Colonial Theatre

24 W. Randolph Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

Broan
Broan on December 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Review of a play about the Iroquois fire

Broan
Broan on February 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm

View link Here is a picture from its brief tenure as Hyde & Behman’s

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Reactivate Notification Status.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm

The Laurier Palace Thearte in Montreal, was the theatre that a 1927 fire apparently impacted laws for over 40 years regarding children attending cinemas. If you Wikipedia “Laurier Palace Theatre Fire”, it gives the entire story. The subsequent laws seemed even more complex than just a reaction to that fire.
Expo `67 is also mentioned in the article, and that is when we were in Montreal.

CT only has a “Le Laurier” Theatre in Montreal listed. I will post about the Wiki story there as well.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 24, 2008 at 11:43 am

Greetings Mpol. I posted my recollection to one of the Canadian theatres listed on CT. In hopes someone might also recall the ban I referred to.

Since our experience was in 1967, and the fire that drove the ban was recent as of then, it would have occurred after your above timeline of late 50's/early60’s. Also we were 7 & 11, and not teenagers.

My mother also recalled our Canadian encounter when I asked. Because it reminded her of a similar experience she, her mother & small brothers had at the Gold Coast(Village Theatre) at Clark & North in Chicago, in the `40’s.
Though a fire was not the reason there or then. The Gold Coast at one time just didn’t admit children to anything.

Hopefully someone will recall the Canadian theatre where the fire took place, and the subsequent ban that followed.
For how long it remained in effect, and if it was isolated to Montreal would be helpful to know too.

MPol
MPol on November 24, 2008 at 10:01 am

Children barred from most theatres? That I didn’t know about, because I recall going to a number of movies in theatres when I was a pre-teen, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, accompanied by my parents, of course.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 21, 2008 at 11:17 am

Just noticed the 105th anniversary of the fire coming up in December.
And 50th for the Queen of Angels School.

There was a theatre in Montreal Canada that had a horrific fire at a children’s matinee in the early 60's. When we visited Expo67, children were still barred from most theaters. Laws were rewritten about outward opening exit doors there too. But not sure how forbidding children in the theatres was going to change anything.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 21, 2008 at 11:10 am

Ah, thanks. I guess I got confused because I thought the Iroquois would be listed as such, because that’s what it was built as. I haven’t mastered the criteria yet on why some theatre’s get listed by their interim names.
I understand listing them by current names, but thought for recollection sake that they’d be listed for sure as their original name.
I guess that’s why there IS a “Theater Search Tool”. Thanks again.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 21, 2008 at 10:51 am

Thanks Lost Memory for steering me in the right direction.
My grandmother told my mother that as late as the 1920’s, a woman who survived the Iroquois fire used to walk the downtown streets wearing “Widow’s Weeds”. Some type of layered black veils to hide the burns to her face.

Also apologies to whatever CT page I wrongly associated the Garrick to be the theatre that burned.

dplomin1954
dplomin1954 on February 12, 2008 at 9:48 pm

I have been a rabid historian on the Iroquois for many years, and have a copy of the “Memorial Edition” from 1904, and probably have memorized all of it. I was allways SHOCKED that not a single person was fined/prisoned for this tragedy, but also being corupt Chicago in 1903 could explain a LOT. Even how damaging the testimony was from so many??? I surprised that the theater’s manager, the building inspectors, etc….all didn’t have nightmares afterwards and commiting suicide for causing so many young lives to perish!
I wonder if anyone has any remnants of the theater in their private collections? I know it sounds morbid, but people Do take things from disaster sites. Like the John Dillinger alley by the Biograph Theater? News stories wrote than women were dipping their handkerchiefs in the blood soaked alley scene. What kind of mementos were salvaged after the Iroquois Theater Fire, and what was salvaged when they tore the building down?
I bet there’s a curse for whoever has THOSE souveniers!

Grmajan3
Grmajan3 on July 21, 2007 at 5:51 pm

In working on my family history, I came across a picture of four of my ancestors. They were the wife and children of a cousin of my Great Grandfather. They perished in the fire that day. In doing additional research on the Internet, I found mention of a book titled “Chicago Death Trap.” I purchased and have read the book and cannot fathom what it must have been like for those theatregoers and the young woman who was suspended on wires over the stage waiting to perform her aerial ballet.

dbakin
dbakin on February 21, 2007 at 2:42 pm

After reading so many accounts of this tragic fire we are happy to say that our story did not end in that way.
There has always been a family story about how our grandfather was a musician at the Iroquois and was able to escape down to the river.
We have a chair that was from the theatre and we would like to be able to document any of this. Would appreciate hearing from others.
Respectfully,
db leverich

Broan
Broan on November 1, 2006 at 12:08 pm

Here is a postcard view.

Arturo
Arturo on June 5, 2006 at 9:39 am

To Jan Foy,
my name is Arturo and I met you and your husband at the World Boxing Hall of Fame a couple of years ago. Lou Filippo had graciously invited my friends and I to sit with you all. You were all so nice to us and I was very very honored to meet your husband and he treated me with such “class” and didn’t know me from a hill of beans. I will never forget the generosity that you all showed us.
I would love to interview your husband for my Boxing website. I am narrating for the documentary that has been filmed on my mentor Chuck Bodak and would love your husbands input. I also have a million questions about the Foy legacy. I actually have a pic of myself and your husband on my website www.friscoboxing.net
Please contact me at
respectfully,
Arturo Gastelum

SDRoseman
SDRoseman on May 2, 2006 at 1:57 pm

Until today, I was unaware of the tragic Iroquois Theater fire. I’m working on typing my Great Great Great Grandmother Louisa Hall-Cluts’s diary and came across this entry from 1903:

“On December 30th there was a terrible disaster of fire at the Iroquois theater, Chicago. Cousin William Hoyt’s daughter, Mrs. Ernelie Fox with her three children all perished in the disaster. Mr Fox has since died. So that family are all gone. The funeral of the four fine victims were held at the Graceland Chapel. Cousin William and wife came from their winter home in Green Cove Springs, Florida to attend the funeral of their only daughter. Such a dreadful blow! Nearly 600 people were lost in that fire. Cousin Lottie, Aunt Lydia and Robert Bennett wrote me about it. I could hardly sleep nights thinking about it.

There are so many terrible sorrows in life that come to many of us that almost crush."

janfoy
janfoy on April 6, 2006 at 12:10 pm

My name is Jan Foy. My husband is Eddie Foy III. His grandfather, Eddie Foy, wrote a book in 1928 called “Clowning Through Life” in which he recalls the Iroquois fire. It was because of this fire that we now have exit signs on all theater doors and also, that the doors open out instead of inward. If the doors in the Iroquois Theater had opened out, more people would have survived. Instead, bodies of trampled women and children stacked up at the doors and they could not be opened. Also in the book I mentioned, he recalls being lifted up as a child and viewing the body of Abraham Lincoln in his casket. He recalls with great clarity being separated from his family for days during the great Chicago fire. It’s a facinating book.