Showing 176 - 200 of 265 comments
This is the first I’ve heard of the “structurally unsound” label. I do know that Patel initially did want to save the theater, but the cost of mechanical upgrades was prohibitive. The interior, except for the downstairs auditorium, was consmetically in good condition a year ago, though much of the ornamentation had already been removed years before.
Not only is it easier to fill a smaller venue like the Tivoli or Portage, but you need a place for them to put their cars, too. A 2,000 seat neighborhood house is an anachronism; if a theater is large, it has to be a regional destination. The Tivoli has on-site parking, and the Portage has a municipal lot half a block away. The Nortown is in the middle of arguably the worst parking mess in the City outside of Downtown. Two small screens serving the local populace will work a lot better there.
The building now houses Saratoga Printing.
The neighboring Selwyn and Harris theaters were indeed built; they’re listed here under their later names of Cinestage and Michael Todd. Their faÃ§cades are still standing; the site has been home to the Goodman Theatre since 2000.
Midway Theater – please e-mail me at
Yes, but they are actively raising funds to build a new facility on Leggs Hill Road.
Some of the terra cotta pieces were falling to the street a few years ago. The City of Chicago pitched in and removed pieces to repair and store them; they will be reinstalled. See posts above from around October 2005.
The Villa is featured in the documentary Preserve Me a Seat by Apartment 101 Films. The new floor is just wood platforms; the original auditorium floor is completely intact. Dr. Adib said in the film that he wanted to leave as much as possible intact so it would be possible to convert it back to a theater someday. If he did not buy the building, it would have been demolished.
According to the film, the sign did not work and was damaged when Adib moved it. The estimated cost to repair the sign was $70,000.
It’s a shame that the owners thought the porn niche was strong enough that they could jack up the price so much. I guess they thought that none of their audience would be content just watching at home. I still think they’ll do better with Bollywood at any price than they did with porn at $9.
I’m not sure what you mean by “The Fair is nowhere.” The Fair will actually still be there. I’m not interested in the management’s well being, either, but theaters are businesses, not social service organizations. It’s a shame that you would rather see the building torn down than stop showing porn and kung fu.
pmullins, I have nothing against the Fair’s current patrons or porn itself, and from the thread and articles I’ve read, I was under the impression that patronage was pretty sparse. Porn kept a lot of our theaters going because there was no demand for anything else. Now it’s a dwindling niche market. I’m happy that the management is keeping the theater going and adjusting to the demand rather than eeking it out with porn for a couple more years and then selling out to a developer.
How is Bollywood a bad thing? Their current business plan of porn, camp, and third-run mainstream films doesn’t seem like it’s drawing many customers, while the nearby Eagle, at least when I passed by the place regularly a few years ago, is packed.
The Pickwick will be hosting a benefit for the Des Plaines Theater Preservation Society on Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 P.M. Acclaimed theatre organist Jay Warren will accompany The Pawn Shop starring Charlie Chaplin (1916), Never Weaken starring Harold Lloyd (1921), and Sherlock Jr. starring Buster Keaton (1924). Visit www.dptheatre.org for more information.
There will be a benefit for the Des Plaines Theater at the Pickwick on Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 P.M. Acclaimed theatre organist Jay Warren will accompany The Pawn Shop starring Charlie Chaplin (1916), Never Weaken starring Harold Lloyd (1921), and Sherlock Jr. starring Buster Keaton (1924). Visit www.dptheatre.org for more information.
The Cingular Wireless banner is gone. The marquee still says PATIO RENOVATING.
Geo, for a more recent peek inside the Uptown, watch the trailer for last year’s Uptown: Portrait of a Palace – View link
This theater is featured on the cover of this month’s Bus Ride magazine, as part of an article on Wade Tours.
Current photos of the Apollo
The theatre description should be updated; the Gateway hasn’t been the home of the Silent Film Society of Chicago since the Portage reopened last year.
Sadly, Sportif, the jewel box bicycle shop across from the Gateway that Paul Fortini mentioned a year ago, has been a vacant lot for a few months.
I’m not sure what you have heard most recently, so I apologize if any of this is old news. The City has been shopping around for a new owner to renovate the theater, and entertainment giants Live Nation and AEG were supposed to submit proposals in December. Meanwhile, owner Robert Lunn still isn’t selling, and the City is considering condemnation proceedings to take possession of the property. Again, this information is two months old, but I hope it helps.
I rode by the Apollo today, and it looks a lot better than it does in the above photo. The marquee has a new-looking sign that says “Apollo Banquet Hall,” though the phone number is unchanged from before. The front of the building, including the ticket window, looks beautiful. Unfortunately, the windows are covered with black fabric, so one cannot see inside.
I’m not sure if the mural changed, but the one on the building now is in tribute to all Latin-Americans, not just Mexicans.
The Portage Theater is on MySpace! Stop by www.myspace.com/portagetheater and send a friend request…
Screen (at least in Theater 3, but I think they’re all about the same) was a good size. I noticed no obvious problems with the picture or sound, but there was one abrupt scene change that was probably a bad splice; I won’t know for sure until it I see it again on video. There was also one crying baby in the auditorium – but my wife hustled him out to Ladies' Lounge very quickly :).
Sadly, it isn’t that surprising. The Leroy in Pawtucket, RI was torn down just ten years after a half-million dollar restoration. I’m sure there are countless other examples.
I’m a bit confused. The Friends website says it was updated January 13, yet it bears no mention of the demolition. Isn’t this event of minor importance to a group that is supposed to be raising funds to “restore” the theater?
Certainly the same was said of drive-ins when they began to supplant traditional movie theaters.
The theater marquee and entrance can be seen on the cover of Steve Smith & The Nakeds' 1984 album Coming to a Theatre Near You. The “OCEAN” vertical and “State” script were still in place, with PPAC identified by a banner hanging below the marquee.