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I didn’t realize they had opened up the front of the auditorium until viewing RickB’s article. It looks like they did a fantastic job.
My only nitpick is the smaller auditoriums in back. I never liked the look of a split vintage auditorium when they were all twinned back in the day, and I still don’t today. If it were my project I think I would have fitted out the back cinemas with drop ceilings and modern wall coverings.
But that shouldn’t be taken as negative commentary. It looks like they did an amazing renovation.
It’s a shame to see it go. But it gets more and more difficult to run a movie theater every year. Renovations with the best of intentions also don’t always work out so well (Skokie Theater for example).
I just hope the new development is not a monstrosity with no respect downtown Highland Park’s character. They put in a new residential building in downtown Wilmette a couple years ago, on the site of an old Ford Dealer. Not only is it taller than any other building nearby, but the building style kind of looks like it belongs in a theme park. All in all is sticks out like a sore thumb.
That’s terrible. Not only does the building destroy the Varsity, it looks like another oversized, cheap-looking development that has no respect for context. I also have to wonder how many more apartments the market can absorb before we get into bubble territory.
When they turned it into a school did they incorporate a gymnasium in there someplace? If they did I’m sure they didn’t save any of the interior. I’m just interested in how they might have fit it into the new design.
Is there such a thing as German Chicago any more?
It would have been better if Katrina had not hit. But the entrance looks better than it did before, by a long shot.
So many times restoration plans come and go. But this guy got it done, and it looks like he did a fantastic job. I had heard the second theater would be in the old balcony. But from photos on the Avalon web site it seems they must have built it out in an adjoining building.
The photo Brian uploaded on July 2 sure looks a lot like the Morse/Coed/Mayne Stage Theater in Rogers Park. Is there a connection?
Article: Joliet leaders weigh-in on Rialto’s future
The Herald-News, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016
I think the last chain to run the Oriental was M&R, rather than Kohlberg. But I wouldn’t swear to it.
Great photos of the Belmont here:
Haven’t been here in years. But my memory is that the concession stand was designed to blend with the lobby design. Hopefully whatever they put in during this renovation fits just as well.
I used to work across the aisle from that guy in the Darth Maul costume seen at 2:33. He was quite proud of it. Had Star Wars stuff all over his work area. Wonder what ever happened to him.
Passed by yesterday and saw the conversion underway. There is a large hole in the north wall. It is nice that something is finally being done with this property. It’s been an eyesore for quite some time. Uploaded three images to photos section.
Wow, what a gift. It looks like they did a fantastic job. Goes a long way to making up for what they did to the Allen, although I understand it must have had to do with keeping Playhouse Square viable. They must be still be doing well to attract this kind of capital.
Works here too bolorkay. It very well could be that your web browser got hit by some malware.
It’s always amazing when they sit for this long and then come back. The renovation looks fantastic.
Wasn’t there a Cineplex odeon in Chicago heights? Was this it?
The story goes that the owner had that circular stained glass window removed and shipped to his home in another state. It was unfortunately destroyed in transit.
Can’t confirm that. But it came from a source who should know.
I don’t mean to be insensitive. But the question bears asking: Isn’t Flint basically a giant ghetto nowadays? If they do get the theatre project done who is going to drive to Downtown Flint to attend an event?
Does this suck? Yes. But I heard the theatre was racking up massive losses, and that no one stepped up with any sort of viable rescue plan. In that situation it isn’t reasonable to expect it remain open.
They may read your comments. It’s just that they may have other priorities.
That totally sucks. But if it really has been losing $1 million annually I can understand to some extent. That’s a lot to eat just to keep a theater open.
It occurs to me that a non-profit or government organization could take over. But I guess there must not be any momentum for something like that.
Seems like there was considerable drama going on a few years ago, regarding the theater’s future. I’m glad to see it survived to write another chapter.
Is that really the McVicker’s? It looks an awful lot like the Chicago.