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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
shoe store maybe at the corner w/ st louis
thank you Dennis
yes up for sale, the broker ESSEX says “there’s much to be gained by raising the rents up to current market levels”. warning to tenants—get out now while you can, forces are at work to double your rents. leave nothing behind but an empty shell
i hate looking at it go down as i went by this a.m.
i may’ve made a false alarm before, but driving by the RENA theatre this morning (my preferred name to the LAWNDALE, from personal experience) the type of activity taking place around it now has the makings of a demolition commencing
the recent article about Patio closing is worded more like the theatre’s closing for good, not just for summer. The air conditioning needing repair (more accurately complete replacement I think) while certainly a major issue seems to me to be covering for other matters. The theatre owner makes claims he really wants for the Patio theatre to return to operation, but his actions show nothing of the kind, only avoidance and delays. Chicago Ald. Cullerton got a city grant to pay for the needed new AC system, but the owner ignored it. The appearance is the grant came w/ provisions he didn’t like. My strong suspicion is the owner has distinct other plans for his building, and unless Patio theatre management is placed into the hands of somebody else with movie bacground we have seen the end (or will be seeing the end during these final 2 April weekends) of films @ the Patio
i’ve heard something or other about Chicago Filmakers recently acquiring a new location, space in an old city long closed fire staion to renovate. i think in rogers park? city sold it to them for a (relative) pittance, but it certainly seems like a good fit
yeah, for that film you want to walk one block south and 3 blocks east, catch the restored LAWRENCE at the McClurg Ct where they ran the restored 70mm version(some years later on in 1989). Marina Cinemas was perfect for Woody Allen films, where i saw EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX when it opened. what bellylaughs my & my friends had
i went to see movies here many times in the early-mid ‘70s. back then it was still possible to unearth a downtown free parking space on lower level wacker drive (in the vicinity of clark st). the thompson center had yet to replace the greyhound bus terminal. the film programming was near art-house in nature, so a welcome alternative to the mainstream look cinemas. the feeling then was while the old downtown movie palaces definitely were in a state of decline and being avoided more and more, this was not so at marina cinemas, all you had to do was cross the chicago river bridge that’s all. a slight problem was most people, including my friends, tended to forget about the marina cinemas altogether. knowing this i’d suggest a film to see and they’d ask with interest where it’s playing. when i replied marina cinemas they’d pause, finally say “oh, yeah”. then i’d add we’d eat afterwards @ pizzeria due’s just 2 blocks away. and lastly that old photo seen here of the 3 films playing @ 1-2-3 is just perfect IMO—those’re exactly the types of films i’d expect to see advertised playing here on a weekly basis. yes i miss the place and will never violate it’s memory for dan aykroyd’s sake
most peculiarly even though not used as a theatre per se for what—85 years? the building owners recently restored the Grayland Theatre insignia, which sits very prominently directly over the retail establishment name, longtime 6-corners big&tall menswear store Rasenick’s. this can be seen in certain photos, but really stands out when you drive by in person. i’d like to see others still extant to follow suit. fluevog/wicker park theatre would be an excellent candidate
Wire opened here about a month ago, a music venue a little different from Fitzgerald’s a block or so east, but direct competion nevertheless. Driving by at night you’ll see a huge videoscreen illuminated through the large windows @ Wire that definitely suggests the movie theatre screen that once existed there. No doubt there were elements about this property the new owners were aware of when they decided on the former Oakwyn to start Wire. That little stretch of Roosevelt is gaining some steam, or at least trying to, what with Autre Monde and Bodhi Thai new restaurants there.
MB bulletin: crystal ball foresees screen #3
humor aside there’s news the theatre is expanding by purchasing the north adjacent property, ostensibly for the purpose of building a third auditorium in the existing building there. the sale just closed i think
the brachs factory—as decrepit as it was—actually served a post mortem purpose partially spruced-up in a recent batman movie filmed in chicago. besides that it had been penetrated by urban explorers, sometimes called ‘parkour’, my oldest son included. i’m glad they finally decided to reduce it to deserved rubble, but it just goes to show you how long—decades—something as useless as that could endure
the guyon is solidly boarded up, that it remains today may mean sopmething or it may mean nothing at all. it’s exterior color may’ve saved it so far, but my wife said it’s one of the 10 most endangered, and i can think of one or 2 others i marvel they still remain. we drove by it i think the same morning we drove by and took a last loving look at St. James Church which they just did demolish. and btw the brachs candy factory finally is being leveled.
i wonder can somebody tell me the exact location of the swimming pool for garfield park back then?