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I’m surprised that it didn’t mention “The Blues Brothers”, one of the most famous movies ever filmed in Chicago—it’s like a virtual tour of Chicago in 1980.
From the mid-30s until the mid-50s, this theater was named the Gold Coast.
The building in which the State Theatre is located was opened in 1873 as a bank. In 1910, it was rebuilt as a vaudeville theater, the Neumeyer. Between 1914 and 1916, the theater changed names twice, first to the Northampton, then to the Colonial. In 1925, the theater was completely remodeled in a mix of Spanish and Italian Renaissance styles by W.L. Lee of Philadelphia. In 1930, a screen is added and the State begins screening sound films. By the late 60s, however, the State began to show adult features. During the 70s, it was mainly used as a rock concert venue. During the 80s and 90s, the historic theater was restored to its former splendor, and is now used for concerts and live stage shows. It is also purported haunted by the spirit of a former theater manager, nicknamed “Fred”, who has been spotted by many staff and patrons over the years, beginning in the 70s.
The former Lakeside Theatre is now the home of Alternatives, a youth center serving children and young adults in the Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park neighborhoods. See their website for more information.
According to an article in today’s New York Times, Henry Miller’s Theater will be closing in February 2004, and its current tenant, the surprise-hit Broadway musical “Urinetown”, which has been at the Henry Miller for over 2 years, the longest run in the theater’s long history, will be forced to find another theater to perform at. Developers have been eyeing the aging theater for years now, and only now have plans and funds come together. A skyscraper will be built on the site of the theater (though its facade will be incorporated into the new structure as it is landmarked), on the Avenue of the Americas between 42nd and 43rd Streets. The tower, set for completion in 2008, will include a new Henry Miller’s Theatre, which will restore the original seating capacity of 950 (it was reduced to 631 over the years). Demolition of the current building is set to begin next March.
The Linden sat 783 and was located at 743 W. 63rd St. It has been demolished.
Before it was demolished in 2000, the North Center’s former lobby space was used as an electronics store. One of the last typewriter repair stores in Chicago also operated out of one of the storefronts of the North Center Building. Upstairs of the auditorium was a bowling alley which operated until the end, as well as a pool hall next door to the theater.
A wonderful 1940s photo (and further information) of the El Rey can be found on the following website:
There are before and after photos of the Parkside/Fox Theatre showing the hideous 1960s remodeling of its facade on the website below:
There is a vintage photo of the Irving Theatre on the website below:
There is a more recent photo of the Coronet as well as further information on the following website:
There are some great before and after photos of the Coliseum (showing it in its movie house days, during its conversion into housing/retail, and its current appearance) at the following website:
There is a nice photo and more information about the Balboa at the following website:
There is a nice photo and a bit more information about the Bridge Theatre at this website:
Paul, the Stadium, better known by its post-1969 name, the Evanston, has its own entry on this website-
Just FYI, unfortunately, this isn’t the former Loop/Telenews Theatre—it’s a former storefront which the City of Chicago website story refers to. The old Loop Theatre next to the Chicago Theatre is at 165 N. State Street and is now vacant.
This theater was originally opened in the 20s as the Alcyon, but given its current name when it was remodeled in the early 60s.
The Embassy opened in 1926, for the Marks Brothers chain on Fullerton Avenue. In the 30s and 40s, it was operated by the Essaness circuit.
After it was demolished many years ago, an Osco Drug Store was built on the site.
The enormous “atomic” sculpture on the Hillside’s roof was taken down not long ago, probably within the past year, for decades visible from the Eisenhower Expressway, which goes right by the former movie house.
The long-ago closed Pantheon was torn down in 1991. During demolition, a portion of the remaining terra cotta facade was removed. It now is in the collection of the St. Ignatius College Prep School in Chicago. The high school has a very large collection of relics from long-lost Chicago buildings displayed throughout its campus, including fragments of other movie palaces like the Paradise and the Granada.
You’re right, the Iroquois/Colonial Theatre stood on the site of the present Oriental Theatre (see the listing on this site for the Colonial Theatre, Chicago for more info). However, the facade of the Oriental/Ford Center does not contain any of the old Iroquois/Colonial Building. It was completely demolished in 1925-6 to make way for the Oriental Theater and Masons Building, the office tower which is built over and around the theater.
The theatre Mr. Coursey is referring to is the second (or New) Orpheum Theatre which opened in 1924 (see the entry on this site for this theatre)
The original architect of the Rialto was Thomas W. Lamb.
The former Dundee Theatre has just recently been reopened after being refurbished as the nightclub and concert venue, Clearwater. See the article from the 12/6/02 Daily Herald newspaper:
The former 5-7 Water Tower Place theaters have been reopened recently by the Village Theatres chain (which also operate the Village, Village North, Biograph in Chicago and the Golf Glen in suburban Niles, to name a few). The Water Tower Cinemas, as the triplex is now called, specializes in art and foreign films.