Paradise Theater

231 N. Pulaski Road,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 176 - 200 of 343 comments

roxy1927 on September 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm

What seems odd is that the greatest and most beautiful of the movie palaces was built in what seems like a borough rather than downtown.
Like building the Roxy in Queens.
At the time was this neighborhood populated enough to support it on a regular basis?
Does anybody know if in it’s heyday it ever managed to sell out or was it a white elephant from practically the beginning?

RJS on August 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm

For those who may be interested in what is currently located at the Paradise site, google now allows for a street view of certain areas of certain cities. If you go to, click on maps(near top of screen), then enter the address for the Paradise, you get the option for a street view. If you click on it, you can see an interactive photo of the site, the street and what is located across the street. It even enables you to travel up the street to the old Crawford site and Marbro site.
This is a great option for those of us who live a distance from Chicago.

Meh2185, thanks for posting the link above to the moving image collection. The site has a few views of the theater interior that I’ve never seen before!

meh2185 on August 13, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I’m not sure if anyone has posted this link yet, but the Museum of the Moving Image has a great collection of over 20 photographs of the Paradise (some online) that show the theatre in great detail and even some photos of the construction…

View link

colmkr on August 7, 2007 at 1:57 am

Does anyone know the name of the lead sculptor at the Paradise? I believe his firt name was Etore? Thanks for any leads or insights.

CHICTH74 on July 20, 2007 at 9:35 pm

It is nice to see that at least some of the Paradise is still around and is being used and not lost to time,like the elephant chairs that were at the Orential thay are just a memory in a picture now.
Thank you for your time :)

leatherarchives on July 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Seats from the Paradise Theater remain in Chicago. The Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago’s Rogers Park Neighborhood possesses about 200 of the original seats from the Paradise along with the lion head isle lights. Although not obtained directly from the Paradise, the seats must have been in another venue or in storage until the 1970’s when the Space Between Corp. turned the former synagogue at 6418 N. Greenview Ave., into the Greenview Arts Center. The Leather Archives & Museum purchased the building in 1999 and turned it into Chicago’s only BDSM Sex Museum. The seats reside in the Etienne Auditorium named for the artist and ballet dancer Dom Orejudos (Etienne). View link

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 21, 2007 at 7:36 pm

A great clip of Styx circa 1982 performing ROCKIN' THE PARADISE can be seen here View link

beardbear31 on June 9, 2007 at 2:06 am

Reading an old Time magazine article about the 1956 Democratic convention, I actually found out what happened to the seats from the Paradise Theater! It is towards the bottom of this page: View link

corvetteguy1963 on December 14, 2006 at 8:24 pm

I just was down Pulaski today to take a look at this site,and it is as described,a fenced in storage lot for building materials,and equipment,so sad an end to such a beautiful palace.The ONLY consolation is this theatre did not live to see the riots that rocked this area in 68'.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 1, 2006 at 3:50 pm

Look at all those theatres, will you? It certainly was a different time.

tntim on November 30, 2006 at 11:43 am

Go to View link then type in 2023-348 under search, and you will see a film clip of the last marquee in action.

Thanks Scott for the link.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 29, 2006 at 9:28 pm

that looks like the final marquee to me. I once saw a photo of the Paradise after closing, and it looked to be sporting the same design with the boxes in the middle that appears in that photo. It is hard to tell without seeing the top, but I think that might be the original vertical sign. The final vertical sign had nothing but panels with lighted letters on them, sort of like the Chicago Granada’s final vertical. It does appear to me that the marque had different attraction boards on it when the theatre closed. Maybe that was done at the same time they put up the final vertical. I wonder if the removal of the original marquee had anything to do with widening Crawford Avenue, as was sometimes the case with old theatres?

Broan on November 29, 2006 at 2:52 pm

So did the Paradise go through three marquees?

Broan on November 28, 2006 at 8:13 pm

Yes, it was at the Amphitheatre.

Broan on November 27, 2006 at 9:07 pm

When the theater was demolished, the seats were offered to the Democratic National Committee for their 1956 convention.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 20, 2006 at 9:01 pm

Nice! Great movies you put up today B. You are the man.

Broan on November 20, 2006 at 6:11 pm

A 1937 clip of the Paradise is available by searching for 22276

jukingeo on November 19, 2006 at 2:31 pm


Acutally there is much to the story of the “Fall” of the Paradise Theatre. Bad timing is the main issue. The Paradise was designed at a time when silent movies reigned supreme and most theatres supplied sound to these movies by elaborate organs. For this purpose the Paradise was simply the best theatre of it’s time, but an ugly acoustical problem reared it’s ugly head when “talkies” or films with sound came out. Given that this was just one year after the Paradise’s opening, many people realized that the Paradise fell short on it’s acoustics for the new “talkies”. The Marbro faired much better during this changeover to sound and naturally being just ‘round the corner, it quickly became the favored theatre in town. The Paradise was only hanging on by a thread, but the reason why it was demolished is that Balaban and Katz bought out the Marks Brothers theatre chain and this included both the Granada and Marbro theatres. Naturally, with owning the Marbro, there was no need to keep the Paradise, which was already failing. So they had it demolished, in favor of erecting stores, which also was unsuccessful. Call it the Paradise curse, but every business that has been on that property has failed miserably. Today, from a satellite image, it looks like the property is a parking lot or industrial site for heavy machinery.

jukingeo on August 31, 2006 at 7:52 pm


I must say, I would love to have seen the original marquee from the Paradise. I never cared for that new one, but I must say, it didn’t look that bad lit up a night. But the original… Well, so many of those wonderful marquees have disappeared. The Chicago Marbro and the Granada were just about the best Marquees I have seen. It was a nice trip though to see those old movies with the marquees lit up and flashing. That Stanley theatre marquee looks very impressive. Not a bad job for a repro. I will take a look at 561-55 when I get home. Hopefully my home computer has a better time at running those clips. They just keep crashing my office machine.


Which carousel were you referring to? There were quite a few I posted. One of my all time favorites is the Kennywood carousel, a 1927 Dentzel. If there was a vision of a classic American made carousel that would pop in ones head when the word ‘carousel’ is spoken, that carousel would be it. It think it was one of the first ones I posted. The last one…fat and juicy? Well that one no longer exists. Much like the problem with old theatres, old carousels were destroyed to sell of their animals as private collective artworks. However, with active preservation movements and also a host of ‘new blood’ wood horse carvers, the destruction of a classic carousel is kept to a minimum. I wish the same will eventually happen for theatres. Anyway that carousel is the Venice Beach Pier carousel. Also a Denzel (circa 1920). Hershey Park in PA also has a very impressive carousel. That one is another favorite of mine, PTC #47. It was made by the same company that built Disneyworld’s Impressive 5 row carousel.


revlowell on August 31, 2006 at 6:43 pm

JG—My wife and I love the carousel photo. Would you be so kind as to give us specifics of where it is or was located? —Lowell

jukingeo on August 31, 2006 at 4:56 pm


GREAT LINK! Wow! I couldn’t believe all the old theatre movies on that site. Too bad the site is not very stable. It crashes my computer every 4th or 5th films. But I did get to see the Paradise Marquee. Also, everyone, you must check out clip #239-15. This is one of the few that is longer than just a few seconds. It is someone taking a flim of a busy city theatre district. All those flashing bulbs and neon. FANTASTIC! I could only imagine what it would have been like to view that in person. Incredible! It just makes one realize how much we have lost over the years. Today’s theatres are just horrible in comparison. I am glad that I am still finding some really nice gems leftover from the past and some have been really nicely restored such as this one:



RJS on August 31, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Thanks for that link Scott. I have several photos of the first and second Paradise marquee, but that’s the only one I’ve ever seen in color, and actually a few seonds of film! I agree, it’s frustratingly brief, but still incredible.
Also, that site has several other very short films of the Times Square area, including several now demolished theaters along with the old Astor Hotel. Very good link.

jukingeo on August 17, 2006 at 10:05 pm


Oh! Ok, Cool! It has been a while since someone wanted to put me in a book. Well, online I am pretty much known as Jukin' Geo. You could use that and put “AKA Geo1 from Cinema Treasures” in parenthesis, since I been hanging out here alot lately. Before you ask, the Jukin' Geo goes way back when I used to do jukebox and antique radio restorations. But lately since I been wanting to follow my dream I been concentrating on larger projects. I have a dual interest in both the theatre AND amusement industries…hence my knowledge on carousels. It is amazing that the roaring 20’s was a very artistic time period and not only is this evident in the construction of theatres, but also in amusement devices as well. The 20’s produced the most spectacular carousels. Once numbering in the several thousands in the 20’s, the number of antique carousels still operating today is less than 200. So like our old Golden Age theatres, we have lost many beautiful carousels and wonderful roller coasters as well.

Here take a look at this:

View link

Fat and Juicy. They just do not make them like this any more. Could you imagine what this carousel would look like in color?

Pardon me while I wipe the foam from my mouth.


revlowell on August 17, 2006 at 6:11 pm


In your posting of July 29 at 9:07 a.m. you describe the playroom at the Paradise in detail. I would like to quote you in next edition of my book. How would you like to be credited? By name or as Geo1?