Showing 151 - 175 of 263 comments
Didn’t think someone’d pounce on this very minor entry so fast!
I agree about the auditorium. From the Grand Ave front, the facade has yellow-brick funeral home all over it.
I so wish this theatre hadn’t closed when it apparently did, as it’s just a stone’s throw from where my family once lived, Dad referring to it I remember as the (former) REX.
When I see the place now – the church youth center appears closed – my distinct impression is only the rear half (against Division St) is part of original theatre left. The front half on Grand doesn’t blend at all, and later reconstruction I suspect stems from use as a funeral home in the ‘50s-'60s. I’d be interested what others may say.
Liz K; you’re on the money with every point in your post! The fire at WoolWorths really goes back but I can picture it still too. Pioneer Bank had their Safety Deposit boxes down a stairway to basement. Behind them was THE neighborhood record store which let you audition L.P.s before you purchased, and the CPL which I frequented for school projects (I attended Cameron/ Maternity BVM/ Lowell)was across Pulaski from them. The Ferndells lot has been rebuilt in what (now) appears to be a bank annex/drive-thru. Pioneer Bowl on Pulaski had a Red Pin deal, there if the #1 pin was Red and you got a strike your game was free; a couple blocks west on North Ave another bowling alley Lyons Bowl (in basement IIRC). Matthews Roofing was on corner Ridgeway where I once lived, and directly across Ridgeway from them was a dairy I brought empty milk bottles to (up until ‘59?). Dave Clark 5 made a personal appearance at TIFFIN Theatre for their film “Having A Wild Weekend”. Longtime North/Pulaski favorite GUY’S Pizza, who’d had 2 of their delivery drivers shot dead in the '80s, still exists in some fashion but now a couple doors west of where the TIFFIN once stood. Yes I can picture WISHNICK’S Pharmacy now there at SW Keystone corner – they had a row of 4 old-timey dark wooden phone-booths back of store. A neighborhood fable of questionable taste had it the reason Jimmy’s Hot Dogs french fries were irresistable stemmed from a high-school kid working there in the '50s, who had the termerity to complain about being shorted on his paycheck, and was never heard from again (destination = fry greasepit)!
Kathy L.: your above comments are very helpful in my placing things better, i.e., that soda fountain place nextdoor to Grand Theatre with popcorn overflowing w/ butter topping. The pharmacy at St.Louis & North was RexAll and on the SW corner IIRC, on SE corner was a little apparel/dept store. No? Plus the ABC Popcorn company a few doors west of there.
P.S.: trivia – St.Louis St. a decade or two earlier had a different name – Ballou St.
and in a week or so BRIAN WILSON w/ back-up band The Wondermints
The very first flick I saw there was the Beatles HELP! Even remember just what part of the film I walked-in on (w/ my friend Johnny C.) – when they were setting-up the play the song You’re Gonna Lose That Girl in the mock studio,
In 1982 at the WOODS I saw a typical exploitation triple-feature there: 10 COMMANDMENTS OF KUNG-FU, GARDEN OF THE DEAD, & GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE. Certainly the very last of the paid-admission triple-features for me (or perhaps anyone).
I wish someone could quote those 10 K-F commandments for me. They were printed on a little card that was handed-out in the theatre lobby then, and as I barely recall were hilarious.
P.S.: to the posting above mine about the stolen TREK bike, I say go now to the Craigslist Chicago website and you’ll actually find there someone wanting to return a stolen TREK HYBRID (search this, posted 9/28) bike to its rightful owner (in case this be yours) for $1.
No, not a bank (at the former OAK Theatre site),
but a DRIVE-THRU (for a bank)!
Talk about your ignoble afterlife.
I’m not sure the above post’s complaining the Galewood bike-rac’s too easily seen or too concealed. IMHO it is in plain view and that to me is the preferred way. But….
Nevertheless I too was a victim. My bike didn’t get stolen (cable locked)—my bike HELMET (not cable locked) disappeared there! It was in my bike basket while I was watching TROPIC OF THUNDER L-D weekend afternoon. Now who’d wanna steal somebody’s scuzzy used helmet anyway?
That there’s a bike carcass still there at the rac isn’t remarkable, it just means that was one lock the thieves couldn’t cut (and bikes can be just abandoned). You see bike carcasses at so many bike racs over town, the city eventually puts a warning sticker on it so owner can claim before they come and send the thing to its 2-wheeled grave.
Still a fan though, and the theatre appears to be doing better-and-better business.
I went by this place a few days ago and it looks as if it’s going, as in being demolished, and taking a few adjacent addresses with it. No doubt future Milwaukee Ave redevelopment.
I maintain no great loss. Because, I was never in full agreement that particular bldg still had any part of the old JEFF Theatre still intact. Really, I scrutinized up close front and rear (not inside I admit), and believe it’s entirely post-JEFF construction. Or at least it was. Sorry.
What a terrible spectre to raise in the previous post.
I have no problem at all w/ AMC ownership. They’re good to me.
What need for remodeling? Tell me. Everything looks and works fine
I just saw there RIPPLE EFFECT (still showing). Talk about an obscure title, but a very good character piece. It could’ve gone on longer for further development and denouement.
(….at the risk of sounding like I’m plugging this show….)
TONY CLIFTON live (after a fashion) now at the CHOPIN!
What makes this particularly interesting is who T.C. really is – Mr. Bob Zmuda, who some may be aware hails from the Humboldt Park neighborhood here originally himself.
So I can’t help but wonder if Bob is getting a special kick out of playing the CHOPIN of all places, where he probably saw flicks at (when it was last a cinema in the ‘50s) when he was a kid (I believe he’s old enough).
And I’ll close by stating I think his Clifton shtick is am absolute scream and I’ll be seeing it. Even if this is interpreted as a plug no-one should mind greatly because all the ticket proceeds go to the charity COMIC RELIEF, which Bob runs.
It seems to me JAM went for the UPTOWN lock, stock, & barrel because:
a) they already had a stake in it, this was an easy next move;
b) having it effectively blocks competition; why not? Monopoly time;
c) @ $3.2 mil. I judge it a steal for the type of property it is.
This is after all the time of a buyers market.
I say things like this because since JAM already has the RIVIERA plus books other places nearby, I ask do they really need the UPTOWN for more shows? No, somehow I don’t think so.
The issue of restoration they’re supposed to do on it I maintain is a distant secondary matter. It’ll happen but only how and when they feel like it. “Why rush?”
Yeah, cynical mood. But I like to breathe more often than not, so I ain’t gonna hold my breath now that UPTOWN ownership is clearly resolved for a magical new lease on life to occur that’ll please people like us on CinemaTreasures.org.
WHAT??!! You’re giving only 3 days to come up with the money? Help!!
I went by UPTOWN coupla days ago. Some terra-cotta near the top is tarpaulined over I noted , I presume to protect against injury from falling.
Ahh…Alan Rickman—SNAPE from Harry Potter, the Spock-derived character in GALAXY QUEST, and recently in SWEENEY TODD. What I remember most about the 1st DH is Bruce W. still having a measure of hair topside. The last, DH #4 wasn’t much good, with a terrible ending.
Saw many films over the years myself at STATE-LAKE, earliest I can remember being BON VOYAGE (a real yawner from Disney I think), maybe ending w/ J.Carpenter’s THE THING. Always top-notch projection—you couldn’t go wrong.
Perusing the above posts I can’t seem to find mention of one thing though (is it true?). That, entrance to the S-L projection booth was gained through a penny.
A friend of mine who worked there (early ‘70s) described a inconspicuous bit of wall ornamentation in the theatre lobby, where if one dropped in a regular U.S. cent, contact was made and a concealed doorway slid open! That led up a stairwell to the booth(s).
Can anyone confirm/refute this? Sounds neat.
Well, for someone to extemporaneously recall a trivial calendar date (+ co-feature) 27 yrs later, and be but 1 wk off (assuming M. Coates' dilligent research is accurate), can still be considered remarkably good (if I do say so). And I did say ‘probably’ in my post, anyway. So there.
Something else just come to mind about the first INDY then: there was an almost apologetic tone in the various printed press releases, that Spielberg had ‘learned his lesson’ so to speak from having wasted so much money on the unpopular “1941,” and therefore ROTLA was filmed while not on the cheap but without the benefit of a lot of expensive camera set-ups, etc. Afterwards came ET and Steven was solidly back in the publics' good graces.
The time’s now here—too bad 70mm INDY was just a rumor, but no Digital projection either, at least not in my vicinity.
Strangely the INDY bookings seem to me a little restrained, when one considers this exact weekend the competition is only PRINCE CASPIAN; IRON MAN was well received but past its peak. SPEED RACER’s still around but it turned out weakly.
Advance screening reviews I’ve browsed are almost all positive, but many seem to add the “but it’s silly” dismissal. Super-serious nor intelectual plot we certainly never were expecting, but it better not be mindless CGI dazzling either. I’m soon to find out, at a fine old theatre, and I hope your response proves the wait worthwhile.
I’m reminding myself of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, when I saw it sneak-previewed (probably also Memorial Day weekend ‘81) w/ regular feature FOUR SEASONS (Carol Burnett, Jack Weston) at the old Golf Mill (now gone and replaced by the Showplace at Golf Mill where INDY #4 will play) theatre in Niles IL. Some friends asked how I’d liked it before it opened general release, and I recall describing the scene where the sword-brandishing arabian tries to pick a fight w/ Indiana in a crowded market, and finds quite matter-of-factly he’s out-gunned. At the time another new big opening was DRAGONSLAYER (actually quite a fine film), and the fickle public proved there was only room for one.
Thanks very much to all who responded—have a great Memorial Day weekend with a movie at your local Cinema Treasure.
Found the site: www.fred.krauss.name
Look under Chicago Theaters, then Randolph St
Not much of a photo I’ll admit—fortunately there’re a number of other much better old images to peruse there however, I think.
Bob Jensen: the Chinese restaurant, extremely popular until its' block was leveled early ‘60s for the Civic (now Daley) Center, was HOE SAI GAI, address 85 W. Randolph. Until recently I could find a website w/ someones’s personal old KodaChrome images from downtown Chicago late '50s, that showed this place. Except I can’t find it now!
Nobody has anything good to say about the LW now, and unless I miss my guess, nobody had anything good to say about the LW even then.
I was there in the ‘70s and, unfortunately, can vouch for that poor estimation. I recall lumping it together w/ others of its type that didn’t even have the good sense to turn the lights way down when the picture played. And the screen might as well have been one wall painted matte white for all they cared.
The shopping center it was in took a major downturn in the ‘80s, and that probably took the LW with it. The anchor store there was a (now defunct) OMNI. But we know that shopping center has luckily rebounded since then.
The exact site of the old LW theater is where a Postal facility now stands.
A personal recollection regarding seeing a movie (the first BATMAN w/Michael Keaton) @ the PickWick;
Took my 2 young sons here and it was (almost) their first time at a theater, and what they did spontaneously and totally on their own just bowled me over.
Because I’d long since forgotten, but I did it too when I was their age—when the movie started they just got up from their seats and sat themselves comfortably right down in the aisle! (And there remained).
On a different subject: if you find yourself frustrated, even mad when you’re at one of the chain multiplex cinemas (there’re 2 not terribly far from PW) because the big blockbuster pic that just opened is seats sold-out when you arrive there, remember the PickWick is a relatively fast drive down Greenwood/Cumberland or up Touhy Aves. And they certainly won’t be sold-out in their huge main auditorium.
baslanides: I’m glad there’s someone else who remembers (and appreciates) Daniello’s restaurant you mentioned above. Their delicious, unique pizza was rectangular, and they gave out free wine samples to customers. A tiny place, that when it closed and re-opened the new name literally was ‘Hole-In-The-Wall’.
Scott: while I can’t exactly speak authoritatively re. JIMMY’S H.D. (on Pulaski/Grand) ownership, my strong hunch is yes it’s continuous.
I say this ‘cause there’s a fella behind the counter who’s obviously a part of their legacy—been (working) there since the '50s (!) in some capacity. He’s got a good head of white hair but a youthful face and is soft-spoken (no names please), if you recall who I mean.
JIMMY’S H.D. retains their custom of raising their prices in like 2 cent increments. Their stand was rebuilt late ‘80s (?), transforming them from a wooden shack to a cement block shack. One side benefit of all that was it’s probably the only time they (being forced to) changed their french-fry grease pit.
But JIMMY’S obviously’s developed a thick skin to the jokes from the locals. Such as their putting their product in a constant parade of bags imprinted by competitors or any old thing actually—including ‘barf bags’ (airsickness) from airlines! (Sounds like a joke, but no I assure you it isn’t).
Now something’s started @ North/Pulaski NE corner (where was Ferndell’s)—a new foundation is poured but don’t know the destiny.
My Nov.‘07 post about Menards @ Kostner/North (where was Helene Curtis) may’ve been premature—essentially no construction activity there since that time, except to build a CVS store on the outlot (right at the intersection).
Dean H. mentioned ‘Wishniks’ (pharmacy?) in his Dec. post and been going quietly mad since trying to place it with certainty. One thing about the area that’s stayed since the ‘old days’ is the U.S. branch Post Office there on North Ave, ½ blk east of Pulaski on the south side. Also there’s of course Jimmy’s Hot Dogs on Pulaski/Grand which is an essentially unchanged link to the ‘50s.
Recently remembered, as may some other locals in my age group, that above (2nd flr) the Woolworth’s store formerly on North Ave right there was the neighborhood Junior Achievement branch, where you and your high school chums could start and run your own little company!