Showing 1 - 25 of 156 comments found
Bobby, unfortunately, even if they had somehow survived to this point, they would still be white elephants. There’s just no use for them in that location. The one neighborhood theatre that I thought could have made a go of it was the Granada. It had always been quite popular with the public. But Loyola had other ideas.
If this theatre actually operated until 1970 I would be very surprised. I was going to movies a lot in the late 1960s and I don’t recall it being open then. To my recollection, downtown had the Coronado, the State, the Times, and the Midway.
Joe, I concur. The theatre was built for vaudeville and movies, and was never intended as a presentation house. And later in the 1920s when Rockford saw the addition of the Capital and Coronado theatres, the use of its stage probably declined dramatically. As a movie house it was superb. Intimate yet ornate, and excellent acoustics.
Bobby, the Midway had a stage, but it wasn’t very deep. Not sure of the fly system as all I saw there was movies. I believe the dressing rooms were in the basement. I’m going by memory, which is sketchy as I haven’t been in the Midway since the late 1970s. It was a very cool theater and I always enjoyed going there.
Interesting. It’s nice to hear a little about what’s happening in Garfield Park. I looked up St. James church but don’t really remember it. Sad that it’s gone. It appears to have been a beautiful building, which I guess makes it a target in Chicago. Not sure of the exact location of the Garfield Park pool. I can probably figure it out from an old aerial map. Is that gone, too?
I don’t recall the St. James church, at least not by name. I’m sure I would recognize it though. I’ll have to Google that. I didn’t know the Brachs factory was still there. That had to have been empty for a very long time. I’d be surprised if the Guyon building ever comes to life again. A high density building in what is now a very low density neighborhood doesn’t make sense. Then again, it has hung on this long so who knows.
Yes, the picture makes it look like the “GUYON” sign is across from, or even north of, the Paradise. But it was a good block or more south of the Paradise. So how does the Guyon Hotel look these days? I haven’t driven through the area in well over 20 years.
p.s. My thanks to Lou Rugani for posting the photo. I went to the Crawford a few times in the late 1950s but have never been able to locate a picture of it. I couldn’t recall what it looked like. I still have no memory of the inside. I’m sure it was rather plain, but it would be great to see it again.
I believe the photo is from the late 1940s, probably 1947. The marquee of the Crawford is advertising “Boom Town” which was originally released in 1940. However, the automobiles are later than that, so it’s probably 1947, which would coincide with the time “Boom Town” was re-released. The vertical sign on the left in the distance reads “Guyon”, which was the name of the hotel it was attached to. That building still stands, and is actually a little south of the Paradise Theatre in the photo. The Paradise Ballroom was indeed operating at the time, and was just a little north of the Guyon, almost directly across the street from the Paradise Theatre. I don’t see a sign for the ballroom in the photo.
I remember seeing “The Buddy Holly Story” here in 1978. It was a fun show and it was well attended. Had no idea at the time that drive ins were winding down.
Yes, the article is misleading. This is a redevelopment more than a renovation. At least it hasn’t been completely effaced. And it didn’t become a parking garage or a CVS. In any case, I suppose the impending renewal of the Kings Theatre obviates the need for another large movie palace in Brooklyn.
Nothing I’ve read about the conversion explains which areas of the theatre were restored and which were destroyed. Can someone elaborate on this? I’m guessing the auditorium was leveled, or gutted. Were some of the lobby and foyer spaces saved and restored? I see that the main facade was preserved.
Hi Bobby. Yes, we’ve sunk pretty low morally and I don’t see us turning back anytime soon. The commercials I see during a televised baseball game today would have been rated “condemned” when we were kids. It’s all out there in the open now. I do remember the Byrd Theatre – vaguely. It seems most of my memories from the 50s are vague now. The Paradise made a much bigger impression on me, despite the poor acoustics that supposedly did it in.
I was a Lutheran so I didn’t have this problem. But then, my mom had her own Legion Of Decency system that she enforced rather strictly. I grew up not far from the Alex but only recall going there 2 or 3 times. I spent more time at the bowling that was a block or so from there – Cascade Lanes was the name I think?
This is very sad news. His “American Picture Palaces” book was the impetus for my interest in the study of American movie palaces. It really opened my eyes to the magic of America’s grand theaters. As Ken noted, his other books were excellent as well. May he rest in peace.
The closing and demolition of American movie palaces was well under way by 1963. Prior to this, the Chicago Paradise razing began in 1956, the Philadelphia Mastbaum was razed in 1958, and the NYC Roxy was destroyed in 1961, among others. Those 3 would have to be on anyone’s top 10 list of all-time greatest movie palaces. There were hundreds of closings precipitated by the introduction of TV, and most of those theatres were eventually demolished. Also in 1963, Chicago’s Marbro closed (razed 1964) and the San Francisco Fox was demolished. And there were others. So I guess you could say the Tivoli went down in the early stage of the decline, but it was by no means one of the first. The Tivoli was dealing with dwindling numbers due to TV and a rapidly changing neighborhood. Which was the case for most of Chicago’s large neighborhood theatres.
Interesting photo. Obviously taken from the marquee of the State-Lake Theatre across the street.
Her connection to the Kings is nothing more than the fact she saw movies there, correct? She shot down the myth that she was an usher, if I recall.
I still don’t understand the snails pace at which things move these days. It probably took less time for George and C.W. Rapp to design the entire building back in 1928 than it’s taking to figure out the renovation today. And I’ll bet it took only around 10-14 months to build the Kings. But, I will shut up and just be patient.
Surely ACE would have known about all this red tape when they estimated completion by 2014. Hopefully you are correct that the bureaucracy involved is the culprit. I’m sure it takes a long time to line up public funding; however, if there is no progress within the next few months I think we can assume that the project is at least on hold.
I’ve never seen a picture of this theatre. I barely remember it from my youth, and I would love to see a picture to remind me of what it looked like.
Bobby, yes one would think that the restoration would have started by now. Though people say otherwise, I suspect ACE is having second thoughts about the magnitude of the investment required.
Your photos are excellent. I wish there was a close-up of the projection booth, which I’ve never seen a really good view of.
Bobby, that’s good news about the Uptown. I guess we’ll see how it plays out.
Bobby, I remain doubtful about the Uptown, but would love to eat my words someday. Hopefully your “source” is correct. The Kings seems like a much more viable project to me since it’s not located in a neighborhood, as is the Uptown. And I believe the Kings has parking issues that are easier to deal with.