Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments
I was at the opening. Mickey Rooney cut the ribbon to auditorium 1.
The site is still vacant. It is a valuable piece of land, and new buildings are going up around it.
Just took a tour of the Kennedy sites in Dallas, and the Texas Theater was a highlight. Lee Harvey Oswald was captured here.
I was in the Riveria during Open House Chicago last Sunday. It is in very bad shape with many bars throught the main floor. The floors are sticky and the whole building is dirty including the washrooms. The balcony still has the theater seats. It seems that the owners are squeezing every pennny form the building and the concert goers have no idea what an elegant venue this was.
I notice that the vacant lot on the sw corner of Clark and Chestnut has a new agent offering it for sale. It was the site of a post office and later the Chestnut Station Theater.
I was in the army at Ft Hood in 1956 and 1957. I attended the Center. It must have been new then.
The Jewish center was never built, and the land remains vacant.
The new Kennedy-King college which is part of the Chicago Junior college system now stands on the site of the old Linden.
I never attended the Empress when it was a burlesque house, but I do remember that the performers would cross Halsted Street to go the Halwood Hotel on Englewood Avenue between shows. It was the hotel were they lived.
Sorry, I know of no photos. I can still see the Halfield in my mind though. I grew up at 50th and Peoria. Our local “show” was the Radio at 50th Place and Halsted. Sometimes we would take the walk up to the Halfield. It was a much larger place.
When the theaters opened for a short time to play porno films, they were renamed the Dearborn Theaters.
Today I will be visiting the site, which is now the Goodman Theater, to see a David Mamet play, Life in the Theater.
My parents told me about the remodeling of the Radio. They said that before the renovation, it was called the Home Theater. It had only one aisle down the center.
John Keting (jpkjr)
Most of the movie houses in the neighborhood were controlled by the Schoenstadt Brothers chain. I thought the Arcadia might be one of therir, but it is not listed. My neighborhood places were the Radio and Halfield and they were Schoenstadt theaters.
I am not familiar with that area on 55th Street. I lived about 10 blocks west on their on Garfield Blvd. which is also 55th Street. I just called a friend of mine who lived in that area. She remembers the Arcadia being there when she moved into the neighborhood in May of 1957. It was on the south side of the street and closed about 1958. She said that it was an old movie theater. She thinks the theater was replaced by a bakery.
After the Boulevard at Ashland and Garfield Boulevard closed, it became the Boulevard Ballroom which had dancing. John Keating
Nice photo of the Radio on Halsted Street. The “El” crosses Halsted near 63rd Street. The Radio I grew up attending was on southeast corner of Halsted and 50th Place.
I heard that when Elizabeth Taylor found out that the theaters were showing porno films, she closed the theaters.
Michael Todd introduced “Smelovision” here with his film Scent of Mystery. Various odors were pumped into the auditorium during the movie.
The Radio Theater is now a store front church. It is housed in the original building.The box office is long gone, but you can still see the indentations on the front of the building where the show cards were displayed.
The land has been cleared and is now a new Walgreen store.
You are right. It was a McDonalds. Next door to the Halfield was a custom shoe store. They made shoes for deformed feet and had plaster casts of those feet in the window. The slogan of the store was “Does your feet hurt?” Why they never said do instead of does is still a mystery to me.
Neighborhood lore tells that Bob Hope got his start at the Stratford.
Wasn’t the Windsor on the east side of Clark Street? If so there are condos and a Blockbuster store. The Jewel is on the west side of the street.
I was in the army in nearby Fort Hood, Texas in 1955 to 1957. I saw “Giant” with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean at the Waco Theater.
This picture is not the Roxy Theater in New York City. It is the Center Theater which is part of Rockerfeller Center. It has since been gutted and turned into offices. In later years it became a TV studio for NBC. I once saw the last of the Milton Berle TV showes there.