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Hey, Dean, a little off the subject, but I was a 5th grader at Stowe school and we could see the huge plumes of black smoke when Woolworth’s was burning. A day or so later (or maybe that night), my parents drove us past it and it was so sad. Huge icicles from the streetlights to the burned building – it was gutted. Wasn’t even boarded up at that point, it was just this frozen, burned scary looking structure. Moved shortly after that, but have many memories of the Tiffin and neighborhood in general. My mom didn’t drive at the time so we walked everywhere.
The last time I went to the Morton Grove was in early 2001. It was a Saturday night, second run movie (can’t remember which one), and there were a lot of people there, but at $1.50 per ticket it may not have been making money. And, probably the land was worth more than the cost of running the business, which is usually the case. It seemed like a family was running the theater, which made me think maybe they weren’t making enough money to hire too many people.
I can say that for #15 Mercury, the owners must have gotten a sweet offer for the land to build the strip mall. Residents behind the current strip mall protested, but the $$ spoke louder.
As for Bricktown, the gangbangers killed it.
Great picture, Brian!! Brings back lots of memories of the “old days”.
The Yankee Doodle Dandy is now a bank, just south of Irving next to the party store and across from Arby’s and KFC. The last time I was there I was in high school, it was closed over 25 years ago and the building was made into the bank.
The Sears auto store, I believe was built on vacant land that Sears owned. The Midwest bank was there before Sears Auto was built. It originally was part of the Walgreens building and an old-fashioned high ceilinged bank. Then the bank made a drive-through where I believe there’s a foot doctor now. Sears originally owned that land (Sears Auto) and the vacant lot which they used for overflow parking during the holidays, which is now the strip mall containing White Hen, etc. There was not a Yankee Doodle Dandy on that property that I can remember.
I hate to be cliche, but it’s a shame that the only memories kids of today will have are seeing the Disney movies at the Multi-plexes or on VHS/DVD and not knowing the joy of taking the bus to the movie theater on Saturday morning with your mom to see “The Aristocats”, “Peter Pan”, etc. It was a big deal for us.
I think it opens later this month!! Can’t wait.
PeterB, now that you mention it, I remember the Grand being kinda junky. That’s why we went to the Tiffin.
PeterB, what do you remember about the Grand?
Corvetteguy, I agree, it was abandoned for so long, if the owners didn’t want to run it, they should have made an effort to sell it to someone who would have renovated it. It was an eyesore for so many years. The last time I went there in ‘79 or '80, they did try to make the place look presentable. The marquis was all lit up, but so many missing/broken lights and the musty smell was very sad and depressing. They did a half-way job of renovating which did not draw any customers back for a second time, I’m sure.
I think I may have gone to this theater once when on vacation in Indiana when I was a teenager. We saw Friday the 13th #3 in 3D. It was a very old theater. There was a candy store nearby. All old downtown types of shops in the area, but beginning to become empty storefronts at that time. Does anyone know if this is the same theater I’m referring to?
My mother used to call it the “Pay-she-oh” too! She still does when she refers to it. I thought she was the only one! She used to go there in her early 20’s, over 40 years ago. I’ve only been there once, and remember the starry sky. I agree with the other posts – this neighborhood is on the verge of being regentrified and the theater would probably do well if it re-opened.
I remember my parents taking us there. It was a lot of wilderness across from the HIP shopping center, which was an outdoor mall at the time. I remember the screen being on the corner, with a sign “Harlem Outdoor” on the back of it, where the Pizza Hut stands now. Hard to believe it was ever there.
I used to pass by this theater on the bus to work every day in the late 80’s while it was still open and then when it closed and was demolished. It seems when it was open, they didn’t do much to try to increase business or interest in the theater. I always thought it would be a great place to restore, it wasn’t in bad shape or anything, just needed some TLC and someone to take interest. It’s in a very busy area with lots of foot traffic. Today, I think it would do very well. It’s unfortunate that the owners sold out for a strip mall.
My boyfriend and I go there almost every weekend when it’s open. The women’s restroom is yucky. Other than that, everything inside is original and retro. We love it! We hope they do not sell the land to developers. It’s our favorite place to go on a Friday or Saturday night in the summer. My parents used to take us there once in awhile when I was young. It’s been around for a long time.