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Actually, the ‘marquee’ you note is a replacement-in the first shot you see the words -Victoria-Theatre- with boards underneath; persumably, this was used billboard-style, and when this had deteriorated enough it was replaced with a smaller, modern billboard and electronic sign, which isn’t really used anymore. The lighter colored brick is where the old billboard was; i’m not really sure why it’s a different color.
That’s odd, the rest of my comment disappeared. The photo is from earlier this year; also, the theater’s entry isn’t entirely correct; the only art deco touches in the theater are the marquee and arguably the lobby; the exterior is best described as Spanish Baroque and the house Atmospheric.
View link View link
A nice article on the Marquee re-creation, with pictures, can be seen here: View link
If the above story is accurate, status should be changed to closed/demolished.
The theater sign isn’t there anymore, and the produce market is now closed. It looks like the space is now used by a church- there is a small sign and entrance off to the side.
Here is a quite dramatic picture out of a series of five in the Chicago Daily News collection showing the extent of the damage of the 1907 fire.
Research the Iroquois theater. You’ll find a lot of information about it, I guarantee you. The Oriental was built on the same site.
Glad to help. Check out the Facets and Siskel too, they play the really obscure stuff.
The Chicago Biograph closed last week, perhaps you could contact Village Entertainment and see if they still have the screens
Morton Grove maybe?
Ah, yeah, I knew I was forgetting a couple. I saw Steamboat Bill Jr. there. Wonderful hidden treasure, that one.
Yep, Chcicago Reader’s gonna be your best bet. That said, there’s not many operating ornate theaters besides the Music Box. In the suburbs you have the tivoli, the catlow, the york, the pickwick. In the city, the Vic still shows movies, but it’s rather run down since it operates as a concert venue primarily. Beyond that there are some still operating but not in their original form- the Chicago, Palace, and Oriental are the old palaces that now show live shows, the Biograph just closed for good a few days ago, the Riviera is a live venue, the Lakeshore is legitimate, the Park West was once a neighborhood theater, the Portage is closed, twinned, and modernized, the Central Park, one of the first proper palaces, is a church, the Davis, Village and Logan were quadded, the Admiral is a gentleman’s club, the Esquire had a six-screen built where the original house was, the Century now is a mall featuring 7 new screens showing mainly art and indie movies, the Logan Square is a discount mall/flea market, then there’s the closed ones, like the Uptown, Patio, Ramova, New Regal, or last ‘movie palace’ in the city, the McClurg Court… not too many old theaters still playing movies.
Also, I believe this was a three screen, as there were only three placards and three films booked. But never having been there I can’t confirm this.
The Biograph Theater has now closed. This despite the listings showing it open today. Oh well.
A 1915 Chicago Daily News photo shows The Wide Awake Club in front of the Studebaker Theatre. I’m not sure how to explain that name at that time.
The Library of Congress site has this mislabeled as a shot of the Auditorium Theatre, but it clearly is not and matches the above shot.
A 1903 view of the third McVicker’s can be seen here
This photo from the Chicago Daily News collection of the Library of Congress, shows state street in 1926, with early marquees of the State-Lake and Chicago visible.
View link shows the address as 174-176 S. State (As well as a nice rendering of the facade), and the Bijou Dream as 178 S. State, which would indeed be adjoining properties. The 112 S. State address presumably came from View link I would attribute this error to the positions of the 7-8 and 1-2 keys on the numerical keypad. So, this entry should read 176 S. State and the Bijou Dream should read 178 S. State, and the erroneus location near Couch Street should be removed from the Bijou’s entry.
This view would be roughly from the Woods theatre, wouldn’t it? The substation, I believe, is the building with the U-shaped facade in the photo. Incidentally, this substation is, as I undersand it, a significant factor to why Block 37 has not been developed; the power to much of the loop is controlled from this building and consequently the block is snaked with power lines, the relocation of which would inevitably cause all sorts of havoc to the loop. This is a textbook example of why buildings should not be torn down until plans are absolutely finalized. Also, the text on that lobby photo page isn’t really correct in saying it was built inside an existing structure, rather it was a remodeling of a live theatre venue, correct?
You’d have to contact the owner, Village theatres. http://www.villagetheatres.com
According to their site, it was built by the Lubliner & Trinz chain, also was on the Orpheum vaudevill circuit, and went to Balaban & Katz in 1929 with the rest of the Lubliner/Trinz chain. The vertical framework is still in place, although to be honest, it kind of disfigures the ornate facade. Another prior name for the congress in its spanish-language period was the cine mexico, and these name changes presumably are why the vertical is missing and why the marquee sports a rather bizarre modern backlit/retro font look on a 60s style frame.
Some interior views can be seen at http://www.midnightmadness.org/sfa-jja00-i.htm I’m surprised nobody’s reopened this place. You’d think there would be an audience for SOME film in the loop, besides the Siskel. Obviously there once was…
This article from the Chicago’s e-mail newsletter illustrates to a degree what you were talking about. The old lower marquee area really looked much better, it’s a shame they haven’t restored that as well. Indeed, if the show begins on the sidewalk, why not bring that back to the proper splendor? Also, I recieved an email reply to some questions I had asked, which brought this information: “The marquee restoration
project was started due to structural damage found last year. The
marquee has not been changed, just refurbished and strengthened to
better reflect the original look, and to make sure it is safe. The
restoration should be complete in the coming week or two. It will
officially be re-lit at the beginning of September. ”