Comments from Tim O'Neill

Showing 101 - 125 of 146 comments

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Village Art Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm

If you want to check out videotape of the Village Theatre, go to YouTube and type in “The Edet Show, Parts 1, 2, 3” and also type in “Screening Caligula”. Enjoy.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Music Box Theatre on Jan 25, 2010 at 12:54 am

You could also try the Harold Washington Library 3rd floor microfilm room. They have rolls of microfilm of newspapers dating back to 1849. Good Luck. Let us know what you find.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Kerasotes sells theaters to Kansas City’s AMC on Jan 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Scott, you may be right, but a lot of theatre chains don’t want to operate in the city of Chicago due to excessive high taxes.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Vic Theatre on Jan 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

If you ever get a chance, stand on the northern portion of the southbound L platform. Now, look south on the northern side of the Vic Theatre building. If you look very carefully, you will see an old, ghost sign on the brick wall. You will vaguely see the word “photo play.”

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Copernicus Center on Jan 15, 2010 at 11:23 am

I don’t know the Polish word for ozone; however, the Irish word for ozone is “O'Zone.”

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Happy 30th anniversary, "Empire Strikes Back"!!! on Jan 8, 2010 at 7:51 am

movie534, you should check out the website www.in70mm.com I envy the people of Europe. There seems to be a lot of 70mm fesitvals going on over there. It has always been my dream to put on 70mm screenings here in Chicago, but also to take it on the road. Problem is: no bucks. If I could just meet that one crackpot millionaire out there who loves film and is willing to lose money on such a venture…

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Happy 30th anniversary, "Empire Strikes Back"!!! on Jan 6, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Also don’t forget the 30th Anniversary later this year of : THE SHINING; THE BLUE BROTHERS; FAME; THE ELEPHANT MAN; RAGING BULL. I remember Siskel and Ebert labeling 1980 as the worst year ever for movies. Although I think I’m old enough to admit to everyone that I saw these two movies in 70mm: CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC and THE JAZZ SINGER with Neil Diamond. Alright, stop that laughing!!!

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about 5 Movies to watch for in IMAX 3-D on Jan 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

What I don’t understand are the real FILMmakers. Why don’t they get involved and speak out against digital projection? Quentin Tarantino told Roger Ebert in an interview that he will never shoot on digital. Steven Spielberg once said that he will shoot on film until they shut down the last film lab. Oliver Stone supposedly told George Lucas that he will be remembered as the man who destroyed cinema. Most movies that come out of Hollywood are still shot on 35mm film. Heck, there are still some movies shot on 16mm. Why does this world we live in want to give up on one of the great art forms of all time?

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about 5 Movies to watch for in IMAX 3-D on Jan 1, 2010 at 10:44 am

I tip my hat off to movie534. I’ve stated this before: FILM is for the theatres; VIDEO is for television. Why can’t these studio and theatre chain executives figure this out? Imagine LAWRENCE OF ARABIA shot on video. They claim that digital will save money. Oh my, are film studios strapped for cash after a record-breaking 2009? Yeah, they’ll save money alright, but the moviegoers will be paying exactly the same, if not more.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Marquette Theater on Dec 31, 2009 at 9:55 am

Thank you for the photos. Hopefully, somebody can post photos of the theatre when it was open. One thing I would like to point out:
Up above in the history section, it claims that the theatre opened in 1917. I don’t think that’s accurate. I’ve seen a lot of movie ads from that period and the Marquette is never listed. According to THS the Marquette opened in 1925, that might be more accurate. The theatre did close after the first weekend of January, 1981 with it’s last movie being THE ARISTOCATS. The first movie I saw there was in the summer of 1971 and that was THE MILLION DOLLAR DUCK; the last movie I saw there was FADE TO BLACK in November , 1980.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Marquette Theater on Dec 30, 2009 at 9:41 am

Jim, try to contact the Southwest News-Herald. I remember back in September, 1976 there was a picture on the front page with these senior citizens protesting something or another as they were marching down 63rd Street. A photographer snapped a picture of them as they marched past the Marquette Theatre. Also, in July or August, 1978, there were Polish-American protesters who were demonstrating out in front of the Marquette Theatre. They were protesting the Burt Reynolds movie entitled THE END. Maybe the Southwest News-Herald has some pictures of that situation. Also, try contacting some local tv news outlet. They might still have video tape of the Polish protest. Good Luck from Tim O'Neill

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Cinema Theater on Dec 26, 2009 at 1:58 am

Today, December 26, 2009, is the 80th Anniversary of the opening of the Cinema Theatre. The Cinema lasted only 52 years. I wasn’t there opening day, but I was working there on it’s last night in 1981. I remember on the last day, Oscar Brotman had a special closing day offer: If you walked up to the box-office and said: “Wally Phillips is a nut” you got in for free. Oscar Brotman (1915-1994). I heard he was difficult, not easy to work for, but what a showman. What an era. It’s weird: All the theatres that were operating on the Near North Side of Chicago back then are all gone now. It was such a wonderful time.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Ebert's take on Avatar on Dec 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm

You’re absolutley right, Mr. Walczak. The problem is this: the theatre chains and the film companies can’t come to terms on who’s going to pay for the installation of digital projectors in 40,000 auditoriums throughout North America. Multiply $150,000 X 40,000 audtoriums and the total amount comes to: YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Ebert's take on Avatar on Dec 21, 2009 at 1:43 am

That’s an interesting story, Terry. I’m sure that sort of thing is happening everywhere. Digital projectors are very expensive and there are many theatre chains that don’t want to invest in them. In a way, I think this whole situation is hilarious. I still have a 1999 Chicago Sun-Times article about a ShoWest demonstration of digital projection and how several theatre executives predicted at the time that all theatres will have digital projection in the next “4-5 years.” Well, here it is 10 years later and maybe around 10% of theatres have digital projectors. I don’t know, maybe I’m just old-school, but I was always under the impression that video is for television and film is for movie theatres. Most Hollywood filmmakers shoot their movies on film stock. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. As I’ve said before, let’s stick with film. And don’t let anyone fool you, the film studios may save millions of dollars by releasing their product in digital, but that savings will NEVER be passed on to the consumers. You mark my word.—-Tim O'Neill

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Ebert's take on Avatar on Dec 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Justin, we live in sad times. IMAX is the latest company to sell it’s soul to the Digital Devil. Why, oh why, can’t film companies and theatre chains experiment with MaxiVision 48? I mean, back in 1927 they experimentd with sound and I guess it kinda succeeded. I mean, I suppose the movie houses back then had to spend some money installing sound equipment. I’m assuming everything worked out fine with the advent of sound. Oh well, I hope some day moviegoers will come to the realization that digital projection is tantamount to watching television. People of planet Earth: Let’s stick with tradition; let’s stick with FILM.—-Tim O'Neill

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Piper's Alley Theatre on Dec 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm

You want to hear something weird. This week, the Pipers Alley is showing THE BLUES BROTHERS. A few weeks back they were showing THE GODFATHER. Does anybody out there know what this is all about?

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Fine Arts Theater on Dec 4, 2009 at 1:58 am

jwballer, The Studebaker was the original name of the 1200 seat theatre. It was called the Fine Arts Theatre #1 from December, 1982 until November, 2000. The smaller theatre had several different names; it was called the World Playhouse beginning in the early 1930s until December, 1982 when it was known as the Fine Arts #2 until it closed in November, 2000. When M&R Theatres re-opened these two theatres on Christmas Day, 1982, the newspaper ads had the new theatres advertised as “Fine Arts” but underneath that term, in parenthesis, it said “Studebaker/World Playhouse.”

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Park Theatre on Dec 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

I beg to differ. You can see the streetcar has “LAKE” on it’s slot. Also, although I must admit it’s been a long time since I’ve taken an el ride on the green line, but I believe the overhead tracks comes to an end at some point and merges onto tracks near the Metra tracks. I don’t know what you call these tracks but they’re the kind that has stones below the tracks. Hopefully, a CTA expert can write a comment about this.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Adelphi Theater on Nov 26, 2009 at 12:00 am

I worked as a projectionist at the Adelphi from Feb. 1993-Oct. 1994. It was one of the last projection booths with carbon arc lamphouses at the time. The late great Don Klein (1937-1999) operated the theatre. He tried to keep the place open as long as he could, but he finally relented and sold the business to Indian film exhibitors in 1995. I wish Don was still alive today. He’d be on the Cinema Treasures website 24/7. He really loved old-time movie houses. Working there was interesting, sometimes depressing, other times just downright scary. There were a couple of shootings near the theatre. Rats? Oh yeah, BIG ones. Attendance? Sometimes it was good; other times okay; and there were really slow weeks. The theatre was up and down; sometimes classy films; other times cinematic trash. It was one of the last of it’s kind: a double-feature theatre with 2nd-run prices. I really miss this theatre. I was hoping it would make it. It’s the type of theatre I miss working for: a single screen theatre. Well, as Don Klein said to me shortly before he died: “Let’s face it, Timmy, there’s just no place in this world for guys like me and you anymore.” P.S. If anyone is interested, there is a liquor store across the street from the Adelphi. It used to be a small movie house called Archibald’s Casino. Thank you for trying, Bill Morton. You and Don would’ve been great friends.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Copernicus Center on Nov 21, 2009 at 11:49 am

I am the projectionist at the Gateway and they STILL have carbon arc lamphouses. Trust me. They hardly ever show movies there, but next time they do, come on upstairs and you can check them out.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Loop Theater on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:18 am

JRS40, You’re absolutely right about not everyone being a fan of Mr. Brotman. Even Tom Brueggemanna acknowleged that Brotman was difficult. I worked at the Cinema Theatre for 6 months in 1981. I never got to know Brotman. I only saw him at the Cinema on it’s last day (September 13, 1981). It’s just if you look at the movie ads in the 1960s and 1970s, you will see that Brotman was a true showman. One of my favorite ads was back in October, 1976 when APE opened at the Loop. It had this big splashy full-page ad, boasting about the movie being in 3-D and all the exciting stuff in the movie. The movie was horrible, but it was another example of Brotman’s style. If you ever get a chance, try to get copies of newspaper ads for THE STEWARDESSES in 3-D. These ads are priceless.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Piper's Alley Theatre on Nov 14, 2009 at 12:42 am

CinemarkFan, I totally agree with everything you said. The Pipers Alley used to be a good theatre. It has really gone down the tubes since the Loews Cineplex 1998 union projectionist lockout. It’s a mystery why AMC continues to operate this theatre. I’m guessing that they are stuck in a long-term lease. Who knows? I wish they would let you lease it, CinemarkFan, because you have a knack for showmanship. The Pipers Alley did have 70mm in two of their bigger auditoriums during the early days. I happen to have a Chicago Reader Section Two dated June 28, 1991. This was one month after Loews opened this theatre. On page 31 is a big ad for Pipers Alley in which they announce “The Epic Entertainment Experience of the Year! 70MM Film Festival.” It was supposed to be a 4 week festival of “original 70mm studio vault prints of 4 of the all time greatest epic films.” The first week was BEN-HUR; the second week, WEST SIDE STORY; the third week, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY; the fourth week, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. However, the festival only lasted two weeks. They cancelled the last two weeks and opted to play BOYZ IN THE HOOD on two screens instead. Now keep in mind—70mm was still prevelant back in 1991; so having a 70mm festival probably wasn’t anything unique. Today, Hollywood doesn’t make 70mm prints anymore. This would be a great time to do a 70mm festival. There are so many young people who have never experienced 70mm nowadays. Please, CinemarkFan, keep your dreams alive. I have done some 70mm projectioning. I’m on board with you. Keep us all posted.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Loop Theater on Nov 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I’d like to tell an Oscar Brotman story I heard back in 1981 when I was working at the the Cinema Theatre. The story goes something like this: Back in 1971, the legendary schlock producer Jack H. Harris was about ready to release a movie called SHELIA. The legendary Oscar Brotman made a brilliant proposal to Mr. Harris. Brotman proposed changing the title of the movie to HONKY. Harris went along with the idea and the movie was a box-office hit. I’m telling you all, there is NO showmanship like that anymore.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Portage Theater on Nov 10, 2009 at 12:43 am

A study in the duality of man. Dennis Wolkowicz: one of the nicest guys in the world. Jay Warren: cold, subdued, reclusive. I can’t understand it. These two gentlemen share a lot in common; but, they have divided personalities. Wolkowicz is a man of the people; Warren retreats below the catacombs of the Portage and plays the organ non-stop (the Phantom of the Portage?). It’s no small wonder that these two men are never seen in the same room together.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill commented about Village Art Theatre on Nov 9, 2009 at 11:47 pm

I passed by the Village earler tonight. The marquee is empty (except for the letter “o” on the north side of the marquee); the Weber sign is gone; on top of the marquee is a sign that has been up there for FOUR years (“For Rent: Summer 2006”). Hey, the phone number to Price and Associates is (312) 641-1800. Somebody, please, re-open this theatre. Restore it to it’s orginal 1916 glory. I can’t do it, but somebody out there can.—Tim O'Neill.