Marbro Theatre

4110 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 101 - 125 of 271 comments

BobbyS on February 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

You are sure on target Anita when you talk about the real estate agents. We started getting “flyers” in the mail as eary as 1955 telling us to sell before everything comes crashing down. I am sure they made a fortune on scaring people and businesses. If we all held on, maybe we could have prevented it from moving so fast. But everybody on my block were moving up to the North Side of Chicago and my family didn’t want to be left out. I remeber seeing all these moving vans week after week. I am not surprised the neighbood never re-built. No money, the city is dead broke. Maybe Rahm has new ideas. We’ll have to wait. We switched to going to the State Theater on Sundays because afterwards, we always went to Ray Foley’s for dinner. My mother loved the Prime Rib, as I did and their wonderful
horseradish. I loved the red booths. We were regulars when they moved north at Touhy & Lincoln. The State Theatre is long gone, but the building where Ray Foley’s was still stands as a reminder of better times.. I feel like I just met an old friend Anita!

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Oh and I think the Peter Pan was actually closer to Cicero near the Knights of Columbus where I took swimming lessons. A&P and Market Basket were in the 4200 Block of Madison and National Tea was in the 4300.

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Absolutely Bobby. It was a shame that the neighborhood deteriorated. I know my parents invested in Purcell Hall and other church ventures to try and keep people from leaving. But the unscrupulous real estate agents known as blockbusters spread fear and distrust and people and businesses fled in droves. I think we were some of the last to move, largely because the family business was dissolved and the business sold. They tried to get my Dad to buy it back, but he never really worked in the business and was not interested in starting. His aunt and uncle moved on to manage Ray Foley’s.

I am still surprised the neighborhood was never rebuilt and I dream of the day when I hear that urban renewal reaches the West Side.

We were magical people and we still are because we remember the days of glory.

BobbyS on February 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I do remember the Red Goose shoe store and remember buying shoes. I loved going to St. Philips Basilca when the Knights of Columbus would march and we would go to the Easter services because some relatives went there and we would light up the candles and they turned off the church lights. I felt like I was in heaven! I look around at my great neices and nephews deep into their personal DVD players and on their phones texting to each other sitting on a couch, and I think you have no idea what you missed. The fact that they nothing to say proves I am right. I cried when told we were moving because of the neighborhood changing. It was a magical place and we were magical people!

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Do you remember that Goldblatt’s sold pets like small monkeys. I will never forget when my brother and sister climbed out of the stroller when my Mom was talking to a friend and let the monkeys and birds and anything else in a cage loose. My Mother beat it out of the store fast.

Since we lived on the third story we used to climb over the railing onto the rooftop of the restaurant and run along the roofs on Madison Street. The merchants, like the folks in Red Goose shoes, would come out and yell, “Hey you kids, get off the roof.” We had the best time growing up there. We were so sad to leave it but the family business was sold and my Dad was transferred to another firehouse from the one at Fulton and Kilpatrick. He worked on his days off at Bantam Books and when Bantam moved from the Chicago River to Des Plaines, we moved to the northwest side to be closer to my Dad’s work and to my then new high school, Mother Guerin. Both my Mom’s and Dad’s relatives all lived on the West Side. My parents went to St. Mel’s. They started dating in High School and were married at St. Mel’s Church. We have a long family history there. Too bad my parents were never into taking pictures. My Mom would take some pictures and throw them into a box. I wish we had some photos of the old neighborhood now.

Does anyone remember Mayblossom McDonald’s Dance Studio. I took ballet lessons there when I was a tiny tot.

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I am so happy to read these memories of the West Side and look forward to reading many more.

BobbyS on February 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Anita, What a memory!! I had forgot half the names you mentioned. But I remember them all. Loved the Martinique and the green river shakes and the Dutch Mill candy stores and the dime stores and the opening of Goldblatt’s and all the personal appearences. This was a kid’s paradise. Couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to head down there!~I know you are giving Scrabble and many of us a thrill!

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Sadly the restaurant burned down after we moved from the neighborhood I think in the late 60s. It was a nightclub and an African American radio station broadcasted out of the restaurant before it was demolished. My Dad was a Chicago fireman and he heard about the fire and went to see if he could buy any of the salvage, like the beautiful stained glass his grandfather imported from Europe or the glass doors with S on them but all he found was a vacant lot. It was a beautiful place. My Dad’s grandfather came from Prague when he was 2. He was a grocer first and then started serving lunches that proved so popular they opened the restaurant. The family ran it until the 1960’s. I used to look out the window of our apartment to see the Solick’s neon sign and the Marbro marquee. What beautiful sights. We saw the 3 Stooges and Spanky at the Marbro. And remember when they had Hercules appear for the opening of Hercules Unchained? Kids today do not know what they are missing.

BobbyS on February 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Wecome Anita to our blog!! Your restaurant was across the atreet form the Marbro and a block down. It might still be there. When Scott or someone else reads this, I am sure they will help you. I know if you go to Madison Crawford or East Garfield Pk, you can take a photo tour of the street today. I bet we ate in your restaurant many times. I bet Scrabble would remember. I am looking for a color photo of the Marbro marquee myself. I too had relatives at St.Mel’s.

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Bobby and Scrabble, my sisters and I remember it all. The dimestores were Neisner’s and Kresge’s. The Cisco Kid and Pancho appeared at Goldblatt’s. Oscar and the wienermobile parked on Madison Street, too. Did you skate at Clark’s park? Don’t forget Off the Street Club, roller skating and great Halloween parties. There was a soda fountain on every block. Fannie May and Dutch Mill candy, the Martinique, Green River shakes. Limeade at Woolworth’s counter. I miss it all.

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I did note that some of the information on the pdf map listed above is not exactly correct. ConEd was on the corner of the 4200 Block of Madison Street, A&P across the street. Solick’s was at 4205-4207 Madison Street. My Dad lived in the same apartments above the restaurant. His Grandfather started the restaurant. Remember Ebert’s Studio, Personnel Liquors, Gibbons O'Keefe funeral parlor, Elite’s, Schlosser’s? What a great neighborhood it was.

BobbyS on February 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Scrabble, I think you & I & Scott are the only ones that really love and remember those times at that intersection and that time! I have been to many places since those days, but nothing warms my heart as remembering going shopping with my mother for a special outfit at all the wonderful stores and shoe salons and seeing a movie at the Matbro or Paradise and a quick bit to eat or a soda at the Walgreens on the corner.. THOSE WERE THE DAYS…….

amoswald on February 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Loved all the theaters on the West Side. Am looking for any photos of the neighborhood from Garfield Park to Austin.

I am writing a series of short stories about growing up in the neighborhood and am trying to find photos of Solick’s, my family’s restaurant at 4207 Madison Street. I lived in the apartments above the restaurant.

My parents and grandparents were West Siders. They attended St. Mel’s and Providence. I went to St. Mel’s Grammar School. It was a magical place to grow up and we miss it everyday.

Reading these posts brings back fond memories.

Anita Solick Oswald

Scrabble on February 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

Thank you for your post. This is so sweet and touching. I used to shop at The Three Sisters' Shop and it brings back so many memories before change took place…..nothing stays the same. Have a great day.

BobbyS on February 5, 2011 at 12:59 am

I just met someone and we were talking about the Madison Crawford shopping district. He told me he took his date to the Marbro Theatre for a matinee and after the movie they went to The Three Sister’s store on the corner of Madison/Crawford and bought her a pink angora sweater. They have been married for 60 years. Longer than the Marbro Theatre existed!!

BobbyS on February 5, 2011 at 12:59 am

I just met someone and we were talking about the Madison Crawford shopping district. He told me he took his date to the Marbro Theatre for a matinee and after the movie they went to The Three Sister’s store on the corner of Madison/Crawford and bought her a pink angora sweater. They have been married for 60 years. Longer than the Marbro Theatre existed!!

BobbyS on January 28, 2011 at 3:04 am

Thanks TheatreOrgan for the link. Great pix!

BobbyS on January 28, 2011 at 2:55 am

Must have been a sad day when the Marbro organ was removed. It was played until it left, mostly on week-ends I remember. Would love to see the wonder organ of Loew’s Kings back in the theater again. Its possible. The organ is in mint condition sitting in a home in the western suburbs of Chicago. And its a gem!

TheatreOrgan on January 18, 2011 at 10:47 pm

For those theatre organ fans of the Marbro Wurlitzer, there are approximately 5 to 6 negatives for sale presently on ebay, supposedly of this Marbo organ, during its removal from the theatre in 1959. There are three negatives of the console, one of the bottom of the organ lift pit, and some from a pipe chamber. If interested, type in then enter the following item number in the search box, which will take you to one of the negatives. From there, you can search for the others. The item number is: 330520706101.

BobbyS on January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Scott, My feeling exactly as I turned the corner in my car. The vertical is out of size. Too small. Must look nice at night with the chasers on. When was the original taken down and replaced with this one? When you think of the Marbro’s giant sign which could be seen for many blocks away, that’s a vertical!! I loved the inner lobby with all the beautiful lamp treatments. They were setting up for the night performance of RSO. I plan to go back again! I was also sad to see all the vacant lots and stores for rent around the theater.

BobbyS on January 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Scott, I made it to the Coronado Theater Sat morn. What a GEM as you said. It reminded me of a smaller Atlanta Fox with all the courtyards lit up. It was in excellent condition and the organ sounded wonderful. What a thrill you must have had watching movies there. Almost like the Marbro as far as ornate surroundings are concerned.

BobbyS on January 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm

The Nortown on Chicago’s north side once during Christmas had red and green builds replacing the regular white and the lower chasers. Probably done by the manager. This is when it was still B&K’s.

BobbyS on January 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Scott, I am sure there are pictures taken with little kodaks of the Marbro’s lobby holiday decorations. They are probably sitting in someones draw or basement. They did blend in with all the ornate marble. I never saw anything that looked like a decoration at the Paradise except for a few flags during 4th of July week. And by then the Paradise was hanging on by a string…

BobbyS on January 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Scott, it wasn’t every year. I don’t know how often managers were changed. I think it was up to the manager if he wanted to celebrate. Sometimes the State theater had decorations and sometimes not. I wonder if there was an allowance from management for that purpose.

BobbyS on December 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Does anyone remember the Christmas tree in the Marbro lobby?
One year they had it between the balcony stairs that were divided. Another year they had it on a side lobby wall with garlands hanging between the marble columns.