Showing 126 - 150 of 1,492 comments found
Is that the organization that runs all the PX outlets?
Interior, also from Jack Coursey:
They won’t quit. Pretty cool.
There was a time when nobody would have considered selling the name of an important public place, because it was understood that some things are sacred. Then along came the baby boom generation with their up-yours, I’m going to what I want attitude, and here we are. The one that really kills me is the “Willis Tower” in Chicago. I’m glad to hear about the Mayor of Boston. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.
Now the church web site appears to be completely gone.
http://www.alttabernacle.org only leads to a place-holder. All of their content is gone.
Judging by the decisions they made I guess I am not surprised.
Rialto marquee is shown running at night in the Eddie Murphy movie 48 Hours.
It seems like they got to this place before it really went to hell. the devastation seems limited to the right auditorium side-wall. The rest seems to be in relatively good shape.
I have been here several times and have never heard the train. It is across an alley and up a hill. So it isn’t quite the Blues Brothers effect.
Anway, whatever sound-proofing they did seems to get the job done.
It’s entirely possible that something is still underground. Unless it caused a problem for someone, there is no reason anybody would go out of their way to dig it up and fill with dirt.
I know they were thinking about money, Scott. I’ve heard that the original concept called for a second grand lobby going out to Lawrence. This idea was eventually scaled down to what you see today. I can also say for certain that what they put in was much cheaper than the vertical of the Paradise for instance. Think about the fact that an electrican would have had to crawl around inside the thing and wire up every socket (many labor hours). Then the miles of wire needed for that, and a light bulb for every socket, and all the chaser moters. More steel in the sign. More steel probably to hold up the sign. More steel probably needed in that part of the building to hold the bigger supports for the vertical. Also possibly more insurance or permit cost involved in a bigger sign. Then there’s the elecrtical control board in the basement needed to run the thing, which would have had to have been more substantial. I’m also pretty sure that it would have been cheper to run on an annual basis, which I would think is why the signs of other movie palaces later got replaced with versions that looked more like that of the Uptown.
I think this was the biggest theatre they ever built in the city. So I am quite sure that compromises were made in the planning process, even though the results were extraordinary. This is almost always the way it goes in business unless the people running the show are just spending money like water. The B&K people weren’t stupid. So I doubt this was the case.
All that being said, I am not sure it was cost. But I think it remains a likely suspect.
It could have been a budget thing. They originally had a big sign on the roof of the grand lobby, facing south. Maybe they didn’t have enough money to build the roof sign and a more elaborate vertical sign. B&K had a lot of money, but I’m sure even their resources had a limit.
From a design standpoint they also might have thought that a more elaborate vertical sign would have been too much when combined with the roof sign. I can personally see how this might have been the case.
If either of these is a correct assessment it was worth any trade-off. The roof sign was visible over the El and quite a distance south on Broadway, even past Montrose. The vertical sign was visible quite a distance to the north on Broadway. I should think that the two worked well as a team. In the 20’s this kind of advertising was key, as they didn’t have the multi-media options available to us today.
In the end it was a nice, well-balanced presentation. Even after the roof sign was removed and the marquee changed, the facade (seven stories high, or something like that) made it a great building.
Well, if we are calling the neighborhood around the Riviera and Aragon bad, I think it says something. That is not a bad neighborhood. I would walk around any part of that area during the day and most parts of it at night. It isn’t the Gold Coast but it is far from unsafe, certainly not a ghetto. I haven’t been by the Colony since about ‘91. This is arguably a long time. But it was kind of like Uptown back then, not the greatest but not unsafe. I have a feeling it hasn’t changed so much that I would feel unsafe walking from the theatre to the parking lot. Once I even went to a P-Funk concert at the New Regal on 79th. It wasn’t a big deal. We parked in a designated lot and there was security. I don’t think the gangs care about concert-goers. I think they have their own businesses and stick to them. The last thing they want is police scrutiny, which is what they would get if they shot up a crowd full of concert-goers. Only a crazy person would do that, and I am here to tell you that there are crazy people in every part of Chicagoland: city, suburbs, rich, poor. The biggest potential enemy I see here is the local resident group. They might get annoyed very quickly with a bunch of litter and drunk people.
My bad. This isn’t the Pantages I was thinking of. I don’t know anything about the building mentioned above.
The St. Francis is probably a wreck at this point. But it wouldn’t be a good decision to destroy the Pantages. As far as I know it is still viable.
In response to Cinemark Fan: I think the exhibition business faces fierce competition from all the new media outlets today. I, for instance, love Comcast on Demand. Sit on my couch, order the movie, turn on the speakers, and get to watch the movie without interruptions and without driving to the multiplex. There’s a lot to be said for the big screen, but $12 admission takes some of that away. It’s possible that they don’t need sixteen screens in today’s business environment.
It will be a long time before the real estate market in Chicago shows any luster again. There has been so much construction in the last ten years. The fact that they seem to make efforts to keep the theatre consistently booked is a sign that they share this view.
Nice color photo that someone posted:
Doesn’t look like things are going so well, especially if you consider that they may be listing units as sold when they have not been (to try and keep the place from looking like a grave yard):
Relative the comment of Aug 17, 2008. If the city is having such intensive budget problems that the Mayor had to lease out the parking meters, how is it that so many massive new police stations are being built around the city?
This has nothing to do with theatres, I realize. But I wonder if anyone has insight that I am missing.
Another conversion photo:
More on the conversion:
As much as you may hate the outcome, you do have to have respect for a firm that can carry out selective demolition without completely destroying an old building. It looks like a very surgical operation.
Second article from the bottom is on the Raymond, with a photo taken during the recent conversion:
Here is an article which does a good job of describing the renovation project:
It sounds like a really bad retrofit to me, and by that I mean from a business standpoint. I’m not sure why the devlopers fought so long and hard for this particular building. There must be many other sites where they could have accomplished the same goals.
Haven’t read the article, but it is probably good too.