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According to today’s Sun-Times, the Esquire’s last showings will be Thursday, 14 September 2006. It will be razed for a new retail complex.
AMC will, of course, still have the River East.
Kerasotes is still in a deal to build a 14-screen multiplex on the second floor of a retail complex at Wells & Roosevelt in the South Loop.
Not quite on topic, but the Walgreens is due to be shut: I believe that the one recently opened on Washington (the old Woolworth’s) was to replace that location. Gap signed most of the ground floor retail at MoMo.
The history of this 1939 “taxpayer” building is covered pretty extensively in “Here’s the Deal”—Arthur Rubloff at one point wanted to move the Greyhound terminal to this location.
The space was converted to an Equinox health club in 2004. Competition from the megaplex closed four smaller theaters along Michigan—McClurg, 900 North, Water Tower, and the Fine Arts (further south). Rumors have surrounded the Esquire for a while, as it sits on prime real estate.
The building at that address was torn down, probably in the 1980s; the new building houses a gas company office. No other buildings on that block appear to have been theaters.
An office tower is now under construction on the site.
If Richard G. is correct, then the theater stands where the Osco Drug now does, at the corner with Belle Plaine. The bowling alley has since been replaced with a residential building with a Starbucks at the corner.
The Noble Fool comedy troupe was using this building for performances before moving into their new space in the old Heidelberg building (Block 36); I don’t know whether they used the theater space or not, though.
The city owned the site, but recently sold the site for about $11 million to Smithfield Properties, which will build a 32-story, retail/residential building on the site.
The McVickers is mentioned in the final scene of the musical “Chicago”; it’s where Roxy and Velma’s act opens. The theatre was replaced with a parking lot — the only surface parking lot within the Loop.