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The Wheaton Grand. I wonder, at this point, why I even bother weighing in on this debate. I love the theatre. I think the programing that first Loster, then GVI, Warshauer and Novelli brought into the community was excellent. May I refresh your memory?
Plain White T’s (now a multi-platinum Mega Rock band)
Mae (On one of the hottest rock tours of the summer)
The Cub Scouts from Longfellow Elementary School
Countless teenagers to rock and hang out at a historic venue
It seems to me that the theatre was a safe place to spend time for kids and other locals who wanted to spend some time working on things. I wish people would do what the theatre is meant to do: entertain an audience with cinema and live performances. What does all this nonsense about tax and restoration do?
There is still NO MONEY FOR THE THEATRE!!!! There is still no CREDIT HISTORY FOR THE NON-FOR-PROFIT GRAND THEATRE CORPORATION TO LEND AGAINST!!!!! There is still NO PROGRAMING TO SUPPORT A TAX ON TICKET SALES!!!! Wake up and smell the Folgers, Wheaton.
Until there is all three of these essential things firing on all cylinders, there is no Wheaton Grand. And until at least one of these starts, then there will be no entertainment and movies for the community of Wheaton.
Stop talking about price tags, petitioning the council and DO SOMETHING!! Book a show! License a movie and sell tickets to the public! Board members, if you believe in it put your money and credit ratings on the line and fix the theatre.
Rock-n-Roll will never die. Hip-Hop will live forever. Peace, Love and Art.
It has been a long and winding road to achieve the small notariety in the music business that I have obtained. I find it sad that unsubstantiated rumors about gang related activity cancelled a celebration of the five elements of hip hop: graffitti, breakdance, dj, mc and the beatbox.
I would also like to note that the Wheaton community did not cancel a KKK rally a few years ago at the DuPage County Fairgrounds. How could this event be any less threatening? The last time I checked breakdance, rhyme, paint, rhythm and music have never murdered minorities, and have never oppressed citizens of this great nation.
The Third Annual Suburban Hip Hop Extravaganza will be rescheduled, and I am currently in precarious dialogues with The Wheaton Grand Theatre Corporation considering the Wheaton Grand Theatre for the event. The stakes are now higher, and so the cause of the event will be elevated. This event is now being built to support CeaseFire, a charitable organization designed to eliminate gang violence in the Chicagoland area, a mission I support and believe in to the bottom of my heart.
Make no mistake. I believe that what happened with the event on Saturday August 6 was wrong. I believe that it happened because of a fear of the hip hop community. But since I am a man of integrity, principle and Faith I will do what I can to right the situation. Though people are now afraid of what it means to celebrate hip hop, through education we will educate the Wheaton community to understand that there is nothing to be afraid of, and that there is nothing that can be done to stop the rhythm. After all, You Can’t Stop The Juice.
shout outs to The Renegade squad, All City, STick-n-Move, the Draw crew, the Piece Keepers, AG, THe Funk Bombers, N Visible Spotlite, The La Spiaza Crew, Fo Sho Records, Velvet Pineapple, GTC, GVI, and my main man Chali. hit me up on the low.
It seems to me that if the Uptown existed in New York or Los Angeles it would have little trouble generating the revenue needed to restore the theatre to its original glory and make the owner money. Why is it that in the third largest urban/suburban market in the country that such a glorious theatre is unable to do so? I believe that a deeper look at the entertainment industry as a whole is needed. There are no major movie production companies based in Chicago. There are no major record production companies based in Chicago. All signs point to a revenue stream that flows out of Chicago. If there was a company in Chicago that made millions of dollars entertaining the nation and the world, much like there is in Los Angeles and New York, then there would be a larger pool of donors and dollars to draw from in order to restore a theatre like the Uptown. It seems to me that the only way to restore the crown jewel that is the Uptown to it’s original grandure is to build the crown. Chicago needs to be an engine driving and competing in the entertainment business. This is something that can only come with an acute sense of organization, and a brilliant team of loyal and creative artists that are ready to commit themselves to the work of bringing Chicago to its potential. Until then the Uptown theatre will rest as an icon demonstrating the enourmous potential of the Windy City and the sad reality of just how difficult it is to capture that wind and make our city sail. Peace. N Visible Man.