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Here is a picture of the Skokie in its (mostly) current form, from 1963
The Riviera is located at an odd intersection, three streets intersect at one place, Broadway, Racine, and Lawrence- you can see this in the mapquest link. Commercial traffic is primarily on Broadway and Lawrence- Racine is just a splinter following the path of Broadway, were it to continue straight instead of detouring into a diagonal. There’s not really any traffic on the Racine side (residential), and from any apporach you can see one of the sides of the attraction board, which is presumably why they didn’t bother adding a third one. Kinda unpleasantly asymmetrical though. I think they might’ve done some work on the marquee recently, it’s almost fully lit and looks like it’s in really nice shape. Unfortunately, I was incorrect earlier; there hasn’t been any further interior restoration. It’s still in the terribly ugly scheme of purple, black, gild, and green, with some parts still in a 60s beige and marbleized yellow, and still other parts in different colors. And the murals are barely legible from the years of smoke and dirt… the place is really begging for some TLC. But at least it’s standing and restorable. I hope the city comes through and buys it or the uptown. Anyone know what the proscenium was like? It has a lot of openings and looks like neon (?!) covering some of it… were the organ chambers in the proscenium? Also interesting to note is the prescence of a number of parts from the demolished Granada- there are a number of seats in the upper balcony, and I believe the chandeliers in the auditorium and lobby.
This was also in a number of Seinfeld episodes- Jerry making out at Schindler’s List, where Elaine bought candy after her boyfriend was in a car accident, and where they planned to see ‘Firestorm’
Nice attitude there. You know very well that this site isn’t about publicity. There are theaters of all shapes and sizes on this site. Don’t forget that these ‘crapholes’ are still very closely related to the first nickelodeons. And they’re important too because this is where most people choose to be entertained now, and they show us what we’ve lost. So before you go around being our censor, try getting off your high horse.
“Return of the diva. Photo by Mel Larson, February 19, 1960.
Josephine Baker makes up backstage for an appearance at South Side’s Regal Theater.”
Here is a March 15, 1950 closeup of the Marquee, from the Sun-Times archive. View link
Oh, that’s too bad. The photos look like the place had some real potential, and some very interesting deco/streamline features. I especially LOVE the photos of the curtain being torn away, revealing the colorful deco work- I wonder what else those ugly crtains hid? Silly sixties ‘modernizations’. It sounds to me like if the back wall hadn’t been comprimised, the preservation might have succeeded- is that right?
There’s over 100 theaters on this site with more than 12 screens…
That said, it’s probably one of the better modern multiplexes, and one of the only ones I don’t dislike patronizing. Also, it shows a good amount of premieres, and it’s a venue for the Chicago Film Festival. I’d say it’s pretty significant.
Where is this ebay listing? I can’t find it.
I don’t have any interior photos of the theatre, because the roll of film was damaged. I do have a number of exterior shots though. The interior is pretty plain.
Here’s a link with photos of the theatre. View link
I guess the idea of cleaning up the street for the show really didn’t work out so well.
Here is a view down Dearborn towards Randolph with the Woods visible (as well as the Daley Center, entrance to the Dearborn Subway, and Marina Towers… phew! That’s a lot of Chicago in one photo!
And this is that same view now.
Here are a couple closeup shots from Chicago Uncommon:
I believe this is a 5-screen, not 6.
View link Here is a picture with a portion of the Peerless from December, 2002. I would take this to indicate that it does in fact still exist, although I cannot personally attest to it.
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.