Balaban and Katz book

posted by DBalaban on March 17, 2005 at 5:22 am

I’m David Balaban, Grandson of David Balaban, director of theater operations for Balaban and Katz until 1949. I’m writing a book entitled, “ The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz” The book will be published in December of 2005. It will contain hundreds of pictures of Balaban and Katz theaters, people and never before seen documents about the unique company that my family operated. If you have a Balaban and Katz memory or picture, please email it to me for possible inclusion in the book. Thanks!

Comments (12)

CRCC on March 17, 2005 at 10:09 am

Hi David,

I do have an old ticket book which I think is from the 1940s. It’s a “Balaban & Katz Theaters Happiness Book” which originally sold for $5. On the back are listed the theatres located in the Chicago area, 49 in all. A scan of it can be found on a signature drive I’m hosting for the Uptown Theatre in Chicago. In the past few weeks we’ve added several more new and old photographs of the interior of the theatre. If you’re interested, I can send you a better scan of the ticket book.

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DBalaban on March 17, 2005 at 12:23 pm

yes Joanne that would be great. My grand father David managed the uptown theater, the rivera and the north shore for quite a while

I really appreciate your help. and the preservation work your group is involved in.
I am producing a television documentary about b and K as well
david balaban
Balaban Family Pictures

Ziggy on March 17, 2005 at 2:41 pm

I don’t have any memories of Balaban & Katz theatres because I didn’t grow up in Chicago, but I sure would like to know when the book comes out!

sdoerr on March 17, 2005 at 3:11 pm

Don’t forget to include info on the theaters in Detroit they once had, the Michigan and the Adams. I can provide history and photos if needed.

rivest266 on March 17, 2005 at 4:29 pm

at Cinematheque Quebecoise’s library I photocopied a book called

fundamental Principles
Balabain & Katz
Theatre Management

copyright 1926

the forward was written by Barney Balaban and Sam Katz

the book is about 115 pages

Jim Huffman
Jim Huffman on March 17, 2005 at 8:14 pm

Hi David
If you are interested, I can provide you with a personal critique of Chicago Theater usher operations in 1955 & 56, which included the last year of the stage shows and commencing with the movie format.
I was employed as an usher during those years.
Please let me know if you are interested and I will be more then happy to compose it.
Jim Huffman

DBalaban on March 17, 2005 at 9:47 pm

Yes Jim I would be very happy to hear about your memories of the usher operations at the Chicago theater in those years. My uncle John was in charge and had his office upstairs. I believe he died in 1955 . Thank you very much!
David Balaban

DBalaban on March 17, 2005 at 9:54 pm

Mike revest, I have a copy of that book about B and K theater management . Its interesting that yours was from a Canadian library!

kimel0001 on March 18, 2005 at 11:09 pm

I’m sorry I don’t have anything to contribute, but I wish you the best of luck with your book. Looking forward to reading it.

AJG on September 28, 2005 at 5:45 am

Hello David:
My Grandmother and Grandaunt Capitola & Georgette De Wolf repectively, performed as headliners in many of your Grandfather’s theatres, including the State-Lake Theatre. I have a playbill of one of their performances there (probably 1916-ish). Much to my family’s shagrin, the collection of playbills and reviews was detroyed, leaving only the one I mention. Fortunately, we do have a fabulous collection of professional photographs!!
Do you know where the Vaudeville era playbills, posters, and other promotional materials from B&K theatres can be found? Specifically years 1890-1920.
With gratitiude for any help you can offer,

AJG on September 28, 2005 at 2:56 pm

CORRECTION TO PREVIOUS: the State-Lake Theatre playbill I have would be 1919 or ‘20.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on December 7, 2005 at 9:11 am

David, here it is December 2005 and I’m just seeing this thread. A good friend was one of the last general managers (1978 to 1982) of the Chicago Theatre for Plitt. He was also General Manager of Loop Operation which included the State Lake, United Artists and Oriental. He received a lot of the oral history of the place. Is the book finished, or is there still time for you to talk with him before the book goes to press?

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