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Wow. When you see all the cars and all the occupied storefronts back then compared to today you wonder how many people are left to revive this town?
Is anyone going to post pictures of the grand reopening?
Nice photos from 1984 when the theater was still in use. I wonder why they couldn’t spring for posters for the movie though. Looks a bit empty.
Looks like the back part of the building which is vertical is original, but probably painted, and the front part is a modern addition. With some money they could recreate the vintage look. It’s a shame when they cover over original red brick to modernize for the times!
Thank you all for the posts. Single/free standing theaters in Chicago’s downtown didn’t stand a chance to be saved, with the exception of the Blackstone/Merle Reskin, possibly due to being so far south, and not as desirable. The others were on prime real estate, and the Depression didn’t help either. It would have been nice to have saved the Cort, since it looked like it had several floors of office space, unlike the Princess and Illinois. I like the photo of the Cort with all the flags on it! Very patriotic!
This must be the Central Theater that I see in my Chicago Plays annual. In the 1923 section they list several plays/musicals that played there. It seems strange for theatrical shows that far out of the Downtown area. It was also listed as Barrett’s Central Theater. Would love to see a picture of it if it is still standing. I wonder how much of the original interior is gone, or maybe just hidden with drop ceilings?
Yeah, nice that they saved the curtain and chandelier. Too bad they couldn’t have left it where it was and restored the Opera House!
Did anyone else notice that the ad posted here for the movie “Volunteers” misspelled Tom Hanks and made him “Tom Hawks”?
I hope that this theater gets past the obstacles and is restored soon. Am I the only one that has noticed that the difference between the vintage pics and the recent ones are the lack (or absence) of ANY traffic, be it people or cars? Was that on purpose, or does it only make Auburn seem like a ghost town?
The marquee at night looks GREAT! Beautiful colors.
I recently moved here and work across the street from the University Theater, and was wondering about the building next to it, OLD FRANCE. I tried the web and nothing comes up on old Boston history on it. I’m assuming it was a restarant or nite club in the early 20’s from its' architecture, but when I peeked in yesterday (it’s their production facility) any detail was covered with a drop ceiling or covered up walls. Also, up the street on Mass Ave is a building in white terra cotta called the Empire where their is a chinese restarant on the ground level. I can’t an Empire Theater listed on your site. Again, no history available on this building either. Any help? Thanks!
Maybe their would have been more consideration for restoring the theater if they didn’t screw up the facade with that tacky modernization. So bland and unnecessary. If that was the first thing I saw as a potential investor, I might not even go inside. I bet it had a nice brick facing.
Yeah, The Palace in Gary is the same right now, I just read that the Garden Theater in East Chgo was torn down, SO…in NorthWest Indiana…if/when the Palace Theater in Gary is torn down…..NO MORE VINTAGE THEATERS IN ALL OF NORTHWEST INDIANA…….Sad for the region? PATHETIC that NO ONE, be it a politician who just wanted some culture, or even the whole town….would want to save a bit of culture from the past……No wonder small towns are DEAD…or dying……
Hey BWChicago and Lost Memory,
You sure took some striking photos of the theater for us to see. Very sad place. I hope you weren’t hassled to much, but even I wouldn’t venture inside or out there without a Police escort! Even if the four walls are sturdy, the politics of Gary are too corupt to care about saving the building. Hight crime rate, lack of jobs (except the casinos)and the white flight to the suburbs in the 60’s doesn’t help the matter either. If they built one of the casinos close by, maybe. That didn’t stop Elgin, IL from tearing down the Crocker Theater just walking distance from the Grand Victoria Casino. Guess they didn’t want any competition taking away their dollars!
I saw a shot of this theater showing most of the rest of the block on some website, and it looked like a ghost town! Is it?
I did a Google Earth map search, and the address came up as an empty patch of land right next to an on/off ramp for Highway 70. I assume the theater was torn down to make way for it.
I tried to google map this address and nothing came up. Is it NOT in INDY, but a nearby town?
I have been a rabid historian on the Iroquois for many years, and have a copy of the “Memorial Edition” from 1904, and probably have memorized all of it. I was allways SHOCKED that not a single person was fined/prisoned for this tragedy, but also being corupt Chicago in 1903 could explain a LOT. Even how damaging the testimony was from so many??? I surprised that the theater’s manager, the building inspectors, etc….all didn’t have nightmares afterwards and commiting suicide for causing so many young lives to perish!
I wonder if anyone has any remnants of the theater in their private collections? I know it sounds morbid, but people Do take things from disaster sites. Like the John Dillinger alley by the Biograph Theater? News stories wrote than women were dipping their handkerchiefs in the blood soaked alley scene. What kind of mementos were salvaged after the Iroquois Theater Fire, and what was salvaged when they tore the building down?
I bet there’s a curse for whoever has THOSE souveniers!
If anyone is interested, I took some sad/beautiful pictures when the theater was being demolished. I have 3 nice B&W pics, one of the auditorium on a Sunday morning with noone around, affording a shot looking at the balcony from the stage area, the facade with scaffolding, and a side alley view with the original ADELPHI THEATER and the management painted on the brick wall, please let me know. I will scan and e-mail them to you.
YouTube has a lovely tribute to this theater with a song by Death Cab For Cutie called “I WILL FOLLOW YOU INTO THE DARK”, which seems appropriate for people or places, seems none of us will last forever. Good luck on keeping the theater building alive!