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Yeah, that could very well be. Personally, I thought the black suited it better,though. It added to the deco feel. Also, they did a rather poor job of painting-black spots are all over around the edges, and the painting looks very unprofessional. I wonder what truly is the proper paint scheme for this marquee- I can’t imagine that postcard view being correct, it looks so odd! Although it does show the eagle details painted, which may point to authenticity, since they have been whited out in the more recent paint schemes. Now, a marquee that really needs some paint is the Des Plaines… although I believe the DPTPS may be looking at replacement options.
http://www.catoe.org/Pickwick.html Shows some great pictures of the Pickwick’s incredible firescreen and console, considered by some to be among the finest examples of cubist art. It also might be noted that the black portions of the marquee were recently painted red for some reason. Here is a cute story about a wedding proposal at the Pickwick, also indicating a coming TV appearance for it.
Actually, I think that original marquee might have formed the base for the neon signage. When the marquee was taken down, the canopy remained in place, and it looked an awful lot like that; I have some pictures of this. I think when the signage was added, it was simply attached to that. Now, this may have been the reason for the replacement in the first place; I would imagine that after 80 years, the cantilevered sign would necessitate the temporary support columns which were in place for the past several years. I wouldn’t be surprised if this proect came about because the underlying structure required repair or replacement. I think they made the right choice in recreating the marquee; it’s one of the classic examples of movie marquees, it’s a landmark in itself and a symbol of Chicago (and I think it’s protected), it is strongly identified with the theater, and has been for 90% of the time, during which nearly all the other palaces recieved stale, unappealing marquees, proving its timeless quality. I’m quite pleased with the way it has turned out; I can’t wait to see it lit at night again.
They looked like the cut down version. It was neat seeing the workers lifting it into place… if you look at my recent comments on the theatre’s page, you’ll see the original marquee had these shorter sides, but slightly different. I thought the full height sides looked rather out of proportion, which is presumably why they went back to the short sides in the first place
Some photos of the Wilmette are visible here, the projection booth is shown here, and the incredibly cramped men’s quarters can be seen here
Sides are the same styles as the ones that were previously on there. I would’ve liked to see them return to the original side style (with Chicago on top of each side), but oh well. I saw these being installed in person last night
Sorry, I should have been more clear, the links are there to show a chronology, there aren’t any shots of the new marquee. I’m going to go back down there and take some later this week.
I should add that this page shows that the previous marquee was installed in 1949, and I have photos of the Chicago with the marquee stripped from earier this year.
The new marquee is being installed today, and wow, does it look great! The colors are all very smooth and vivid. Only thing I don’t care for is that they did not bring back the “Chicago” signs on the side boards that was in the original iteration of this marquee.
I’ve assembled a full progression of the theater marquee; links are listed below.
Marquee Version 1:
This site includes a number of excellent vintage shots of theaters, be sure to check it out.
and lit, View link
V4.5: It looks like due to age, the old marquee was being supported by the temporary columns seen in this photo, necessitating the new one.
View link Also, if you look to the far right on the building, you can see the faded painted billboard for the Chicago. The site I got this from also has a couple interesting pictures showing what the Chicago looks like from the stage
V5: This is currently being installed; unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me tonight
Upon slightly closer examination, the marquees date this as a May 1963 photo. The movies booked seem to bespeak a great deal about each theater, indeed, excellent representations of each theater’s clientele. At the Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie is showing. At the State-Lake, the Ian… indicates that Dr. No is showing, and the Loop is showing Mondo Cane.
http://www.geocities.com/boc2400/thchicago1970.jpg An excellent shot of the State-Lake, Chicago, and Loop theatre marquees is visible in this 1970s Postcard
Here is a link to an excellent picture of the Tivoli
It should be noted that this theatre successfully competed with the Woodfield and One Schaumburg Place cinemas, as those were both operated by Cineplex Odeon (somewhat confusing in itself that Cineplex Odeon would operate two sets of theatres essentially next door to each other, this is probably why the Woodfield outlots and mall cinema were later closed). Once the One Schaumburg Place cinemas were also closed, the Rolling Meadows had the market essentially cornered… this was short-lived, however, after Sony and Cineplex merged with Loews, which then opened up the Streets of Woodfield in the former One Schaumburg Place building, with much better theatres than the Rolling Meadows offered.
This article indicates that an earlier theater was operated by Balaban & Katz
Anyone know what’s going on with the Riv currently? There are only two shows booked, Devo on 9/24 and Monty Python 12/21 – 01/01. Perhaps it’s being restored? I found this note suggesting it might be under renovation. The last show I saw there was Air on 4/20, and it looked like there was new plaster restoration work going on in a few areas, so i’m guessing (hoping?) a restoration is underway.
http://www.film-tech.com/pics/avon/avon.html some pics here
Oddly enough, Streets of Woodfield is the very same building that was previously One Schaumburg Place. The old theaters, which I recall as being pretty decent for what they were, were located around where Carson Pirie Scott is now, on what was the second level of the mall. The mall was on the outskirts of Woodfield Mall, which contributed to the failure of One Schaumburg Place, which was poorly concieved and had the misfortune of most of its major tenants going into bankruptcy either as the mall opened or even before. The new shopping center is very successful, as an outdoor-type mall. The theatres are one of the better places to see a movie in the Northwest Suburbs, with stadium seating in rather unusual layouts, some seats even straddle the projection box. Sound and projection are generally pretty good, but the screen is curved rather annoyingly.
This was opened as a Sony theater before being abosrbed by Loews/Cineplex.
Actually the Mall, and almost certainly the theatres, still exist. There are signs heralding “The Redevelopment of Town & Country Mall”, but absolutely nothing is happening. The only remaining tenant in the mall is Old Country Buffet, I think. The street sign for the theater is still up, and the mall portion is still standing. It was an odd mall, there are several big-box stores (Best Buy, Marshalls, Dominicks, and the now-closed Lord and Taylor Outlet and Service Merchandise). It was essentially a strip mall, except with all the big boxes outside and the small stores inside… obviously a concept that didn’t work out well.
Interestingly enough, the building behind the former Echo Theatre (Which was located next to the First Bank Building in Downtown Des Plaines) appears to be the former stage/fly space. It is a tall, narrow building, and a roofline similar to a theatre’s house is evident. There is currently not much in either building, but the former theatre was attached via a bridge to the bank building in the mid-90s.
How can it have great acoustics if so little of the house remains? I’d imagine a lack of plaster or a ceiling cavity might affect the acoustics somewhat…
The Des Plaines is again open. For more information, visit http://www.desplainesperformingartscenter.org/