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I drove by yesterday with a friend from Chicago. I wonder how much was left upstairs in the balcony? From the alley, you can see that all the fire escapes have been removed, and many of the exits are bricked up. You can still see a few metal doors just begging to be opened by us urban explorers. No way for the employees of that Gap store to explore. From what I recall, the stairs leading up to the balcony were just inside the front doors in the lobby. And those are gone as well. All retail space, except maybe far back, the stage area is still there. No need to dismantle it. Too expensive. Just wall it up. It was a grand place to see movies!
What a cool facade! Too bad tastes change, and there was no room for this kind of architectural style. I’m sure the ones that survived longer were modernized in the style of that particular year.
I’ve never seen a theater where you could drive under the marquee! Nice design! Too bad it’s history now.
Looks like the Palace Theater is just four doors down on the left of this picture! Must of been a decent sized town to support two theaters so close to each other and its Main St that ends after two blocks!
It’s too bad they can’t reopen the theater. Outside of the 400 Theater a few miles north, that area of the city is severely under screened. The 80’s lost The Granada, Devon, Adelphi, Howard. That’s a LOT of seats. Bryn Mawr east of Kenmore is looking a lot better than those seedy days of the 80’s. Just push for improvements west all the way to Broadway! It can look like Lincoln Ave north of Fullerton!!
I’m looking at all the theaters that used to be in downtown Vegas, and I wonder, what the hell happened??!! Did no one care to keep a couple of them opened?! With such a large population, including tourists who……MIGHT NOT WANT TO GAMBLE, and actually see a movie instead, WHY they are all gone. No IMAX theater. No classic films venue. No first run movies. Sad indeed. Your your C OF C only cares about the gambling tables, slots, expensive high rollers. Not the regular folks who crave inexpensive entertainment. I pity your downtown, and it’s future…..
I worked at the Noble Fool Theater from its move there to the end. It’s a shame the theater couldn’t have made a go of it. It was a cozy main theater, with a smaller one down the hall and a cabaret bar in the basement. And haunted too. I heard strange music and singing one afternoon while locking up when we didn’t have a show that night. No one next store at the Oriental either that might have been rehearsing. Didn’t scare me, but I didn’t stick around to find out if more was coming. The foundation was not current, as they probably just tore down the previous building to build new. That foundation, visible in the crawl space was very old mismatched stonework. Solid, but could it still emanate vibrations from the past as well?
I wonder if the owner of the building would do everyone a favor and remove that ill conceived urban renewal crap of a facade off, we might see a handsome real brick and stone facade under there. I never understood the reasoning to cover such craftsmanship with mediocrity.
Even though the seats are long gone, it’s nice to see the building still standing. I love the fact that the upper half is still intact, including the twin brackets that must have held the original signage or cast iron canopy/awning. Would love to go in and see what’s been covered by drop ceilings and side paneling!
According to the great shot posted on this site, it looks like the bottom front is boarded up, ready for demolition. The name change probably happened sometime after the Chicago Theater at State and Lake opened in 1921.
Beautifully unique facade! I wish I could have experienced these places in their prime.
I love the facade! Love the curved brick! Thanks for posting Jack!
Nice color shot! Looks like the entrance is hidden by those three storefronts! No traditional marquee?!
I’m intrigued with the way they wrapped the new building around the old theater. Not too shabby! I like the one picture that shows the CTA train (red? green line?) right there, Thats the way we get people to use public transportation! Very accessible for this venue! I wonder if the people who use that theater (would Love to see interior pics!) know that the Marx Brothers honed their act there in Vaudevile years before they made their success in Hollywood?!
Impressive facade for a small neighborhood theater! A shame they tore it down. I think Every neighborhood in Chicago should have a theater for the community. Senior Center, Youth Center, to keep the kids off the street. I wonder if the aldermans really care. I’ve driven through the ghettos of the south and west sides of Chicago since my first trip with my Dad back in the 70’s when they were tearing down the Senate Theater at Madison and Kedzie. After 40 plus years, and Still empty lots and storefront churches with bars on their windows and landmarks like these theaters waiting for a renewal, only to be torn down………I feel sad that the people who live there will soon have no connection to the past. Might as well live in the boring burbs like I do now!!
I wonder if this is where I saw It’s A Mad Mad Mad World? I was in 3rd grade, so my faint memory was a small modern theater with a simple interior in that part of town. Also the first and last time I saw a newsreel before the feature.
I like Lost Memory’s picture with the marquee from 1987. Looks like a solid structure. I’m a bit confused with their website. The theater is in Johnson City, but they also mention Binghamton, NY. Is that the nearby town that is helping with the renovation?
The last post here is over 4 years old, and that plot of land is still empty. Any plans by the city of Lombard in the near future?
I was just at the old Villard Theater taking pictures today, and was wondering WHY it closed in the 50’s, while others stayed open decades later? Villa Park has a large enough population…Maybe the city fathers were afraid of the movies that were coming out that might be “subversive and detrimental” to their teenagers? ESPECIALLY with a bowling alley on the lower level..
After living in Chicago the first 50 years of my life, then moving to Lombard last year, I think that Villa Park missed a golden opportunity to ressurect the Villard as a theater again. That section of town is a bit quirky, and in my cruising the area when the theater was still intact (but probably an empty shell), I can see why I missed it, not being on the main drag, like the Glen in Glen Ellyn, or the Dupage in Lombard (which lost its' theater portion recently. I guess you folk like staying in and watching TV, instead of getting out and communing with your neighbors!?