United Artists Theatre

45 W. Randolph Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Showing 126 - 127 of 127 comments

PhilH
PhilH on June 13, 2004 at 4:02 am

I remember seeing Jaws here and found myself looking around at the theatre and not the film. I miss the great theatres in the loop.

JohnSanchez
JohnSanchez on February 12, 2004 at 10:22 pm

The United Artists was another grand palace in the Loop. It was right across from the Oriental and Woods and a block west of the Chicago, State Lake, Loop, and Roosevelt theaters. Like the others it was the home to exclusive first run premieres. It’s greatest success going into the mid 70’s was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”. In the early 70’s the UA was host to the premieres of such classics as “Mash”, “Cabaret” and “Deliverance” (the owners had canoes hanging from the marquee during that run). In 1975 the UA had its biggest success ever as one of 5 theaters to open “Jaws” in first run. Even though it wasn’t playing exclusively, “Jaws” broke UA’s house records for months. In the late 70’s the UA got a bad reputation for having video games in the lobby that were loud enough to be heard in the theater and for mice. By the time I made my only visit there in 1985 the theater was pretty worn down. I was there to see a Bill Murray film festival (“Caddyshack”, “Meatballs”, and “Stripes”). The main auditorium was closed to the public. What few people there sat in the balcony. Unfortunately some of those few happened to be either homeless or winos who disrupted the movies. Complaints to the staff fell on deaf ears. It was a sad way to see a grand palace being run. When it was demolished in 1987 there were reports in the papers that the construction crews had never seen so many mice and rats in a building. Once demolished the outdoor ice rink called Skate on State took up residence but now that is closed and the lot is vancant.