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Never got into the Roosevelt Theatre; it was DEFINITELY the bookings that scared me off.
Block 37 finally did open again after an extraordinary delay in 2010. I must admit that it looks much better than it did when the United Artists theatre was still there (though I kind of liked the UA). The last time I was in the UA was in 1972 for a showing of “Cabaret”.
Yes, I remember what the streets looked like very well. I never got into the Woods (same security and booking issues as the Oriental in that era; for the same reason I never got into the Roosevelt, but did visit the State-Lake in its decline to see “Saturday Night Fever”. Lots of Chicago’s homeless and troubled people I believe stayed in the State-Lake as long as they were open) but I did get into the United Artists twice (once for “Funny Girl” and the other “Cabaret”. The UA was in pretty good shape when a friend and I saw the latter film (I think it was an Art Deco design) but I will have to check elsewhere on this site.
I was at a family function not too many years ago (during the horrible bridge reconstruction project on 74 in Peoria) and stayed at the Pere Marquette Hotel. When I had breakfast just before I headed for home I was gazing at a building which looked oddly familiar and which I later realized was one of the sides of the Madison Theater building. It really had been a long time since I’d been in downtown Peoria!
I understand that the Madison has been used theatrically but not for some time. I hope that it becomes a venue once more. If the Oriental Theatre in Chicago can be re-opened, so can the Madison.
I never entered the Oriental Theatre (now the Ford Center for the Performing Arts) due to its reputation, history and movie bookings (my first memory of an Oriental Theatre booking was “The Premature Burial” with Ray Milland. When Livent bought it and put enormous sums of money and effort into its renovation I was delighted, and finally got in the place when an open house was held before the musical “Ragtime” opened and I finally did get into the theatre. The decor is way over the top! Decor aside, it’s a very good place to see touring shows – besides “Ragtime” I saw “Fosse” at the Ford Center/Oriental, and hope to see another show in the future.
The one and only time that I was in the Michael Todd Theatre was seeing “Star!” with my parents and a couple of other people on Christmas Day, 1968 (I believe). (The reviews must have come in!) It was not a terribly large theatre; it was kind of like the old Civic Theatre which was connected to Lyric Opera’s building in Chicago which was converted to production space several years ago. The sound and projection were incredible (despite the many flaws of the film). It was impossible to determine what the theatre had looked like before it became a movie theatre due to the curtains which assisted all that lovely sound. And, of course, there was the usual popcorn machine in the lobby stinking up everything. I was out of the area at college from 1971-1975, and when I started working in Chicago I was amazed at the bookings as the road-show era of films had died.
My grandparents lived in Peoria, IL which was a first-run theatre town. Thus we were able to see films well ahead of their release in our town at the Palace and the Madison Theatres. At this point my memory is fuzzy separating the two but I do remember the wide sight lines, excellent projection, air conditioning (all-important during hot Peoria summers) and sound, and lovely lobbies. The years when I visited the two theatres were approximately 1961-1975.
My grandparents lived in Peoria, IL which was a first-run theatre town. Thus we were able to see films well ahead of their release in our town at the Palace and the Madison Theatres. At this point my memory is fuzzy separating the two but I do remember the wide sight lines, excellent projection, air conditioning and sound, and lovely lobbies. The years when I visited the two theatres were approximately 1961-1975.
The Beverly Theater I believe was close to my grandparents' home in Peoria, IL. During my time there (1953-1975 when my grandparents passed away) it showed “road show” films, notably two which I saw during those years, “Around the World in 80 Days” and “The Sound of Music.” The town where I lived did not show first-run motion pictures, so this was really appreciated. I wish I remembered the theater’s interior, but I do not other than the lack of a balcony.