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Alisa Starks, who developed movie theaters in Lawndale and Chatham, has been brought in by Monroe Investments to revive the bank at 7054 S. Jeffery Blvd. that closed in 2014.
At a 5th Ward meeting in August 2015 at the South Shore Cultural Center, Starks presented a rough idea for the 46,000-square-foot bank that included a four-screen movie theater on the main floor, a six-lane bowling alley in the basement and a kid-friendly restaurant and play area on the second floor.
I remember seeing this theater as a little kid while passing by on the bus heading to the Loop.
This was just before it was torn down.
That photo was taken in 1940. Note the Savoy Ballroom just down the street.
I went there a lot during the 1970s when it was in decline. It had been reduced to a 3 films-for-a-dollar dump. I remember the feel of a sticky carpet walking in. I also remember the Entenmann’s Bakery across the street.
I remember seeing the Frolic before it was was torn down. There was also a storage company down the street. This was before the entire south side of 55th Street between Cottage Grove and Ellis was razed to make way for the then-new Stagg Field.
I grew up in Hyde Park and the Piccadilly was just four blocks down the street. I went there a number of times. The last movie I remember seeing there was “Girls, Girls, Girls” with Elvis Presley, I guess around 1962. The same year, my cousin took me to see “13 Ghosts” and “13 West Street” with Alan Ladd. When the theater closed, I was either 8 or 9.
I saw the James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice” with Sean Connery at the Jeffery around 1968. I also remember the Peter Pan restaurant that stood on the southwest corner of 71st & Jeffery and the Fannie Mae candy store around the corner from the theater.
A senior citizen’s complex stands on the site today
In the ‘80s, I attended an Alfred Hitchcock film festival and the Black Film Festival at the Fine Arts.
In the ‘50s & '60s, the Crown Propeller Lounge was located on the site of the old Drexel Theater.
It was a second-run theater in the ‘70s and '80s. The only films that I remember seeing there were “She” starring Ursula Andress and “Grease.”
Good thing it didn’t collapse with anyone in it.
By the early seventies, the McVickers was a dump. The carpets were sticky and the seats were in disrepair. At this time, the theater was a three films for a dollar movie house. I don’t remember exactly when it closed, but I believe it was the late seventies.
Wasn’t there a recording studio of the same name on the location or at least nearby?
I knew the end was near when my feet would stick to the carpet while I was walking down the aisle and when I would see and hear rats running through the place.
The drive-in facility for the Hyde Park Bank stands on the former location of the theatre, which we used to call the Hyde Park #2. The last film that I saw there was “The Valachi Papers”, months before it closed.
The dry cleaners on the corner of Hyde Park Boulevard and Blackstone Avenue is still there, but the currency exchange, the shoe repair and the restaurant that stood nexy door to the theatre are long gone.
I saw the Motortown Revue of 1963 at the Regal when I was a kid. Contrary to the above story, the Regal held stage shows to the end. I believe James Brown was the last to headline the theatre, which closed in 1968. The Regal was Chicago’s equivalent to Harlem’s Apollo Theatre and was one of the major four theatres on the so-called “chitlin circuit.” The other two being the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. and the Uptown in Philadelphia.
The first time I ever went to the McVickers was in 1962 when I was in 2nd grade to see “The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm.” In the early-mid ‘70s, it was reduced to a 3 for $1.00 kung-fu/blaxploitation movie house.
My dad reupholstered the Hamilton in the late ‘70s, but the theatre closed a few years later anyway.