Showing 101 - 125 of 184 comments
Here is a 1970s vintage photo of the Roosevelt. You’ll have to enlarghttp://chicago.urban-history.org/ven/ths/roosevlt.shtmle it once you click on it.
Oh, but there are “palaces” that you could take your children to. That is, if you are willing to do it on a somewhat smaller scale. You could take them to the Tivoli in Downers Grove. If you don’t want to drive all that way, there’s a Metra station across the street (what a great idea for the kids—combining an afternoon at a wonderful old theatre and a train ride).
There’s also the Music Box and the Portage. The Pickwick is also a possibility (just make sure that the movie you want is in the main theatre and not in the shoeboxes).
Granted, these places are smaller than the true palaces were, but at least your children could get an idea of what the palaces were like.
The website should be www.classiccinemas.com
Has anybody (of the CT faithful) been here recently? I know that Classic Cinemas has put a LOT of money into its theatres. How would they upgrade a 1970s cinema?
Per David Burris’s and Milton’s comments above, I found this on MOB MOV’s website:
“It is very likely that by following these directions, you will break expensive things, void any and all applicable warranties, and may even risk personal injury. Please always use your best judgment and skip any directions that sound too complicated or dangerous”
Do you really want to try this? Do you want to violate copywrite laws? Do you want to have all sorts of legal complications like not having a permit from your city to do this. Would you like to void the warranty on your car?
I’ve had mixed feelings about the demolition of the Nortown. This may be because I’ve never attended movies here. A famous archeitect once said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “We will be judged not by the works we created, but by those we destroyed.” (If any fellow CTers know which archeitect this was, please let me know.
But on the other hand, could the Nortown realistically have been saved? The building, from what I understand, was in very bad shape. Assuming that it could have somehow been saved, what could be booked? Could the place have been filled enough times so that it could make a profit or at least cover expenses? The competition out there is just too great!
Could the theatre have been used again for film? It seems to me that the place would have been just too big for that. As one person said above “30 people would show up to sit in a 2,000 seat theatre.” It might seem heresy to say this, but it’s best chance might have been to restore the lobby and do what they did to the Esquire (only on a much more classier level—ie maybe 4 screens and definitely NOT shoeboxes, but with some atmosphere to them). Certainly the present owner realized that he could not fill the old Nortown showing Bollywood and Pakistani movies. I do, however, agree that this city does not need more condos.
The point is that, as much as we love old theatres, we must be pragmatic. Not everything can be saved. I should say that I love places like the Tivoli and the Portage, however those are much smaller venues and therefore easier to book. I also think that the Esquire and the DuPage could have been saved too. But as far as preservation is concerned, one must choose one’s battles carefully. But to those who attended and loved the old Nortown, you can take solace in your good memories of the place. Remember it as it once was and also take solace in that, thanks to Urban Remains, parts of the theatre can and will live on, possibly to be re-used in cinemas such as the Lake.
It’s interesting to note that most of these remakes don’t do very well at the box office. The “King Kong” with Jack Black was pretty good. Remakes have been around since movies began. “His Girl Friday” I believe, was a remake of “The Front Page.”
What’s even more interesting is that movies like “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Knocked Up” all did very well at the box office.
Remember back in the 1980s when songs were getting remade or rereleased right and left? There was Natalie Cole’s “Pink Cadillac”, the awful “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “I Saw HIM Standing There,” “Drive My Car.” “Stand By Me,” “Twist and Shout,” and “Daydream Believer” were all rereleased circa 1986.
Since you quoted “Network”, let’s hope that movie doesn’t get remade.
Don’t count the one-screen neighborhood theatres out just yet. There are a few of them that continue to do well. These include:
The Tivoli—Downers Grove
The Pickwick—Park Ridge (well, they added cinemas in another building)
The Music Box (and they added screening rooms too)
There are also a number of former single-screeners, albeit cut-up into 4 screens or so, that also continue to draw well.
The Village North—Chicago
The Lake—Oak Park
Good! Lombard DESERVES this award for letting this happen! I’ve read the threads on this site and I am absolutely amazed (and not in a good way) that some posters were gleeful over the demise of this place!
There were so many possibilities for either renovation or adaptive re-use of at least part of the building. Here in Chicago, the Portage was renovated and is now open for film festivals and live performances after being shuttered for several years!
Wouldn’t it have been nice if Lombard residents had a place to go for a classical music concert or a film festival?
Per Ret. AKC (NAC) Bob Jensen’s comment, I do recall that WLS TV (Channel 7) had is logo on Marina City. But that may have been because their antenna was on one of the towers.
An interesting article on the family that owned this theater (and the rest of the M&R chain) appears here View link
The article states that the family owned the building since the 1920s. That can’t be correct.
Duh! Catherine! The caption says 1982. I’d better get back to work!
The picture seems to indicate that this place was once known as “Michael Todd’s Cinestage”.
A photo of the Todd/Cinestage can be found here: View link
Judging by the automobiles in the foreground, I’d say that the photo was taken in the early 1980s.
You can also see the Thompson Center, then known as the State of Illinois Building, under construction in the background. Who agrees with me that this is the worst building ever built in Chicago (The Thompson Center, not the theatres!)?
The basement of the theatre, where “Shear Madness” is playing, contains photos of historic Chicagoland theatres. Most of them are still extant, but no longer showing films. They include the Riviera, the Oriental (I believe), and what is now called “Appollos 2000”. I don’t recall whether or not they have photos of the Lake and the Tivoli (the one in Downers Grove).
The Calo was home to Griffin Theatre. It is now a retail store.
I thought those seats in the Village Art looked new. There resemble the ones used in the Belvidere View link
I remember that WLS-TV was located there and the Channel 7 logo was on the outside of the building. The logo was high up, faced south, and could be seen from State Street.
So then, to clarify, the theatre space is still there, but gutted and vacant? Not totally demolished per se?
The status of this place should not be “Closed/Demolished.” The building is standing and is alive and well as the House of Blues. Therefore, the status should be “Open” and the function “Concerts.”
I saw Shear Madness, which is playing in the “Downstairs Theatre.” This space, formerly offices, is really just a room. But I did get glimpses of the opulence of the main theater. They don’t let patrons upstairs into the main area when there’s no shows going on.
Was this cinema located on the same land parcel as the Sheridan Drive-In? I had a friend who lived in this area and I vaguely remember seeing the Sheridan when I drove down Harlem Avenue.
Was the Harlem Corners Theatre located here (or at least in the same strip mall)?
I’ve never been here before. What is this place like, physically? Is the interior plain, ot is there some atmosphere. As it is a twin, with a seating capacity of 264, it must be even “cozier” than the old 3 Penny was! I’d like to visit this place, but the movies all seem a little “esoteric” for my tastes, even though I like some of the “art” and “indie” fare that, say. the Pipers Alley shows.
I saw the photographs from Mekong (as linked in one of the posts above). This theatre was also named the 400 Twin at one point.
I’m not sure what the future of this theatre will be, so I’m going to try to make it up there with my husband or some of my friends to see a show there soon.
White Castle would be good there (mmmmmm! Sliders!)