231 N. Pulaski Road,
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The Paradise Theater, which was built in the Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago, was billed as the world’s most beautiful theater. It was located on Crawford Avenue (now N. Pulaski Road) near W. Maypole Avenue. It is regarded as one of the finest designs by its architect, John Eberson. The sheer opulence and intricate craftsmanship that went into the theater made it a showpiece in itself. The Paradise Theater opened on September 14, 1928 with Clara Bow in “The Fleet’s In”. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 5 manual, 21 rank organ. It was closed in 1931 and reopened on September 29, 1934 with a new modern sound system, screening Edward G. Robinson in “Man With Two Faces” plus acts on the stage.
Unfortunately, flaws in the design (blamed on the vast domed ceiling in the 3,612-seat auditorium) had been exposed with the advent of talking pictures. Poor acoustics eventually cost the theater its attendance (movie-goers would eventually turn to the nearby Marks Brothers showplace, the 3,931-seat Marbro Theater) and it never recovered.
Unfortunately, in 1956, owners Balaban and Katz decided to demolish the theater and sell the land to a supermarket chain. The theater that was also built to stand forever almost lived up to that claim – what was to have been a six month demolition took two years! The supermarket built on the site is long gone and in 2020 the site houses an auto repair business.
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