Marbro Theatre

4110 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

Unfavorite 22 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 100 of 271 comments

BobbyS on April 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Scott, Joliet is having a mayoral election soon and all candidates are saying things about the budget which is millions of dollars in debt will have to change. For one thing, the city of Joliet gives the Rialto theater $700,000 yearly just to keep the doors open. Yes the theater makes a profit for their touring shows, but if the grant disappears, who knows. Umemployment is 12%, one of the highest in Il. cities. Go to Loew’s Kings Cinema treasure site and see the latest video on Loew’s 175th theater. It is called United Palace Theater now. Also The Rialto Theater in Joliet is doing their 15th annual organfest with two organs, grand piano and live band on stage and entertainment. It will be on April 30th 7pm. It may be the last one due to the fact the Rialto management produces. If anyone wants to see a beautiful and I mean beautiful movie palace in operation, this is the time to see it. Tickets are $33, parking free. Do you feel like taking the train up north Scott? It does stop in Joliet.
I would like to get a ticket for you.

BobbyS on March 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Scott, this was a 4 day event that the fox organ club has yearly. Monday was the last and final day with a farewll lunch and everybody goes home. I don’t think it was opened to the public because members could tinkle the keys after the concert. With the snow down there, I don’t think I am too sad. I did join the Coronado organ group that has monthly shows for $10 and includes great coffee and rolls before it begins and the theater is beautiful……… I love it….

BobbyS on March 27, 2011 at 9:47 am

Scott, The city is holding back the permit fot the Patio to re-open.
Is ready-to-go I hear execpt for the permit to open the front door. Must be back taxes owed. If that small theatre is having a problem, the grand ole Marbro would have even more issues don’t you think.
I never made it to St. Louis this week-end to the Fox organfest. I looked at Amtrak and it was 5 ½ hours. With the price of gas at $4
a gallon, I didn’t want to drive. Besides the show Mon is at 9am- 11am. Not the afternoon show like I thought. So I’ll have to be content with my new discovery, the Coronado.

BobbyS on March 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Scrabble, it was a Sunday afternoon. Good for you. I was at(you guessed it) the Marbro when my father pulled his car under the marquee and we all got in when he told us what happened and it was on the car radio. It was frightning to say the least. You just didn’t hear things like that. As we got home we had the radio on during dinner. I could see my father was worried about his kids and we were told from then on to watch out for each other in the theaters and elsewhere…… As for smelling food in a theater, have you been to a concert at the Allsate complex in Rosement lately? I was there last year for the circus and it was like a foodfest. People in front of me were eating nachos with cheese and something that smelled like salami & peppers and everything in-between..

Scrabble on March 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I forgot too that many times we would be dropped and walk in during the middle of the picture and then leave when we remembered when we had come in. I was born on the 1400 block of Sedgwick Street near Lincoln Park and my Mom would take us to the Plaza Theatre, then she would leave to go shopping, and return with hot dog sandwiches & fries for us. It was such a thrill for us when she would return with food — now I wonder if anyone could ever smell the odor of food in the theatre. I remember too the Grimes Sisters tragedy as well as the two Schuessler Brothers and their cousin Robert Peterson homicides; it was so sad and I believe that occurred on a Sunday afternoon.

BobbyS on March 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

Scott, Now that you mentioned it, many times we would walk into the middle of the picture or the many cartons and would sit there until it started again and we would leave when we remembered where we came it. I forgot all about that. I can remember my Mom & Dad checking the Trib to see what time the Marbro doors opened more so then when the film started. I guess they felt very safe if we were “dumped” in front of the Marbro, we would be ok. Of course in those days, you didn’t hear much about children being kidnapped except for the Grimes sisters or those three boys that were found dead. My parents trusted the ushers at the Marbro & Paradise to keep an “eye” on us even though we kept an “eye” on them! My parents felt we were safe at a B&K house. There was a fortune telling business near Burny Bros. bakery on Cicero near Adams st. They had drapes covering all the windows. We were instructed NOT to walk in front of the store for they would snatch us and sell us. Pretty heavy stuff for a tot to conceive!

Scrabble on March 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

I thought the Tiffin had the absolute best popcorn and I remember going to the library which was just north of North Avenue on Pulaski as well. It was fun going to the Record Shop as well. So many fun and precious memories……

Scrabble on March 19, 2011 at 5:06 am

CABFM, thanks so much for sharing your memories. We lived on the 4000 block of West Kamerling and we visited the Tiffin Theatre for the most part as it was so much closer and walking distance from our home. Also, shopped at Three Sisters on Madison and I recall the Library on Pulaski so well, as well as Goldblatt’s. I had forgotten about the Byrd Theatre. Wow, the A&P really brings back memories — if I recall correctly I think they had 10 cent can goods or maybe I am getting it mixed up with Hi-Low. I had purchased a favorite dress of mine at Three Sisters and I can still recall it so vividly in my mind. Wonderful reading about other folks memories.

BobbyS on March 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm

I think Scott would remember Vito’s. Saturday was almost a Marbro day for thousands of west side kids. The car lot you mention I believe was Milo Brook Ford. Anyone remember that? There was also a pontiac dealership nearby. I know I said it before, there was everything you could want to do along Madison St. Who would ever think it would all be gone in a few short years?

cabfm on March 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm


I too am a West side product. I grew up on LaVergne and West End. Went to Spencer grade school and two years at Austin. We moved in 1967. Spent many Saturdays at the Marbro. My cousin worked at Three Sisters. Mom used to take us to the library on Pulaski and afterwards
we had shakes at the Walgreens. Goldblatt’s was the place to shop. I remember getting social security card on Madison not far from Polk Bros. The Byrd was closer to my house, but it didn’t show the movies that the Marbro did. My doctor was on Washington Blvd. and Cicero. Mom shopped at the A&P. Dad bought a new car from the lot on Madison (forget the name) We hung out at Columbus Park during the summer. Got in the pool for a dime.

Later, we went to the Tiffin on North ave. There was an awesome pizza place called Vito’s there. I still remember their pizza.

Sadly my memory is not what it used to be, but I have enjoyed reading here. Thank you.

BobbyS on March 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Wasn’t that the most beautiful marquee? Especially at night with all those white chasers and flashers with the Balaban & Katz logo?

BobbyS on March 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I can not believe I never went back after 1959. I could have. I sure wished I had. I guess I always thought it would be there I guess. I settled down up north and went to the Gateway alot, but of course it was no Marbro. But I guess I was so interested in my new school and new friends that I never gave much attention to the Marbro. Oh, if one could only turn back the clock!!

Richard3150 on March 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

I used to go to the Marbro often as a kid. May have seen RODAN there the same night I saw a hula-hoop for the first time (59?).
When my brother graduated from St. Mel HS ca. 1962, they held the commencement at the Marbro. I thought that was class. Never went back, and it vanished into thin air a couple of years later.

BobbyS on March 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Just saw a history of Cinerama. Tv in 1952 was cutting into the movie tickets and the bosses in Hollywood new something bigger and better had to happen. They developed along with Lowell Thomas the giant screens and what a success it was. First showing in 1952 at the Warner Theater, where “Jazz Singer” wowed them in the 20’s, it played there for a year. It lasted 10 years with “How the West Was Won”. That was the last film in that format and the end of Cinerama.
They could not put that screen in the many movie theaters in the country so they came up with Cinemascope (which was called the poor man’s Cinerama). The Marbro had a very large Cinemascope screen, larger than other theaters at that time, which leaves me to believe they had bigger and better plans for the Marbro.

BobbyS on February 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

Oh Scrabbie, I forgot about the lime rickeys.. I even forgot the name. They were delicious. I never had them there, but elsewhere.
I never went to the Grand theatre but I bet Scott did. He lived north of the Paradise. We kids stayed around Madison & Crawford. There was so much to do and see! I am amazed when my great nephews and nieces say they are bored..even with all their appliances they are hooked up to. I don’t remember a boring minute of my youth!

Scrabble on February 18, 2011 at 9:04 am

Did anyone ever go to the Grand Movie Theatre on North Avenue and Drake? There was a little snack shop one door east of the Grand Theatre, where they made the absolute most delicious and refreshing lime rickeys. I can still taste them — they were oh so yummy. One time, I made the mistake of sucking onto one of the pieces of sliced lime that was put into the drink, and my goodness, my lips and chin really broke out something terrible.

BobbyS on February 18, 2011 at 8:58 am

I also like the green river and of course the chocolate phosphate. That was also very good. I am looking forward to your short story. I am working on the picture of the ALEX for you to include and the Byrd theatre. Imagine movie stars in our own backyard! Those picture houses were such a thrill for us, weren’t they?

amoswald on February 18, 2011 at 6:04 am

By the way, I was a chocolate lover – it was my sister who went for the Green River shakes. The shake was made like a vanilla shake but the soda fountain jerk added the lime flavored syrup that went into Green River soda when it was dispensed from the fountain. The Green River shake was a lovely green like something from the Emerald City of Oz.

amoswald on February 18, 2011 at 6:01 am

Yes, I saw them and my sisters and I bumped into them in the lobby. I am writing a short story about the theaters and include this appearance. Spanky from our gang also appeared. It was a thrill for all of us, but, I remember as a small child I was surprised that they were all older than they appeared on TV.

BobbyS on February 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Scott & Anita, Do any of you remember the Three Stooges appearing on the Marbro stage in the early 50’s? I heard today from someone who said they did three appearances in one day before the movie starting with the Chicago Theatre, then to the Uptown Theatre and then on west to the Marbro. I don’t remember except I know the theater would sometimes put on a “Stooge” short along with many cartoons on a Saturday afternoon. So I assume it was probably a Saturday.

BobbyS on February 9, 2011 at 8:53 pm

My brothers were in the leagues at Cascade Lanes but I forgot the name before Anita mentioned it. It was very well populated as I recall. The store was A&P I bet. I don’t recall the National except for the one on Cicero south of Madison St. I always thought the National Tea store was the store that replaced the Paradise Theatre. But maybe I was wrong. I do remember going into a Kroger but I don’t know where it was. Loved the candy stores, Dutch Mill and all those soda fountains!!! Scott never had a green river Anita. Explain to him what he missed…

amoswald on February 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime. But I can see it in my dreams.

BobbyS on February 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm

OOP’s, I thought I was on the Alex site…. I will work on posting that pix.

BobbyS on February 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I am going to ask some people who know all about the internet, not me
I am new at all this, and see if I can somehow post my picture of the Alex on this site. Maybe you can use it in your report. It certainly wasn’t one of the palaces, but it did serve the community well and was well attended as I recall.

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Me too, Bobby. It is great sharing these memories. We were such lucky kids.