Showing 76 - 83 of 83 comments
Here is a photo showing the original marquee and exterior.
I recall seeing a movie at the Feeley with my parents, probably when I was 8 or 9 years old. Donâ€™t recall the movie (other then there was lots of talking), but during the show, there seemed to a bird that kept flying through different scenes. After the movie was over, found out from my parents a bat was inside the theater and had kept flying between the screen and projector. I recall a number of different spotlights came on when the house lights were brought up and seemed to be searching for the way-ward bat. I couldnâ€™t understand why a movie theater would have so many spotlights. At the time, I had no idea what “live” theater was or the Feeley even had a stage.
Attached is a picture link of the interior just before it was demolished.
I pass this little theater whenever I take the bus to New York City, the bus drives right by it. The theater is now a piano store, but the owners seem to have gone through great care to keep the marquee in good condition. The neon is no longer in place, but they still use the marquee letters to advertise the piano store and it still has large letters spelling out STRAND.
Visited the Bronx over the weekend and work was going on inside the Paradise when I walked past. Took a few pictures and posted the photos here.
Was never at the Paradise when it was open so not sure how the entrance was designed, but took a few photos of what was probably the main entrance and boxoffice area. Very ornate poster boxes and ceiling! The front exterior of the building looks great. Walked around the back of the theater and the upper portion looks brand new, although the area close to the street had some graffiti over the walls and exit doors.
The neighborhood was quite active, lots of small business around the theater and on Fordham.
Iâ€™ve visited this theater quite a number of times over the last few years. Itâ€™s a great example of a large, old downtown movie theater. From what I understand a fire destroyed the building front, including the lobby and attached storefronts in the 1970â€™s, although the auditorium was undamaged. This may explain the earlier comment on how the lobby â€œlooked plain.â€ It was rebuilt, but certainly has a 1970 kind of feel to it.
The auditorium walls have largely been covered with long gold curtains, almost floor to ceiling. If you walk far enough toward the screen, you can turn around and see most of the balcony and the type of dÃ©cor now covered by the curtains. Appears to be done in an almost early American Colonial style. Iâ€™d guess thereâ€™s about 600-700 seats on the main floor, no way to tell how many on the balcony.
When I first visited back in the early 1980â€™s there seemed to be more decorative lighting under the balcony in the oval coves located there. Perhaps over the years disconnected those lights or never replaced the bulbs.
Overall the theater seems to be kept in very good condition, good sound, and decent projection. Not sure how they are doing with business though since at least 2 multi-screen theaters opened in the area over the last few years.
Itâ€™s been real interesting reading through all these posts, and Iâ€™m thrilled to hear this theater is being restored and saved. I plan to be in NYC this weekend, so will make a point of getting up to the Bronx and at least see the Paradise from the outside.
Does anyone know when this theater will again be open to the public and what type of business they hope to run there? Perhaps I just missed a posting where someone said what the plans are. Iâ€™ve read quite a few comments here, many I agree with. It seems impractical that it would be used for films, although Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™ll have some at times. Are there plans for Broadway type shows, or maybe musical productions? If the owners are going through such care to restore, Iâ€™m pretty sure they will have the same diligence for how it will be used. Perhaps they are just being quiet because NY is, well, a complicated town especially when it comes to business.
Looking forward to seeing the Paradise tomorrow!
Bryan, thanks for the info from the Assessor’s office, it even has a small picture of the current site. Someday I’ll take a trip to Chicago and at least drive by the Paradise and Marbro site. Jim, thanks for the advice on using the magnifier, will give that a try:–) Still not quite the same because the lighting and colors used are pretty much left to our imagination. From the THS annual they describe how Artwork and niches were lit from the back. Must have been quite an effect. Scott, thanks for your memory of the area. Have many vague memories of theaters in my hometown too. When going with my parents, they were always late, so the film would already be on and the auditorium dark.
The Paradise theater in Chicago has always been one that has fascinated me. I had heard of it prior to the Styx album in the late 70’s early 80’s, but the album probably caused me to conduct some research. The more I read about it, the more fascinating this place becomes.
The THS annual (mentioned in earlier posts) does have some wonderful photos and written descriptions of the entire complex. Some of the photos from the period right before it opened and after it opened are truly amazing. The storefront section seems so artfully done with bronze window panels! That original marquee and upright are outstanding. Some of the interior shots seem almost like drawings in the sense that it’s difficult to picture something like this actually existed.
It seems this theater really had a sad story from beginning to end. Driving some people to bankruptcy getting built, a difficult life with competition from the Marboro and others in the same neighborhood, and driving some to bankruptcy while getting demolished.
This is the one theater out of all theaters (if I somehow had the ability) I’d like to visit and see a performance. Could care less if the acoustics were poor, I’d be there to see the building!
Since I’m not near the Chicago area, often wondered what was built there now. If you visit the terraserver web site and put in the theatersâ€™ address, you can see a satellite image of the block. It appears to be some kind of industrial parking lot. Appears to be trucks, dumpsters and other industrial material on the lot. No building there at all. Have to wonder if the foundation or basement is somewhere down there?! Seems to be a fast food restaurant or bank office on the Marboro site.