to go back in my mind last night. The people that were giving the dinner party were deeply into antigues and were dealers. Maybe they didn’t use the word auction. Maybe they paid the wrecking crew person $25 for the item. It was very possible. They were the type to do that. You are probably correct. What a shame to destroy all that beauty. It was 35 years since I saw that gem hanging from the ceiling!

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Scott, B&K must have had an auction. These people were
accuate I am sure. Maybe it was a private auction. It was a beauty. A large green globe with crytals hanging from it. I was lit up green. What year did the Norshore
close? Do you mean B&K closed it down without any notice? What a shame for the people that wanted “one more and last visit”. The Marbro had no auction. Our relatives that lived there at the end would have told us. And I WOULD HAVE GONE FOR SURE!!!!!!

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Scott, I am not so sure if the Norshore and the King’s were similar.
I thought the King’s had more wood in the lobby even though it was hard for me to see. I was never in the Norshore. When we moved north,
the Norshore was out of my way. Then it was gone! I attended a dinner party in the 70’s and the hosts had a beautiful faux emerald
chandelier above the dinning table. They bought it at an auction at the Norshore Theater. Seems, unlike the Paradise & Marbro, Balaban & Katz had a public auction before demolition. They bought this piece that was probably hung in a small lobby or upper balcony for $25.
What a stunner! Too big for the dinning room, but who cares. If Balaban & Katz built the Norshore, it was probably a Pearlman fixture
don’t you think? Can you just imagine what the wreckers ball did to some of the treasures left in the Marbro & Paradise??

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm

LuisV, Thanks for the tip on the Leow’s Kings page. Never thought of it. I was in the King’s about 20 years ago. A friend worked in the NY
land office and had the keys to the place. They got the theater for back taxes. He warned me not to expect much. In one hand he had a flashlight and the other a big club for the rats we might encounter.
It was a “mind opener” to say the least. I could see the beauty that was once there, but it was a sad experience. No rats however. Maybe they were out shopping that day! It will be an amazing feat when it is re-opened. ALl the world will be talking about it. You are right, it is not in a great locale. Was it populated very much back in the 20’s? I hope there is hope for our Uptown when the city and the private sector get together. Didn’t Rapp&Rapp do both?

LuisV
LuisV on October 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hi Bobby, all of your questions are answered on the Loew’s Kings page. In short, the City is providing a combination of cash grants and tax benefits and the developer is putting in money as well, but it is truly a collaborative effort. It is about a 4 year restoration project. Right now there is an exhustive search of the original plans and a survey of what exactly needs to be done; restored or replaced. By 2014 the restoration is supposed to be complete and, quite possibly, it will be Brooklyn that will have the country’s most beautiful restored theater. What makes it all the more remarkable is that the Kings is not downtown or central Manhattan. It’s not even in downtown Brooklyn. It doesn’t even have easy access to the subway (thought it is about 6 blocks away). It is (as was the Paradise and the Uptown in Chicago) one of the most incredible palaces ever built to serve as a neighborhood theater. The Paradise is gone, The Kings has been saved and the Uptown still just sits and waits.

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm

LuisV, What a list! Loews was sure a major player weren’t they??
I was in the Brooklyn Paramount once and it was exciting. Hard to imagine all these palaces were doors away from each other. I didn’t think Leow’s Kings was going forward. Glad to hear it. You can just imagine how frustrated us Chicago people are that our Uptown theater, every bit as grand as the Kings, is in limbo with nothing on the horizon. Who are the people doing the King’s and where is the $$$ coming from? Is it an amusement co.? Jam Amusements own our Uptown, so they would do the work I would think. However, due to this recession, I bet ticket sales are hurting at the concerts, and then there is the problem of getting loans from the banks. That is why I am curious who is paying for the King’s.

LuisV
LuisV on October 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm

There are indeed others: The Center, the original Ziegfeld, Proctor’s 59th Street, The Madison, Loew’s Oriental, RKO Fordham, RKO 23rd Street, RKO 86th Street, The Orpheum, Loew’s Sheridan, and there are a great many more. The only reason that New York today has what I think is the world’s greatest collection of remaining old movie palaces has less to do with the preservation movement than with the sheer volume of what was constructed during its heyday. Many of the world’s most beautiful theaters ever erected were lost, but a great many (as mentioned above) still remain. It is still a struggle however, to create adapative resues for these theaters. Often, it is via general performing arts centers and churches, but live music, discos, retail and, in the case of the RKO Richmond Hill, a flea market that has kept the theater going for decades.

Population density has been the great genesis and the great destroyer of New York theaters. The density allowed for many of these behemoths to be built and at the same time provide the “buying public” for whatever adaptive resuse that would save a theater. However, the increasing livability of New York doomed so many of the old palaces as the land beneath them simply became too valuable.

Luckily, New York has a strong preservation movement and while not all battles are won, there is an impressive record of saved theaters.
That said, it makes me very sad that I never got to see The Roxy or The Capitol.