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that’s me that speck in the distance, off to the right. no the other one. I remember seeing Bon Voyage at the State-Lake with my beloved Uncle Johnny, when was it, 1961 or thereabouts? A real yawner from Disney unfortunately, my uncle’s snores (we were up in the balcony) proved it. I think we went to see this one on the strength of Disney’s previous Swiss Family Robinson which we liked. I know the little window up on the old Lake Elevated State St station this photo was taken from, as I did the same thing in the ‘70s. A better downtown vantage you couldn’t ask for.
tomorrow mar 15 this place (what was the BelPark theatre) re-opens as www.chicagotabernacle.org
a modest canopy hangs over the front entrance on Cicero ave stating ‘Chicago Tabernacle CT’, in place of what once many years ago was the BelPark theatre marquee.
I don’t exactly know but I’d hazard a good guess the newest renovation here utilizes what the old theatre had to offer inside, much much better than the previous Golden Tiara seniors bingo hall had done
this photo’s a favorite of mine – of course, how could it not be? so much about going to movie theatres back in the ‘50s & '60s that I lovingly recall is stated if implicity in the details seen here. also, in the mid-'60s when I’d get curious and walk westward from the Loop, probably going as far out as this I remember how with every block west the area turned more skid row. never mind though, it’s all beautiful to me
Wow! choreography by Gower Champion, our Miss Brooks, and Wimpys hamburgers all rolled into one pic. What more could anyone ask for?
you bet I can just see myself as an 8 y.o. right there in front of this theatre (and a few others like it) mesmerized by those old horror film poster images with longing. back then I had practically no money in my pocket but what I did have was a bountiful selection of neighborhood (sub-run) theatres running triple-features which changed twice (or even thrice) weekly. so closely scanning the sun-times newspaper movie listings I planned most economically how to see almost all those enticing titles anyway. then smell that freshly popped popcorn after you bought your ticket and stepped inside
I have to say I never realized while I shopped at the True Value store that the building I was in was—at least in large part—the old Elm Theatre, re-purposed. It certainly didn’t look so from the front (Grand Ave) side, and I remember the Elm Theatre facade & marquee from the early ‘60s. But I see from the new demolition photos the full background.
yes I see The Producers is playing @ the Carnegie where it opened in Chicago 1968 and I remember I saw it then and there
at the Parkway in 1982 I was bugging the manager to run a 2000 ft reel of my old 35mm trailers, and I must’ve made such a pest of myself because one night he did! I carried the silly reel in a brown paper bag under my arm and on a friday night when scheduled feature running times proved way off he slipped it in as I sat in the audience. The program features were triple-bill Robot Monster, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and Plan 9 From Outer Space and the manager told me Killer Tomatoes actual running time was so short it left them with a ½+ hr gap. My trailer reel was a ridiculous mix of grade Z horror fare like Something Weird, Horrors of Spider Island, Astro Zombies, Swamp Virgin, etc specially prepared for bad laughs. The manager prefaced the reel with an annoucement of a ‘special treat’ but that none of these films were planned to play at the Parkway. It brought down the house, and I imagine the projectionist there thought it positively insane to run any film that just walked in off the street by a paying patron.
even though the West End theatre’s obviously closed (for good) in this old B&W photo, the image nevertheless is just the kind I love to stare at because that is just how I remember it driving past in my parents car late 1950’s I believe. it takes me back perfectly and I’m grateful for sites like Cinema Treasures for providing the forum where a person can go and see this
this little photo years after the fact is all that remains
not the PALACE Cinerama but BISMARCK, it’s alternative monicker which is seen on the distant vertical signage here. ‘favorite" this photo? how could you not love it if you like me had been there
on Kildare (by Wabansia) there’s Greenebaum Park and I don’t know of any chicago park called Wabasia per se. Up to the early ‘80s i’d see the Schwinn bicycle factory bldg—there was a company emblem over the door there—on the west side of Kostner driving by (no reason to regularly drive on residential street Kildare)
PATIO theatre marque was lit up and they’re showing the new Hobbitt movie this weekend there (apparently movies now shown only on weekends)
just gone are the very last traces of the gold ol' RENA theatre with the demolition finishing up on the southern auditorium wall as I saw yesterday
btw I DIDN’T ‘favorite’ this (Bell) theatre, I instead wanted to favorite the one photo associated with it. This is a computer world however where things don’t work correctly or things aren’t explained fully much less well or things cannot be corrected once entered, so I understand just fine.
the bel park yesterday had practically all traces of ‘golden tiara’ (bingo) removed, including the doorway canopy, and front doors boarded-up. definitely looks like re-construction going on inside (contractor sign was attached)
there’s more than one illuminated sign in the distance down milwaukee, and the further one could be for Paulina theatre. I remember weiboldts and its sign, my buddy dave worked there late ‘60s in their grocery dept.
that old northwest looking photo linked above i find a little interesting in that the triangle in the middle of the 3-way intersection appears essentially barren. admittedly it’s a dark night-time image. i know the milwaukee-dearborn subway began construction 1939 (or sooner) but was soon put on hold in favor of concentrating what wartime resouces there were on the state st subway construction (and the dearborn subway opening delayed to 1951). trying to peer down milwaukee avenue is a bit problematic in this photo since there’s so much lighting haze but i suspect what’s down there’s the marquee of another theatre The Paulina
the wrecking ball’s made headway into the theatre auditorium the last day or two. it’s horrible and heartbreaking to look at even in passing. there’s a positively huge old steel beam exposed that no doubt was integral to balcony support
(the following repeated from photo comments)
this wknd fri-sat-sun the CHOPIN theatre is advertising as having some ‘Moving Sale’ open to the public:
(you may have to copy & repaste this link into the addressline of your browser to use it)
this ‘47 photo is sweet IMO, also shows the CROWN theatre marquee in the background a bit further west on division st, plus reveal streetcar tracks. at first it maybe hard to discern where ashland ave intersects but you’ll figure it out from the trafficlight visible in profile. i myself wonder what was directly across division at that time where the photographer stood, because the milwaukee subway station opening and its entrances in the open(ed) triangle was still 4 years coming then
watching more demolitiom first they wiped away the part of the Lawndale/Reno building that was integral storefronts w/ offices apartments upstair, which was finished before they started on any part of the theatre per se. but now with that they have and are demolishing the first flr theatre lobby area. it looks like the huge auditorium with its watertank tower waits to be the last to go.
they punched just one hole in a theatre wall that i could see, one gets the impression they’re hesitating now