Marbro Theatre

4110 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 176 - 200 of 271 comments

Scrabble on June 29, 2010 at 5:51 am

Was it “Neisner’s”??

I must admit I found it at the following site:

View link

BobbyS on June 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Scott. Sorry to hear your memory is going fast! The dimestore was
either Kresges or maybe began with a N. It was very large and I think
it is still there. The building that is. A fun place for a child. I
think the name Marbro was on the bottom of the dish set. She collected them all and alot were broken. She only had a few left. I think she had a “crush” on one of the ushers. She never said, but that was my view. She went to the theater alot sometimes to see the movie twice. I don’t think it was for the dishes either.

Scrabble on June 27, 2010 at 4:46 am

Sorry BobbyS…I cannot recall a dimestore. But I do recall the hair rinse coming in the form of capsules. Also, I remember when I was about 12 or 13 years old, my sister and my cousin and I would put our babooskas on our chins, and put lipstick on, before we would go to see a movie, and then before we would return home, we would remove the lipstick and take the scarves off of our chins, so we would not be taken to task by our Moms. Have a great day!

BobbyS on June 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Does anybody remember the name of that very lage dime store that was near the Marbro? How about you Scabbie? It was not Woolworths. It was on a corner and had the entrance on a triangle. I was watching
a film with two girlfriends, we were all about 14, and the star,forgot her name, had such a sun red hair that photographed so
beautiful in that 1950’s technicolor that we decidied to become redheads as we were leaving the theater. We found our way into this 5 & 10 and went to the hair aisle and bought noreen rinses. They came in a capsule. You would fill the sink up with warm water, open the capsule and dip your hair into it. It was fun. I went to a birthday party a few days later and my mother was there and she said “How nice your hair is coming in red” I said “Really!"
Oh those naive 1950"s!!!!

BobbyS on June 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm

“The Bridge on the River Kwai” was beautiful on the Marbro screen. We alsways went as s family to thr Marbro at night. Sometimes my brothers and father would win to see a war film, but I didn’t mind
because they would also go and see a musical or love story for mother and me. Anyway, I always had the candy counter! I just loved
going there no matter what was one the screen. Just being in that place and going in past that marquee was enough for me. We never went during the week. School you know and “I Love Lucy” etc. I wonder
how they did box office wise. TV must have taken a big toll on them don’t you think? I had a aunt who died a few years ago and she was still using the dishes from the Marbro which she got on “dish night"
during the depression. When I asked for them, her family said they threw those things out. Just imagine, I could have sold them on E-Bay. Not on your life!!!!!!!

TLSLOEWS on June 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Man this was a big theatre!!!Nice stories from old employees and customers.

BobbyS on June 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Scott, I got the e-mail from the former usher that I met in Skokie and he gave me the same information as you did, but he called it
the Rodgers Park Art Center. Maybe he wasn’t there for a while and
they changed hands, or in this case bodies! I still intend to go and will give you a full report. What ever happened to thr Marbro seats?
Were they installed in other operating theaters? I went to the final
showing in the Granada theater and the seats in the balcony were in pretty bad shape. Main floor were re-done. The film was “Bow-Won-Ton-
the dog that saved hollywood”. There were 50 people in the theater
on the final thursday night. Mr. Whitiker was the mananger for Plitt
Theaters. Did you ever see “The Bridge on the River Kwai” at the

BobbyS on June 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Scott, I think you are right. The man said Greenview Ave. I’ll
have to pay them a visit. Also I think I will pay a visit to Cinema
Treasures/ Paradise. Maybe I’ll find you there. Every show I attended
myself in the 50’s also had few people. When you think of it it
was amazing it was still opened 7 days a week after the advent of
TV and staggered to 1956. I can’t remember one famous movie I ever
saw there. I went to alot of westerns with my brothers. I remember
going to the Marbro to see John Wayne in a 3D western. We all got
the glasses in the lobby and we sat in the huge balcony and had
“Swords” and “Bows & Arrows” thrown at us. Those matinees were
very well attended and we had to hunt for seats.l

BobbyS on June 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Scott, It was a bland marquee. But at night with all the flashing
and the orange letters and vertical,it did make a statement and
brightened on Pulaski Rd. Sure needs some brightening up today!
The theater I am thinking of is the Lifeline Theater on Glenwood.
Is that the one you are thinking of? I am waiting for an e-mail from
the former usher to confirm what I thought he said. Those seats must
be in pretty good shape don’t you think? They were only 30 years old
when they were moved downtown and I’m sure they were never “worn"
due to the fact the theater was closed for a while in the "30’s"
and not a large attendence in the 50’s. When you think about it,
if $10,000 was not considered a good day at the Marbro, can you just
imagine what a dismal day at the Paradise was like. Imagine the heating bill alone to warm up that high ceiling and balcony space.

BobbyS on June 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Scrabbie,You are right it was Robert Hall. I must have seen the Robot
there or at Goldblatts. Also the same for Cassidy.
It is so much fun to go back in memory. The dress shop.“Three Sisters” on Pulaski was a grest shop. My favorte was “Kanes” next door to the north. One of my cousins was a model for the salon. This
was an outstanding place. It was like going to the movies. You would
tell the saleslady what you had on mind for a special event and she would start the fashon show with live models with the clothes she
thought you might buy. They eventually moved to the Ambassidor Hotel
where they stayed for 30 more years.

Scrabble on June 22, 2010 at 6:52 am

Bobby S: It was Robert Hall and not Polk Brothers that I recall on Madison St. just east of Pulaski. There was a Chicago Public Library on Pulaski just south of Madison. All of these posts are so interesting — thanks everyone, and have a nice day.

BobbyS on June 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I sure wish you would have taken your little camera Scott and
taken a color shot of the Marbro at night. I have not given up my
search to find one. I just want to see that marquee in motion one
more time. You can see the Paradise in color on a tour of Pulaski and Madison from a bus going north. I found it on Cinema Treasures
and it is still there. It shows the marquee with all the chasers
and the orange lettering. I am sure there is somewhere someone
took a family picture underneath the Marbro. The thing is to find
it!!! Joe and I watched the carpets of the Paradise being rolled
up and carried out the front door and stacked by the front door and loaded up into a truck. I believe this was a day or two after the
theater was closed forever. We would wander over there and stand across the street. I had a brick for awhile, but it got lost in the
move. Now for the seats. As you know, the seats were sold to the
Coliseum in Chicago. That building is gone. One might think the seats
were also . Guess again….. How would you like to know where they are now? And you can sit in them again—— on Chicago’s north side.
Stay tuned………

Stay tuned……………….

BobbyS on June 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Scott, Alot of the paradise statues were saved and I saw them at a wedding in the 60’s at
a place called royal banquets. I believe it was either on grand ave or chicago ave. These were
the statues from the side of the auditorium walls and the lobby walls. I remembered them from
my movie days and couldn’t keep my eyes off of them during the wedding dinner. Joe D had
the piano, a player piano from the Marbro, in his house. Wonder where it is now? I bet the
statues also are in Limbo because I bet Royal Banquets are also long gone. Joe’s piano was in
the Marbro upper lobby, and of course like the Marbro itself was very ornate. There are parts
of the Granada facade that were saved and of course you know the twin of the Marbro and
installed in a Barrington home around the entrance door. Even the faces that were on top
of the large center window. It is quite something to see!!

BobbyS on June 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Scrabble, I am amazed myself what I am remembering after so many years. I never thought
about these in years. I love this site! You and Scott are wonderful. You mentioned Goldblatts.
I watched them dig the hole for the store on that corner. Don’t remember what stores were
destroyed to make way. I was at the opening week. It was a very big deal for that shopping
district. Makes me think they thought it would always be that way. There were ballons and
celebrity guests. The building still stands, but not a Goldblatts I believe. Madigans is Diana's
now. remember the Three Sisiters store? Was kiddie-corner from Goldblatts. As far as
Polk Bros you mentioned, Yes, we went there often. They also had events to bring in the kids
who in turn brought in the parents to buy washers and dyers etc. Did you ever see Tobar the
robot? a full size robot on display that was working from a remote control, walking around the
store. We also saw Hop-a-long Cassidy, the tv star cowboy. He was either at Polks or Goldblatts.
I could have cared less, but my brothers wanted to go. In those days the family had to go together.
No buts!!!!!!!

Scrabble on June 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Wow, you guys have TERRIFIC memories. Thanks all.
Bobby S. thanks for refreshing my memory on the High-lo Grocery Store on Laramie. These posts are all so so interesting. Nothing like going down memory lane! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

BobbyS on June 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Scott, The name on the wrecking housing that controlled the ball
was United. I don’t know if that was the first or second company
that ws hired. Hanging oneself from a balcony is dramatic. I expected
it from a man that was destroying such a beautiful place!

BobbyS on June 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Scrabbie, I was at the “High-lo” grocery store opening. It was on
Laramie but south if Madison-I know because we had relatives on
Adams st. near Laramie and we walked there. Opening week they had
“little oscar” from Oscar Meyer and his weinermobile. I got to
shake his hand and he passed out bubble gum and little whistles
in the shape of red hots. The store had a first class deli and I
remember the hot corned beef that was sliced right in front of you.
we were eating it on the way back to the relatives. There was a
beauty shop in the lower part of an apartment building on Laramie
south of the High-Lo and north of the “L”. My mother and Aunts
went there. The name was “Bobbies” I believe. The reason I remember
it was my first perm. Talk about a nightmare! They brought
out a contraption with wires hanging from it and wrapped my hair
into it. I looked like a space cadet on the screen at the Bryd
theater. The girl was doing three customers at one time and she
over-cooked mine. I could smell it. My hair was frizzy and wild
looking. I cried. The operator said we will start the conditioners
next week. I couldn’t wait to start the hair cuts. As I got older,
I went to Mr. Joseph’s on Madison St. That was a first-class salon
with alot of high-brows from Oak Park and River Forest. I loved
all the pampering and they had excellent operators!!!!!!

BobbyS on June 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Scott, Yes I did sense the trouble they had taking the Paradise
down. It took forever I thought. I met Joe Ducibella watching
the project unfold. We were neighbors and you know his interest.
He was a Marbro usher in the late 50’s and told be one day the
box office took in $10,000 for the entire day (must have been a
week-end) and that was 1950’s money when adults I believe were
$.75 maybe $1.25 and children were $.50 or maybe $.75. I don't
remember. Anyway. that is alot of change don’t you think? Even
with that amount, magagement did not consider that a good day.
When I heard that, it must have been a “big nut” just to open
the front door. Electric bill alone to run all the signs and to
light the interior and to pay the staff and insurance etc. etc.
No wonder they closed it in 1964 with dwindling crowds. Someone told
me the owner of the wrecking co. that took down the Paradise took
his own life over it. Was that true? Heard he hung himself from
the balcony. At least he picked ornate surroundings!

Scrabble on June 17, 2010 at 6:26 am

I remember the A&P Store very well. My Mom used to shop there. Also, I remember a store which I believe was called “High-lo” on Laramie and north of Madison Street — my Mom used to get cans of vegetables for 10 cents. Remember Polk Brothers on Madison Street just east of Pulaski? Also Goldblatts on the SE corner of Pulaski & Madison? Lots of memories for sure!

BobbyS on June 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Scott,I think the store was a National Tea. There was an A&P store
west of the Marbro. I know that for sure because we shopped there.
I loved to pass the coffee aisle to smell the freshly ground 8 o'clock coffee. Wow!! Strange we never went to the new store on
the Paradise lot. It was not popular. A real bad move to lease
that land in 1958. Not much reshearch went in to it concerning
the amount of people that it would serve. Guess that is why it “burned” down. I am really surprised I never went in especially
since they used the lobby floor of the theater. I remember watching
the demolition from across the street days on end “with a tear in
my eye”. As far as the treats at the Byrd, all us kids rolled out
the lobby doors after seeing a double feature. I can only compare
it to eating two Thanksgiving dinners back to back! Guess I was afraid we would never go back. But then next Sat came along and we
were at one movie theater or another again!

BobbyS on June 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm

The Bryd, probably named for Admiral Bryd, was located near
Madison St. and Cicero. I believe there was a ballroom in the
building but I never saw it. Building razed. Went there alot
with cousins of mine. Saw alot of horror films and there were
plenty of screams and chills- all in good fun. I don’t think
there was a balcony. One of the cousins' father was a wealthy
man and we would always ask them if they were coming. We knew
if they would be there, we would all ahve a ton of candy etc.
If he drove us in his car, I would watch him give the eldest a 20
dollar bill to “treat the kids”…..And treat they did. Popcorn was
15 cents I believe and candy was the same. We made sure there
wasn’t much change to give back to Dad !!!

BobbyS on June 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm

The Paradise would have made an excellent church. They had the
sky and the word Paradise is the place we are all trying to get to
in the end aren’t we? Better than a bland grocery store!!

BobbyS on June 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm

The Paradise would have made an excellent church. They had the
sky and the word Paradise is the place we are all trying to get to
in the end aren’t we? Better than a bland grocery store!!

BobbyS on June 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm

One of my neighbors had her purse taken while in the rest room
at the Paradise. Her and her husband had just watched the last
feature and she went in one room and he in his. A hand reached
under the stall and took off with her purse. She screamed and ran
out along with her husband and chased the bandit outside and south
on Pulaski, who disappeared between the buildings. They could not
find an usher and nobody was in the box office. They never went
again to see another movie there.

BobbyS on June 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm

The West End was closed around 1953 I believe. I remember walking past it and the glass on the doors had soap on them and half the bulbs were gone from the marguee. It was not a big house. Forgot
the cross street, but was near West End. Torn down I believe before the Paradise. Too bad B&K were so quick to tear down the Marbro.
Loews in NY did the right move. They donated their palaces to local
churches for one dollar and took the write-off and the church
got a beautiful building and pain 0 property taxes. A win-win!
The Loews 175th St. was sold to Rev. Ike for $1 in the 70’s. I was
in in the 90’s and it was in perfect condition. They gave them the organ and everything. The service on a Sunday was out of this world.
Choirs etc. The lobby was all restored, new carpeting. The vertical
was repalced with a large cross covering up the LOEWS words.
The same thing happened to Loews Valencia in the QUEENS. Been there
and it looked like the Avalon here. There are about 100 churches
on Madison St. today. They should have all consolidated and take turns
having services at different hours. Who knows, maybe it would have still be there today and we could have gone to services on Sunday
and still see that wonderful temple. After all, did it not look like a church already Scott?