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There are two new aldermen in Uptown as well, which might change things a bit. I know Mary Ann Smith, the former alderman for the ward where the Uptown is located, stated her desire to restore the theatre to its original state, whereas the new aldermen seem more open to seeing the theatre open slightly-altered for mixed use (ex. tearing floor seats out). I would love to see the theatre exactly as Balaban and Katz intended, but I think it might be necessary to consider changes to meet modern needs and keep the theatre profitable.
This sounds good! Congrats to Brooklyn. Now, on to the Uptown here in Chicago!
I hope it’s not simply to eliminate possible competition, should Live Nation or someone else get a hold on it. I’ve heard that the hold-up is that some people want the seats to be ripped out on the floor and others want it completely restored.
This recent article doesn’t make the whole thing sound very positive.
Awesome news for us Northsiders. As soon as something I want to see comes in, I’ll be excited to check it out!
Sadly, the problems with Uptown owners continue…I couldn’t be more disappointed.
congrats to you, friends of the boyd!
the exterior of that building is simply heavenly! i love the use of color.
there’s a new, full-page editorial in the chicago reader this week concerning the sale of the uptown. it’s not up on the website just yet, but it is in the print edition which came out today. it discusses the reasons why the city should be happy that JAM purchased the theatre.
i’m sure their website will have the same article in the next day or so.
just wanted to keep everyone in the know about what’s being discussed in chicago about the theatre…
wow, rene! what cool stories you must have of your times at the uptown. just reading the summaries of those experiences makes me excited! (this doesn’t even count how cool i think it is that you must know about every nook in the uptown!)
if what you say is true, k1052, it makes me a little less nervous. if the city is holding the owner accountable, it has to be a good thing.
the more i look into this, the worse it gets…
the sun-times article upset me even more when i looked into the possible partner mentioned by JAM, joseph freed and associates. from their own website, it looks like they are mostly interested in residential and mixed-use facilities.
here’s their slogan on their website: “an entrepreneurial real estate company that develops, acquires, and operates retail and mixed-use properties nationally with dedication to long-term value creation.” i don’t know about you, but i think that says a lot about what THEIR plans are for a building like the uptown.
here’s a blog from someone who knows about this company:
Heads up vendors, suppliers and others in the Madison, Wisconsin market: Joseph Freed & Associates is all about sticking it to you. Beyond changing the face and plans of their Hilldale project countless times and reneging on promises to retailers regarding the residential community they were going to bring them (there are no more plans for residential), they turn on their suppliers and leave them holding the bags on hundreds of thousands of dollars that, suddenly, after months and months, they either decide to contest or just don’t pay. It’s not just Madison either. Check out their history in Denver! Where are the Madison lawmakers in this?
this all just looks horrible to me. i’m sick about it.
i meant to say that jam already puts on shows at the aragon AND owns the riv.
the state of the riv is what really scares me into thinking that they may have bought it for a reason other than restoration.
i hate that i sound like cynic now. i love the uptown, and, still, at the end of the day, want to see it restored to all of its former glory! i guess a buyer is a step toward a good outcome, right?
jam…a third venue in the neighborhood? this worries me…i hope i’m wrong.
first off, thanks, william, for your clarification. i don’t know much about these things, but i hope it isn’t a factor in this case anyway.
rene, thanks for your thoughts as well. i hope you are right.
i just received an email from friends of the uptown, which tells of coverage of tomorrow’s auction and details of what might be in store for the jewel of the neighborhood i call home.
UPTOWN on the radio Tuesday
Eight Forty-Eight reporters have been working since last Friday on
covering the scheduled judicial auction of the UPTOWN THEATRE
property, 4816 N. Broadway, in Chicago, which is set for tomorrow,
Tuesday, July 29.
(The best of our collective understanding is…) This sale was
rescheduled from previously cancelled dates. It is based on a judge's
decision to force two parties to sell their interests to one party.
What’s for sale? The property and all of its debt, including debt
from previous owners borrowing against it and from liens for services
provided, such as scaffolding and stabilization.
Observers anticipate that two known prospects – JAM Productions and
Live Nation, who each own portions of the debt – will be first in
line at the sale. However, no specific plans or intentions have been
Purchasing the building and its debt could be a first step toward
renovation and reuse. However, one has to keep in mind that tens of
millions of dollars will be needed after satisfying the purchase cost
and debt in order to actually renovate the theatre for some
The news radio show Eight Forty-Eight airs at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on
WBEZ, 91.5 FM, in Chicago and streams online via:
Both Crain’s Chicago Business and rock critic Jim DeRogatis have
covered this topic well in recent stories.
the area that the uptown is slowly improving right now. still, i think it has been said before in the past that, due to its size and location, it would take a whole lot of money to demolish. (the dupage, referred to in the last post, was 1/5 the seating size of the uptown and much less ornate. it was also located in a seperate block of its own, from all the pictures i’ve seen. the uptown is located in the middle of a block surrounded by mostly bars and hip restaurants, making it much more difficult and expensive to remove.) i hope that works in favor of saving it. i don’t think that the land is super “hot” (at least, not yet!)and the condo market is pretty cold here right now, with many new, empty condos awaiting occupancy in the area, so that also makes me think it won’t be demolished.
so far, i would say that the biggest threat to the place would be having a show promotion company of some sort buy it to eliminate possible competition and then leave it to sit and decay. (this has been mentioned in various articles in chicago papers, since both jam, a local promoter, and live nation, a national promoter, want to buy it.) i hate to say it, but i myself would much rather see it reused in some way than just to sit there, a few blocks from where i live, rotting and dying a slow death. it’s still lovely…it just needs some new life breathed into it.
hopefully, with the sale, the city will stipulate that whoever buys it has to put money into restoring it. that was done recently with the sale of the regal on the south side. still, i don’t know how possible it is, at this point, for the city to intervene, being that the sale is supposedly being handled by an outside foreclosure auctioneer.
so happy to see positive progress on this place. i’ve never actually seen it but have always paid attention to it on this site.
thanks for the update, philbert!
i went to a movie at the eagles in the late 90’s, while i was attending college in a nearby town.
it’s a great little movie theatre that has somehow survived despite cineplexes in neighboring areas. it makes me happy to see that it is still in business.
according to this website, the theater was built in 1930 and seated 1300.
according to this pictorial tour of anderson, the theater is CLOSED.
just watched the guster concert film ‘guster on ice’, which was filmed at this theatre in 2004.
sad to see that it is closed.
ok. that’s what i saw, but thought it was a marquee of some sort. there are other clips on youtube…maybe the clip in question is there. i just typed in “law and order svu theme”.
are you talking about this one?
this blog explains what is happening at this moment with the uptown. it’s not much new news, though.
this is the link mentioned above, by the way:
thanks for the link, but i am personally confused as to what their involvement is with this theatre.