Showing 1 - 25 of 184 comments
Beware – post above by kitsravi is spam.
Looks like a downtown full of parking lots. Lovely.
The Pinterest photo, which is the same as the one uploaded here, is from 1924.
Hopefully they changed the sign to “Gov Scott Walker starring in How to Prevail Over the Big Government Freedom-Hating Union-Loving Lefties.”
I remember when this theatre burned down. But can’t recall for sure if it had already closed. Seems like it was still operating when it caught fire.
I wish I had ventured inside the Granada. Drove by it a number of times but never stopped to see a movie. The facade was indeed impressive.
Norman, I believe I attended a show at the Ambassador in the mid 1970s. My memory of it is vague, as I attended many shows back then in various theatres. However, judging by the pictures I’ve seen, I would say that the lobby and foyer areas of the theatre were standard Rapp & Rapp; nice, but not much in the way of originality. The auditorium was another matter, however. That was obviously a beautiful work of art, and the silver leaf must have been something to see. Such a shame the theatre was destroyed, but then, it’s hard to imagine that a theatre in that location would be well attended today. I guess it’s possible that it could have been a catalyst for an entertainment district down there, but I don’t think it would have worked.
Norman, I live in the St Louis area and agree with your point. However, I would say that the Fox Theatre is much more ornate than the Peabody. The Peabody is nice, but is more restrained in its ornamentation.
Yes, these lights can change color. I don’t know how many colors can be projected, but purple is not the only option.
I have uploaded a Marbro picture. Almost identical to the postcard view I uploaded previously. No doubt was taken at the same time using the same camera set up.
I notice that the main entrance to the strip mall at the SE corner of Pulaski and Madison has the word “PARADISE” in large letters above the doors.
Bobby, unfortunately I won’t be in town this weekend. I’m about 5 hours away so it’s a problem attending events there.
It never occurred to me before but I suppose there are a number of similarities between the Avalon (New Regal) and the Paradise. I’m sure the same could be said about the now-defunct Capitol, also on Chicago’s south side. Since the New Regal is the only remaining Eberson theatre in Chicago it would be very sad if it is torn down at some point. Hopefully they can make it work.
Thanks Patsy. I read the Observer article but it didn’t come across to me whether they were going to attempt to replicate the original lobby. Hopefully they will at least adhere to it in style. I didn’t realize the facade was saved. That was a good bit of foresight.
Since the lobby and entrance were both demolished, has the Foundation announced its plan with respect to those spaces? That is, are they going to build a lobby based on the original design, or are they going with an entirely new design?
JamesD, you stated that theaters in much worse shape than the Keith’s have been restored. I’m not trying to start an argument, but I’m curious which theaters you have in mind?
Bobby, thanks for posting that. Interesting that they went with orange lighting. Would loved to have seen the original marquee in color.
Bobby, I was really excited about this photo since it’s the first one I’ve seen that really shows the box office in any detail. I suspect that the original, and larger, marquee cast a shadow that made the box office hard to see. In addition, this photo appears to have been taken a little closer to the building. Incidentally, that was me who theorized that the Crawford Theatre photo is from 1947. And you are correct, the original Paradise vertical is visible in the Crawford photo, so it was replaced sometime between 1947 and 1956. Probably closer to 1947, but I really don’t know. The later vertical is the only one I remember seeing as a youth. I wondered about the “free parking” as well. I know there were some surface lots in the area, but I’m not sure which one the sign refers to. The bit about the “2 BIG HITS ON EVERY PROGRAM” was there for a while, as I’ve seen it in a photo taken a year or two before the one I uploaded was taken. Since by this time the Marbro had become the theater of choice in the neighborhood, B&K probably booked lesser quality features at the Paradise. I also think that the lettering right under the marquee that says “IT’S SHOW TIME WITH THE PICK OF THE PICTURES“ remained there for some time as well.
I hope you can post your photo. Would certainly like to see it.
I have also added two close ups. One of the box office and one of the box office with a poster case. I lightened up the contrast on the box office to make it more visible. It’s the only good image I’ve seen of it.
I have uploaded an interesting photo of the Paradise from 1941. Shows the exterior with a good view of the box office. If you enlarge it you’ll see pretty good detail.
I have uploaded a 1940 postcard view of the Will Rogers Theatre to the photo section.
Bobby, I saw the Chicago endangered list. I will be truly amazed if the Uptown is ever re-opened. I think its location really works against it.
Bobby, maybe we’ll never know whether B&K tried to buy the Marbro. That would seem to have been the sensible move, since there was no way that the area could support two giant movie palaces along with all the smaller theatres. Even in the 1920s that wouldn’t have worked; at least not from my perspective. One of those theatres was destined to be a money loser, and it turned out to be the Paradise.
Yes, here’s the story as I recall it. The Guyon family owned the land that the Paradise eventually was built on. In the early stages of the Paradise project there was a fight between Guyon and the Marks Brothers over who held the rights to name their theatre “Paradise.” Guyon won the lawsuit, which of course resulted in the Marks Brothers naming their theatre “Marbro.” Unfortunately for Guyon, however, the recent construction and opening of his hotel impeded his ability to fund the Paradise project, causing him to sell the Paradise to the Cooney Brothers. The Paradise project was also too much for the Cooney Brothers. They went bankrupt, subsequently selling the Paradise, which was only in the early stages of development, to Balaban & Katz. The bigger budget that B&K brought to the table allowed Eberson to improve his design. Obviously B&K were determined to squash the Marks Brothers, which they ultimately did. B&K purchased the Marbro around 1930 I believe. So the land the Paradise sat on went from Guyon to the Cooney Brothers to B&K, and then to the company that developed the grocery store.