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I remember the Tiffin, was there several times as a child. It was BEAUTIFUL inside. I vaguely remember a lot of gold furnishings, but maybe I’m wrong. It was much nicer than the Grand which was right in my neighborhood in Humboldt Park/Logan Square area. We hardly went to the Grand, instead, my mom used to take us on the bus to the Tiffin for matinee’s. I also remember the sign – you could see it from many blocks away! Lived in that area until I was 10. Yes, the neighborhood was getting kinda seedy, changing at that time, but the theater was very nice. Once the Woolworth’s nearby burned down, and then I believe Walgreens moved out, the neighborhood changed for the worst.
They used to show cartoons, my mom took us there all the time. The last time I was there was about 1979 or 1980, saw Saturday Night Fever in it’s second run. Also the Exorcist. At that point they had closed and reopened several times with new owners. They tried to fix it up a little, but the place was musty and smelly and the rumors of rats and roaches didn’t do much for its reputation in the neighborhood. With all the development around here now, it might have done well if it had managed to hang on. Too bad someone didn’t buy it and fix it up like they did the Lake Theater.
This theater was beautiful inside when they first opened, but the criminal element killed it. Stories of cars being stolen in the parking lot and people being hit over the head. Too many scary people hanging around. That’s what killed the Brickyard Mall too. The neighborhood was okay, but you just didn’t feel safe around there.
One of the last times I was in this theater was in the 80’s, I saw the movie “My Bodyguard”. They didn’t pop their own popcorn at that point, sneaked it in in big plastic bags. I think the owners must have gotten an offer on the land they couldn’t refuse. They could probably make more on the land than they did running the theater. Too bad because there still aren’t any good movie theaters in the area. There would be a market now.
This had turned into a Spanish movie theater when I moved from the neighborhood 30 years ago.