Alex Theater

3828 W. Madison Street,
Chicago, IL 60624

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Showing 1 - 25 of 56 comments

GFeret
GFeret on October 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

one can’d discuss chicago theatres that acquired substantial gay patronage without mentioning the old Newberry theatre on Clark St by the library (later metamorphosizing into the Chestnut Station). i’d also say it’s very unlikely the ALEX theatre ever acquired that audience slant

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on October 8, 2013 at 5:25 am

I think there might be a little confusion here. I really don’t believe gays ventured up to the West Side to spend the night at this legendary schlock house. I once heard from an old veteran theatre owner that the Parkway Theatre, at Clark and Diversey, was a gathering spot for gays. The Parkway was a schlock house for many years up unil 1979 when Landmark Theatres took it over and began a revival program there. I believe that would be more credible since there’s a higher gay prescence around the Parkway Theatre area. I think JAYJay got these two schlock houses mixed up, but I could be wrong.

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 8, 2013 at 12:51 am

On the other hand, these theaters all had organs….Sorry I couldn’t resist.

Broan
Broan on October 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Well, I dunno why that guy brought it up, he doesn’t have much of a comment history. Is it more important to read comments about what monster movies someone watched 50 years ago than about the roles particular theaters played in the lives of a persecuted minority?

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on October 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

If this site were about the sexual mores of urban cultures, then OK. I think there is something more prurient afoot here.

Broan
Broan on October 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Theatre history is social history.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on October 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Why is this an important topic?

Broan
Broan on October 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Dunno about the Alex, but the Patio was the subject of a couple raids on homosexuals.

amoswald
amoswald on October 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hit the wrong link I didn’t mean to unsubscribe

BobbyS
BobbyS on October 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I don’t remember that at all..However the Alex did show alot of “Hercules” movies which would attest to that fact.

JAYJay
JAYJay on October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

The Alex
Became a hangout for gays in the late 50s

GFeret
GFeret on May 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

i had no guilty conscience even slight about seeing monster movies, who would? i saved my guilt for more important, or at least expensive things.

GFeret
GFeret on May 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm

i don’t mind repeating myself that the old monster movies i looked up @ legion of decency were rated CONDEMNED. a slight disappoinment at my age then but also irrevelant i confess, and looking back it now it made its own kind of sense, those things could be condemned for any number of reasons by any right thinking person, which viewpoint is comfortably irrelvant.

Scott
Scott on May 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

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.

BobbyS
BobbyS on May 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

HI SCOTT. Kids have it made today if they wish to see a “condemned” movie. With so many screens under one roof, they can just buy a ticket into a “safe” film and just walk into the film of choice. I have never seen anyone checking. So much of it is on TV & the web, its really a farce. Morals in this counrty have been on the slide down for years. The Alex was never my first choice. Only remember it as the last resort. I had more fun at the Byrd.

Scott
Scott on May 15, 2013 at 10:14 am

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?

KenC
KenC on May 15, 2013 at 2:10 am

Oops- that last word should be conscience. It’s late, time for bed.

KenC
KenC on May 15, 2013 at 2:03 am

To GFeret- Growing up Catholic in the 1950s, and a big fan of monster/horror/ sci fi movies, I not only read the movie listings in the Sun Times, but also The New World. They had the Legion of Decency ratings: A1, A2, A3, B (Morally Objectionable In Part For All), and the most severe rating C (Condemned). To my knowledge, no monster movie was ever condemned. Most got an A2 or A3 rating. But a few were were rated B, and these come to mind (along with , I’m guessing, the reasons): “INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN” (teenagers making out in lovers lane), “NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST” (a pregnant man!), “THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST” (Reincarnation- can’t have little kids and teenagers questioning their faith- and a not so subtle suggestion of woman and ape mating), and “I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN” (more lovers lane scenes and man playing god). The C rating went to mostly foreign films- virtually all of Brigitte Bardot movies were condemned, along with a few American films. If memory serves, viewing a C rated movie was a mortal sin, but seeing a B rated film was only a venial sin(?).Anyway, that’s the way it was back then. Fun times- with only a SLIGHTLY guilty conscious!

BobbyS
BobbyS on May 14, 2013 at 11:39 am

The more condemned they were, the more interesting the movie was…..and the ALEX was THE place to see them.

GFeret
GFeret on May 14, 2013 at 11:18 am

i checked myself back then, i wasn’t looking up anything but ‘monster movies’, they all came up Condemned. I went regardless

BobbyS
BobbyS on May 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Always amazed me how the church said it was ok to see a monster attacking & eating & killing people, but a no no for Monroe to suggest something a little more tame. Especially what we know today..

amoswald
amoswald on May 13, 2013 at 10:47 am

I went to most of the monsterovies. Mom checked the listings so the could not have bee B or C. Those ratings were reserved for Hotchcock, Monroe, Bardot and the like. Sex and violence combined.

GFeret
GFeret on May 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

“….monster movies classified B by Catholic Legion of Decency”. actually back then the Legion of Decency typical gave those movies their CONDEMNED classification I do recall

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Just added 2 images of a 1926 Hamlin Theatre program, courtesy of Bruce Kelleher. Though 1925 is written along the top, all the films were released in 1926.