Marbro Theatre

4110 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 201 - 225 of 265 comments

BobbyS
BobbyS on May 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Never went to Tiffen. Stayed on Madison St. alot. Alex, Marbro,
Crawford not too much. Went to the State alot on West Madison.
The Paradise was beautiful but never ever had a large audience I
felt. The movies were not that good I thought. Sort Of a dumping
ground for B&K. Went to State for a re-lease of “King Kong"
in the 50’s. Half way through, a kid yelled "Fire” “Fire” from
the balcony. Next thing I knew, we were out in the ally behind the
Stat. Firemen arrived and they caught the kid. He was from my
school!!!!!

BobbyS
BobbyS on May 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Scott, Do you remember the Crawford theater around the corner
next to the library? I remember one sat afternoon matinee,
the theater was packed with teens. The film was “Our Lady of Fatima"
The final scene when the Lady speaks to the children, there were
plenty of sobs and tears because of this beautiful story. Can
you only imagine tears and sobbing from today’s teens while watching
the newest addition of "Twilight,Vampires” or Freddie from “Nightmare on Elm Street”/ On the other hand, one might
hear sobs if their battery from their cell phone goes dead and
they cannot text & tweet their friends…………

BobbyS
BobbyS on May 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Scott, jwballer and Life’s too short, Thanks for the info and
the pix’s. I used to sneak out of the house ( not an easy thing
for a pre-teen in the 50’s to do when every move was controlled
by the parents) and walk thru alleys and gangways two blocks to
the Marbro and watch White Way Sign Co change the attraction
signs and re-bulb the burned out ones and replace if needed the
pink neon on the massive M-A-R-B-R-O veritcal. This was a ritual of mine on Thursday nights for years. And nobody was the wiser!!!!!

BobbyS
BobbyS on May 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm

So happy to read about my beloved Marbro Theater. Went every
time a new movie opened. Also the Paradise, but loved the Marbro.
Does anyone have a color photo either day or night of that beautiful
marquee in the 50’s. Would love to see it. It was something at night
to stand across the street. What a great west side it was!
posted by BobbyS on May 4, 2010 at 11:15pm

jwballer
jwballer on March 30, 2010 at 10:35 am

A 5/21 Wurlitzer was installed in the theatre in 1927.
After it was demolished it was moved to the Providence Performing Arts Center In Rhode Island.

experiment626
experiment626 on November 17, 2009 at 9:16 am

I find it cruelly ironic that the Marbro seems far closer to the model used for STYX’s Paradise Theatre album cover than the Paradise itself.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on August 6, 2009 at 2:48 am

Shoeshoe, if you read the above posts from July 6-9, you’ll see that this has been discussed already.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on August 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm

This theater was mentioned in “Public Enemies”, the recent movie about Dillinger with Johnny Depp. At the end, they made mention of the Biograph and the Marbro.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on July 27, 2009 at 9:03 am

I worked at Madison and Pulaski (which my generation always referred to as Crawford) for many years in the 50’s and 60’s. The Cascade was on the south side of Madison near Hamlin. It was a great place to go bowling after work.
The Alex was on the north side of the street.

Mikes812
Mikes812 on July 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm

In 1959 I used to live at West End and Keeler Ave. right across the street from Tilton School. The Marbro was my favorite place to see movies. The Marbro was beautiful inside and outside. People today have no idea what they have missed. The West Garfield Park and Austin neighborhoods were fabulous places to come of age.

I remember seeing Ocean’s 11 when it opened at the Marbro, also Ben-Hur. Those of us who grew up in West Garfield Park and Austin were very lucky. The Alex Theatre acroos the street from the Cascade Bowling Ally used to specialize in showing horror and B-Movies for 25 centsw admission….with 2 cartoons. Try to get that deal today!

GFeret
GFeret on July 9, 2009 at 4:33 am

Trolleyguy: you’re of the opinion Dillinger tossed out possible movie theatre choices based on 2 he knew to be air-conditioned, one of them being close the other distant? Besides the COVENT I’d mentioned above there’s of course also the CENTURY (maybe he wasn’t aware of those 2?) big and not far. In 1934 I’d venture to say the bigger playhouses had installed A-C like the BIOGRAPH did. The small nearby venues like the EASTERLY or PARKWAY probably not yet, and the CREST (later 3-PENNY) right across from the BIOGRAPH was (temporarily) used non-theatrical.

All things considered I still like my more sinister explanation above for the MARBRO, certainly more in character for John D. than just “where’s the air conditioning?” Not a crucial reasoning for a man who needed to lay low in the public eye after all.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on July 8, 2009 at 6:05 am

His choices of the two theaters might have had something to do with the fact that both were air conditioned in an era when most neighborhood theaters weren’t. My parents would often choose the Marbro to attend for this very reason.

I just saw the movie, and to my untrained ear, it seems that the theater is pronounced both Marbro and Marlboro at different points by different characters.

GFeret
GFeret on July 8, 2009 at 4:30 am

I wondered about Dillingers choice of theatres because, obviously, the MARBRO ain’t nowheres near (the BIOGRAPH). If I were selecting neighborhood shows strictly based on seeing a movie per se, I certainly wouldn’t pick a possibility so distant myself. A more logical 2nd choice would’ve been the COVENT Theatre, a large place not so far.

In PUBLIC ENEMIES one of Melvin’s men correctly assumes John would not go to the Marbro based on the fact it was showing a Shirley Temple pic at the time (this we hear in the films dialogue, assuming it is a booking fact). So why then would Dillinger have even considered the Marbro, by mistake? Maybe a better theory he had some (dirty) business cooking out on the city’s west side, and the theatre locale made the 2 convenient.

GFeret
GFeret on July 6, 2009 at 9:24 am

PUBLIC ENEMIES – the John Dillinger movie out last week, this theatre is mentioned more than once as an alternate to the Biograph Theatre for his final nite out. Those’ve seen the movie will know what I mean, I just wonder if it has any basis in reality?

Important but: the way this theatres name’s pronounced by the players in the movie, it still sounds to me like they’re all saying MARLBORO (not just MAR-BRO). Doesn’t it to you?

Burkesniece
Burkesniece on January 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Warren – thanks for info. Any idea if the pics are just of the building or perhaps some are of the performers they had over the years? I am in Texas so I won’t be getting there anytime soon. However I do have a date I can look up!

Goomba62
Goomba62 on January 5, 2009 at 9:30 am

Great ! Will try the THS Thanks !

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 5, 2009 at 9:15 am

I remember seeing that photo somewhere. My guess would be that I saw it either at THS or in a THS publication.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 5, 2009 at 5:02 am

Have you tried Theatre Historical Society of America, which is based in Elmhurst near Chicago? THS has probably the largest collection in the world of photos of theatres in the Chicago area, and is especially strong on the Marbro. And if you have a date for the event, you should check the archives of the Chicago Tribune and/or other Chicago newspapers of the time.

Goomba62
Goomba62 on January 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Does anyone have or know of a newspaper photo of a midget race car in front of the Marbro probably mid to late 1940’s ? My uncle (Lou Scaramuzzo, aka: Lou Scally), had his midget racer # 10 in front of the theater to promote a movie that was showing about midget racing. My uncle raced at Soldier field and Hammond, Indiana during the 1940’s. Any info is sincerely appreciated.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 10, 2008 at 4:51 pm

From The Austin (IL) News, dated 10/21/64:

IS CITY OVERLOOKING REVENUE SOURCE?

A Madison-Pulaski businessman made an interesting observation this week. Seems parking is still prohibited in front of 4110 Madison, site of the old Marbro theater, razed this summer. The “No Parking” signs originally served to keep the curb area in front of the theater entrance free of cars. The businessman pointed out that this space could be turned Into metered parking for the benefit of shoppers in the area.

Burkesniece
Burkesniece on September 15, 2008 at 4:09 am

Donna,

My aunts, The Three Burke Sisters, sang “Sweetheart,Sweetheart” at the Marbro on Feb. 14 in either 1932 or 1933, when they were first starting their careers. Rita Burke married Edward McCarthy in 1938 when he was the assistant football coach at St. Mels’s High School. Small world …..

MGabel

DonnaShelley
DonnaShelley on June 16, 2008 at 11:35 am

Lois,
How cool to meet someone who saw what I saw. Hmm, those MARBRO bathrooms were really nice, all marble of course, and when I went to them at the end of my work day they were kinda spooky because no one else was down there. All sounds in a marble room echo a bit weirdly.
I was not wanting to hang around down there very much.
I was in CYO band and played at Riverview a couple times, what fun.
I went to St. Mel grammar and Providence High. How on earth did you get an operators license at 16? My grandmom, and mom were both beauticians and owned a shop. Lots of history there.
Probably best if you wrote me on my email: Talk to you soon.