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Went to the open house today. A stunning theater. Beautiful! Many people showed up with cameras. Theatre well lit. Marquee not on. I could see how the Paradise was influenced by this theatre. Lobby very similar minus the statues of the Paradise and all the detail of course.
But the outer lobby & boxoffice & doors brought back many memories of the movie palace on crawford ave. The parking lot next door was not in use. Locked up with grass growing between the concrete. Parking on the side street only. I wish new owners plenty of luck when it re-opens. Neighborhhod is definetly a challenge.
It is sad to see some of the top chains not even bothering with masking anymore. Curtains are a thing of the past (too bad), but not even a top & bottom black mask when showing a wide screen movie. A letter-box showing should be unacceptable in a movie theatre where we can do that at home. Shame on Regal and others.
I am not surprised. I love passing this theater at night on the tollway. Probably will change the vertical & marquee to Rosemont 18 or maybe CARMIKE, Wonder if they have other theaters in Illinois.
One beautiful box office! Theater never got new doors and boxoffice as the Marbro got in 1941. Probably losing money already.
I went to Fred Herme’s basement theater today and they talked about the Uptown theater still standing. We went looking for it. Not only did we find it, we went right in. Stage door wide open. Some work was done like a new circuit breaker and some wiring and new cement stairs in the rear. Amazing a work light was lit on the main floor and sunlight streaming through cracks where one could see the entire auditorium. A Beauty. Orginal drapes hang above the stage. Plenty of plaster on the floor. As we were leaving I noticed a calendar on the stage back wall. It was marked March, 1994. What year did the people that were trying to restore this theater just walk away and not even lock the door? Some of the tools were left behind.
Looks pretty good..Is this a plaster mold? Probably used it in many other places inside the Keith’s I suppose.
Wow, double the rents !! The stores are barely hanging on now. Just what Chicago needs more empty stores and even less population.
To me, not being able to show english speaking films is pure racism. Somehow being white is racism, being anything else is progressive. Yes Thomas Lamb was a white male like everyone else that founded this country. No apology needed !!
Don’t they need a temple to pray in or a community center? You mean to say they have no idea that a large space that they pass by every single day is sitting right there. What are they printing in those newspapers?Stories about their homeland?
I did it Scott. Posted photo at night. Would have liked to made it larger. Wish someone had a night view of the Marbro..
I WILL TRY SOON. ITS A GREAT PICTURE. I LOVED WALKING FROM ALL THE PINK NEON & ALL THE WHITE BULBS AT THE MARBRO TO ALL THE ORGANGE NEON & WHITE BULBS AT THE PARADISE..A LITTLE OF LAS VEGAS IN GARFIELD PARK !!
The Paradise opened for business on Sept 14,1929. I know because my grandparents celebrated their wedding anniversary on that night. They never forgot that evening.
Wonderful pictures Scott !!!! I forgot how detailed the box office was. You would think somebody would have saved it for their home or back yard instead of the wrecking ball. I have a few questions. If the recent marquee is pictured and is from 1941, the original vertical from 1929 is still there. What year did the last vertical appear? In the Crawford theater posting, someone thought the year was 1947. If that is true, the Paradise had the original vertical still being used in that year. Means the newer block lettering only lived about 9 years. Is that possible? The Marbro got the new signage also in 1941, but both signs. Where was the free parking lot? I have almost the same photo in color at night. I will try and scan & post it if I can. I wonder how long “2 BIG HITS” remained on the marquee. Was this a cost-cutting measure or maybe the films were not that interesting.
Thanks Robert….Once in awhile I see the ToddAO name in the credits of todays movies. I wonder if it is the same process being used. Even the largest screen in a multiplex, not counting IMAX, is not even close to the Michael Todd’s screen. I can only imagine the thrill of the Capitol’s.
Thanks AlAlvarez. Was this screen as large as the Capitols? I remember seeing “Around the World in 80 Days” at the Michael Todd theater in Chicago in a very large cinerama-type screen. I believe it was super 70mm because there were not the usual 3 panels, but the screen was as large as Cinerama. Also what did Todd-AO mean? Was that a form of Cinemascope only larger? Thanks everyone. Glad everyone is back……..
I thought Loew’s got rid of the King’s in the 70’s. Magic Johnson Cinema multiplexes was an arm of the Loews chain to be built in the black urban areas. Was this the same Loews company or a different one with the Loews name? The Keiths keeps staying “alive” doesn’t it? I hate to see it give in to a condo plan.
I have tried to get Warner Cinerama page and only got Warner theater which of course is gone. How did the screen at the Capitol compare to todays IMAX screens?
GFeret, I hope you are wrong. But that would explain why the grant never came to be. It is hard to believe the city would not try and keep this corner alive & open for business and not add to the vacant stores. One only has to travel down the street and see what a closed Portage theatre can do to the vacancy rate!
Scott,negotiations must have occurred between the two parties both businessmen with plenty of capital behind them and probably egos got in the way. Having the most beautiful movie palace with all the dimes & nickels rolling in was hard to pass up..It is still amazing to me with all the business savvy around no one could see the Great Depression around the corner. The endangered list I gave was Illinois. Just annouhnced yesterday the Chicago endangered top ten came out and the Uptown theatre is back on it…It stated the crumpling condition and the lack of potential investors. Sad..
Looks like the marquee is in the flashing mode…The show really did begin at the curb didn’t it?
Thanks Scott, All this in only 26 years. WOW ! Didn’t anyone realize that the habits of the paying public would change? Didn’t anyone see how a new machine called television could change profits forever? It was a frenzy to see who could build a bigger more ornate movie palace. You would think B&K would have tried to buy out the Marks Bros. before they spent a dime or in this case millions to build the Paradise. I am glad they didn’t for I enjoyed both of them very very much and miss them both.
The beautiful Rialto Theatre in Joliet, Il. does a very brisk business in weddings. I am there once a month on a Sunday and many times the marquee still spells out from the day before. Example: “A Love Story” starring the names of the couple who just wed. The theatre has many packages that include catering, flowers etc. all from local Joliet businesses. Some use the lobby alone, many use both lobby & stage & Barton organ. They do reach out and lobby the theater rental. You are right Lifes Too Short, management has to be creative & pro-active in these times for a successful operation.
You are so right Life’s Too Short. Stadium seating is really something. That would leave me to believe showing films might be in the future. The Uptown Theatre in Chicago which is trying to find funding to re-open is reported to have said their intenion is to remove all seats from the first floor and make it a dance club/theatre. The King’s sounds like the people in charge know what they are doing…I too hope the community is behind this beautiful place and will support it over the years…
A few days ago the Chicago Tribune announced the 5 buildings that were endangered. It included the Jeffery theatre and the Guyon hotel. It stated the owner also owned the Paradise Ballroom. I bet he also owned the land that the Paradise Theatre was built on. Wasn’t B&K the third group that built the Paradise? They must have eventually bought the land because they sold it or maybe leased it to the ill-fated grocery store that replaced the beautiful building.