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More from the Chicago Tribune:
Wednesday, March 18, 1935
“Florals Beat Windsor Five,
31-27, at Southtown
"Duffy Florals basketball team defeated the Windsor, Int., Five 31-27, in a Midwest Professional conference game on the stage of the Southtown Theater last nght.”
From the Chicago Tribune, Thursday, December 25, 1931:
The South Side has a Christmas present today in the Southtown Theater, Balaban and Katz’s new movie house which opens its doors to the public at 1 p.m. The policy will be double feature bills and the premier offerings are “Ambassador Bill” with Will Rogers and “His Woman” with Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert. There is free parking space on the premises for 1,000 cars.
From the Chicago Tribune, Thursday, April 22, 1948
MATE DIES IN MOVIE
AS WIFE IS FETED
AT BIRTHDAY PARTY
The body of Simeon Wilson, 63, a railway enginer who died in a neighborhood theater while his wife was the guest of honor at a surprise party on her 64th birthday in their home at 6533 Peoria Street, was identified yesterday in the county morgue by his son, Newel.
Wilson had taken Tuesday off from his duties with the Chicago Belt railroad and helped his wife observe her birthday. When members of her club arrived in the evening for a surprise party he went to the Linden Theater, 743 W. 63rd Street. His body was found slumped in a seat when the theater closed. His identity was traced thru his railway locker key.
Surviving also is another son, Herbert.
From the Chicago Sunday Tribune of August 31, 1947:
IS LEASED FOR
TERM OF YEARS
Samuel Chernoff, who has been operating motion picture theaters in the Chicago area for the last 12 years, yesterday leased for a long term of years, the Harvard Theater building, 6312 S. Harvard Avenue. The building contains a 750-seat theater and five stores.
The lessors were Ivan Goode and Samuel Lerner. Irving S. Kaulin was attorney in the leasing transaction. Chernoff said he intended to install new lounges, winter and summer air conditioning, and new lobby and auditorium decorations before he begins operating the theater.
One More from the Chicago Tribune, Monday, May 21, 1917
Dog Race Winner on Stage
“Fred Hartman, the plucky American fur trader who won fame in the Winnipeg-St. Paul dog race last winter, will spend the time before he is called into active training as a military aviator by lecturing on his experiences in the far north. Hartman will give an act with his dog team at the Empress Theater this week.”
Also from the Chicago Tribune, Thursday, May 2, 1929:
AMATEUR BOXERS CLASH
An amateur boxing show will be held at the Empress Theater tonight. The windup will bring together Joe Freeman and Red Byrson of Calumet City at 128 pounds.
From the Chicago Tribune, Sunday, March 15, 1931:
Police raided the Empress theater at 6230 South Halsted street last night, stopped a burlesque show and arrested two dancing girls, four other performers and the acting manager as 1,000 patrons looked on.
The raid was carried out in much the same manner as that against Earl Carroll’s “Sketch Book” revue at the Grand Opera house on Feb. 13. First Deputy Commissioner William Scanlan, said the latest raid was part of police plans to close allegedly improper shows. In the Loop raid, however, the “Sketch Book” received judicial exoneration.
Those arrested at the Empress are Frank Benham, acting manager; Jessie Reese and Nora White of 752 Englewood Avenue; Sylvia Manor of 8 East Elm Street; Hal Rathbun; and Georgette Walker, 3185 Ellis Avenue, and Ida Brown, 65 East 49th Street, the last two colored dancers. Warrants against them were signed yesterday by Municipal Judge Joseph Graber. The charge was participation in an indecent performance.
Deputy Scanlan superintended the raid but Lt. William Gainor strode on the stage to announce the show was closed. The patrons, many of them women, were ordered out. Those arrested were taken to the Englewood station. Their cases were set for hearing for tomorrow at the Des Plaines Street station.
From the Chicago Tribune, July 17, 1923:
Fire Partly Destroys
Old Haymarket Theater
An early morning fire partially destroyed the old Haymarket theater at Madison and Halsted streets today. Soon after the first fire alarm sounded, the roof of the building caved in. The fire is supposed to have started on the fifth floor, occupied by the Monarch Textile Company. On other floors are the Giller Drug Company, the Besinger Cafeteria, and A.B. Segar Company.
There also was a fire in the building on October 19, 1904. The fire resulted from a chemical explosion on the top floor where Columbia Portraits Company was. The fire soon spread, eventually breaking up the meeting of the Fort Dearborn Lodge of the Oddfellows. The blaze soon spread to the area directly over the stage, where a vaudeville performance was being given. The theater manager ordered the singer, Flo Adler, to cut her act short—which she did. The theater was emptied in three minutes. A second explosion then occurred, blowing out the skylights. Six firefighters were injured. Loss put at $5,000.
The reason the address is different is because: the City of Chicago, in 1908, at the suggestion of Edward P. Brennan (a building superintendant for Lyon & Healy), adopted a uniform system of street naming with State and Madison streets as it’s base. The old system, whose logic was very much like the infield fly rule, was based on where you were in relation to the branches of the Chicago River. In 1913, the City Council further simplified it by declaring that only one name to all portions of any street interrupted in its course through the city.
This would, of course, apply to all addresses that don’t match up prior to 1908.
This from the Chicago Tribune of January 3, 1920, Pg. 17:
“Chicago’s outlying burlesque theater, the Englewood, at 726 West Sixth-third Street, which has been in successful operation for around seven years, has been sold by Thomas Gaynor of Los Angeles to E. Thomas Beatty, manager of the house since its opening, for an indicated consideration of $160,000. The playhouse seats 1,300, is fireproof, and is one of the most attractive in the city. The lot is 88'x124'.
Mr. Beatty is part owner of the American Burlesque association, which operates a “wheel” throughout the country. He also operates the Linden, a movie directly accross the street from the Englewood, and about 55 feet east of Halsted; the Harvard, at Sixty-third and Harvard, and the E.A.R. at Sixty-ninth street and Wentworth avenue"
Mr. Gaynor owns the southeast corner of Sixty-third street and Halsted, 123'x110', which is leased at an unusually high figure, even for that corner, the figures of which have just become public"
This from the Chicago Tribune of November 2, 1943:
“Movie Building Given Evanston Red Cross Unit”
“The four story Hoyburn building at 615-17 Davis street, Evanston, has been given to the Evanston branch of the Chicago chapter of American Red Cross by Balaban and Katz corporation, William Hollander, vice president of the theater company, said yesterday.
The building, which formerly housed the 850-seat Hoyburn Theater and is valued at $30,000, will make it possible for the Red Cross, thru addiditional facilities, to extend its activities along the north shore. Harry L. Wells, chairman of the Evanston Red Cross branch, said that various home services will be operated in the area between the northern city limits of Chicago and the south limits of Waukegan.
Wells said the Red Cross will use the entire building as rapidly as it can be occupied."
Your mention of St. Cecelia’s Church … I’ve heard of it but was never inside. It was located at the corner of 45th and Wells.
I knew many of the Catholic churches in Englewood, e.g., St. Basil’s (where I was baptized), Our Lady of Solace, Visitation, St. Brendan’s, St. John of God, St. Rita, St. Bernard, St. Leo, St. Sabina, and St. George. One of the schools my mother attended was St. Anne’s. I do remember the dairy. It was the Bowman Dairy. We took a field trip there in 1952. I think it was at 66th and Wentworth or maybe 55th and Wentworth. The Michigan Theater doesn’t ring a bell. However, the train station on 63rd Street does. It was a busy little station at one time. Now it’s deserted, abandoned. That’s all I can think of now. More questions—-Please!
Thanks for the response. I’m only 11 days late in my own response. Sorry.
I only lived on Normal Blvd. for a short period of time, about eight months, I believe. I lived with my grandfather and aunt at 5950 S. Normal Bl. I’m not sure where it was located in relation to the rest of the boulevard. I know it wasn’t on the corner, wasn’t Victorian, or built of brick. It was a plain, 2-storey, two-flat; we lived on the second floor. It has since been torn down, as has a lot of that block. I still remember “The Patch” on the corner of 59th & Normal, along with a bakery we used to stop at. I can’t remember the name of that bakery.
As for St. Martin’s … I understand it is no longer a Catholic church. It was a beautiful church. The parishioners themselves paid for every part of that church. It was built in 1886 and completed in 1894, by German immigrants. (All the stainglass windows were hand-made in Innsbruck, Austria, and Munich, Germany. All text in the windows was in German.) Last month, my younger sister told me that the gold-leafed statue of St. Martin of Tours has been removed from the tower. (That statue was a landmark that airline pilots used when approaching Midway Airport.) The church’s massive organ was something to hear. But the organ had an interesting history. It was built in 1880 and housed at the Chicago Music Hall located on the southeast corner of State St. and Randolph St. in the Loop. The entire block was purchased for an addition on Marshall Field’s department store in 1901. Mrs. Field donated the organ to St. Martin’s. It was re-built for $8,500 (in 1901!!), of which Andrew Carnegie donated $4,000. It was last played in May 1975 and was later moved to Holy Trinity Church in Comstock Park, Michigan.
That’s all I can think of for now. Let me know of anything you remember of Englewood of the 40s and 50s.
To: GoodlanderGirl and FLICKCHICK (and everybody else)
Glad to read some stuff about Englewood and the Southtown Theater. I also have postings on this website for the : Englewood, Empress, Stratford, Kim (Ace), and Linden theaters. Had some nice ‘conversations’ with others who lived in Englewood. It’s great to hear everybody’s story.
I grew up in Englewood. Lived there from 1950 to 1958. Lived at:
5950 So. Normal Blvd.
650 W. 60th St.
6347 So. Green St., and finally at
6517 So. Stewart Ave.
Attended St. Martin’s School at 59th & Princeton Ave. and graduated from St. Bernard’s School at 66th & Stewart Ave.
Swam in Ogden Park pool on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and at Sherman Park pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If something happened and they were closed that day, we swam at Gage Park (55th & Western Ave.) or McKinley Park (Archer Ave. & Western Blvd.) In the winter, we’d try to get in as ‘guests’ at the YMCA pool (66th & Union Ave.)
We’d utilize the playgrounds at Beale School and Kershaw School, emphasis on the latter. Depending where we were living, we utilize the Hiram Kelly Library, or later, the Hamilton Park Library.
On Saturdays, we went to either the Empress Theater or the Englewood Theater and to the Southtown Theater on Sunday—and stayed all day.
The area of 63rd & Halsted was like a playground for us, except on Sunday—when nearly everything was CLOSED. Christmastime topped it all, with stores being open each night until 10.
I couldn’t think of a better place to grow up in. We had everything right there. We had our own hospitals (Englewood Hosp. and St. Bernard’s Hosp.); a thriving shopping district at 63rd & Halsted; our own theaters; a major-league baseball team (o.k., not far from Englewood); and our own L line with five stops. We even had our own skid row (on 63rd Street from the railroad tracks at Wallace St. east to about where Parnell St. would’ve been).
The name of the restaurant at 63rd & Normal was the Lauer Sisters Restaurant. Here is a web address with a painted postcard of the restaurant in 1936:
Here is a similar postcard of the southeast corner of 63rd & Halsted (1943), where Andes Candies once stood. To the left of it, you can see the old Linden Theater.
I’d better stop for now. I keep losing text. Would like to hear more of your time in Englewood. Don’t leave out anything.
Arcadia vs. Acadia
In looking over the posts yesterday, I noticed my query about the Arcadia Theater. My error. It should have been the Acadia Theater. Everyone I knew pronounced it as the Arcadia. The Acadia (apparently named after the Canadian province) was located at 5535 W. 55th Street, between California and Fairfield Avenues. Cinema Treasures has a site for it.
Now I know why I couldn’t find it.
Mystery solved (mainly caused by me).
Newest from the Daily Southtown’s re-running of snippets from their old editions. This one from last Sunday’s edition.
News item, March 7, 1917:
“Well, here it is at last â€” the long looked for, much heralded French Frolics, with its newest addition, the rainbow rosetinted glass runway, will open a week’s engagement at the Englewood Theatre Sunday Matinee, March 11.
“This attraction has the distinction of being the Fashion Plate of the entire circuit and is the leading show of the wheel in business done to date, and in the past thirty weeks this show has broken twenty-three house records. The management of the Englewood is pleased to indorse the French Frolics as the best offering of the entire season.”
In the magazine section of the Feb. 19, 2006 Los Angeles Times (West; “The Most Fiendish Face in Movies”; p. 25), there is an article about the famous silent screen actor Lon Chaney, Sr.
Chaney Sr. had married a 16-year-old singer, Cleva Creighton, while touring in musical comedies. It was, however, a tough life and the marriage was apparently souring. The following paragraph is from yesterday’s article where the Majestic Theater comes in:
“The marriage became troubled, but no one expected what happened next. On April 30, 1913, during Chaney’s performance at the Majestic Theater in downtown Los Angeles, Cleva went into the wings and attempted suicide by swalling a vial of bichloride of mercury. She lived, but was never able to sing again.
“In a bout of fury, Chaney cut Cleva out of his life. He more than divorced her—he never saw or spoke of her again, left her all of $1 in his will and told their son [Lon, Jr.] that Cleva had not survived the poison. (Lon Jr. would not find out the truth until after his father died.) The actor then married a chorus girl named Hazel Hastings, herself divorced from a legless man who ran a San Francisco cigar counter and eventually let it be believed that she was Lon Jr.’s mother In the insular world of traveling theater, however, Cleva had caused enough of a scandal to make employment difficult for her former husband, which likely led to Chaney’s (Sr.) decision to try his hand at the movies.”
I’m surprised no one else in Los Angeles picked up on this story but me.
Another update … from yesterday’s Daily Southtown:
The Daily Southtown is celebrating their 100th birthday this year. As such, they are running items from their 1906 and later editions. Below is part of what appeared in today’s paper (Sun., Jan. 8, 2006) from 1913:
“A staple from the start was theater advertising, invariably accompanied by press releases from the theaters and printed in the news columns as submitted. The ads reached a zenith on Dec. 8, 1913, when the Englewood Theatre at 63rd and Halsted declared itself ‘The Home of Refined Burlesque,’ imploring readers to ‘Go Where The Ladies Go.’”
John – Read your post about the Roseland YMCA. I grew up in Englewood, around 63rd & Halsted Sts. At 66th & Union Ave., there was the Englewood YMCA. Went in there several times as a guest. The Catholic Church policy at the time was no Catholics could join the YMCA. Anyway, in the wintertime, we’d swim at the Englewood Y’s indoor pool. Apparently, Roseland and Englewood had the same policies for swimming. I remember the fish classifications for swimmers and remember having to swim naked. Like you, I never understood that policy.
In your post before the one above, you mentioned things that I did eight years later. You’re correct, in that there seemed to be seasons for everything. Exactly the ones you mentioned, year after year. You mentioned two skating rinks: Skateland (60th & Halsted)I think was closed when I lived there. Was it on the east side of Halsted? Same with Brucks Bowling Alley; where exactly was that? Do you remember Arrow’s Candy Store at 61st & Halsted? Penny candy heaven. I do remember the Planet Skating Rink (76th & Racine). We went there every Saturday afternoon. The organist would call “Waltzers Only” or “Couples Only” and we’d have to get off the floor or “Skating Backwards Only”, something I never mastered. As for Kershaw playground, one my brothers was on their wrestling team. They’d play against other playgrounds, just like a league. One more thing, the shop-lifting at Kresge’s. I did it too. It was so easy. I’d stand in front of the counter and stick things down my shirt. I stopped when my mother got curious about my new-found plunder. Glad she did.
Glad to see you again.
My favorite continuity goof was from the “Superman” television series: Superman would uncover a criminal; the crook would then ‘fire’ all six shots at Superman who would stand there, hands on hips, grinning, as the rounds bounced off his chest. The crook would then throw the gun at Superman—-who would then DUCK! Happened more than once.