How You Can Help the Uptown Theatre

posted by Ross Melnick on August 23, 2005 at 12:46 pm

CHICAGO, IL — The following email was sent by “UptownAdviser”:

“HOW YOU CAN HELP (worth reading!)

Donations and memberships are needed at this time
Help share the cost of publicity, communications and events Further the Friends mission

Join us.

The concept and function of “Friends of the Uptown” has been an active force in maintaining and promoting the UPTOWN THEATRE, Chicago, since the mid-to-late 1970s. That’s when volunteers began petitioning the ownership at the time (Plitt Theatres) to find additional rental income for the building, including special events and rock concerts. Volunteers also provided after-hours cleaning and maintenance that kept the UPTOWN from complete ruin. When the building closed in 1981, volunteer work continued.

We formalized and announced the organization in 1998 as “Friends of the Uptown,” a volunteer outreach activity of the established not-for- profit “The Landmark Uptown Theatre Corp.” This Illinois 501©3 corporation was formed out of necessity to maintain the building’s
1925 bronze and crystal chandeliers and safeguard them off-site from further damage and loss. Unfortunately, the building was not secure during that time, and the chandeliers had to be removed. While the UPTOWN is now secure, the chandeliers are kept off-site.

Today, Friends of the Uptown continues to be an active advocate for the renovation and reuse of the UPTOWN THEATRE for an entertainment use of some kind. We consistently provide current and factual information and the building and its potential to neighbors, fans,
students, journalists, tradesmen, prospects and elected officials. Currently, we need to add to the leadership team and have at least three key positions or roles open that require time, attention and personal resourcefulness. If you are interested, please send a cover letter and resume.

Our informed, guided tours of the building and the neighborhood have been very popular with and profitable for the various organizations that have co-hosted them, such as the Uptown Chamber of Commerce, Uptown Chicago Commission, Uptown Community Development Corporation, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago Neighborhood Tours, Theatre
Historical Society of America, the League of Historic American Theatres and Cinema Theatre Association (UK). “Uptown Adviser,” the popular, free monthly Friends of the Uptown electronic newsletter has more than 800 subscribers.

Your $40.00, tax-deductible, annual membership or other monetary donation will ensure that our public outreach and education work continues. To date, we had not solicited donations for Friends of the Uptown. We have simply worked out of pocket and used the small revenues from events (such as the Oct. 3, 1999, community dinner in the UPTOWN grand lobby) to pay phone, Internet, printing, mailing, advertisement, insurance and other costs associated with advocacy.

If you are experiencing financial hardship because of the current economy, then please feel free to join with a lesser or no donation. We want to include everyone who shares the interest in the UPTOWN. At this time, the building remains privately owned and in receivership. There is not yet a way to donate toward its ongoing stabilization and maintenance, which is being overseen by local officials.

Please note: Your $40.00 (US) or more donation supports The Landmark Uptown Theatre Corporation, a not-for-profit 501©(3) corporation, whose mission is to promote the preservation of the historic Uptown Theatre through community awareness and advocacy efforts directed to the current property owners and government officials, and related
preservation activities. You will receive a letter thanking you for your contribution and stating the amount that you donated. If you wish, the letter can serve as a receipt for your tax accounting.

Skill or service that you are willing to share with the effort: Donation or membership amount:

Checks payable to: Landmark Uptown Theatre Corp.
Mail to: Friends of the Uptown
c/o Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads
P.O. Box 409095
Chicago, IL 60640-9095

Questions? Call: (773) 250-7665

Save the Date: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
‘Memoirs’ film to be screened at Truman College

Friends is working with Truman College to screen the movie “Memoirs of a Movie Palace” at 6:30 pm. Thursday, Oct. 20, at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave., in Uptown. Seating is limited. The venue is Novar Hall, which seats about 220, first-come, first-served.

“Memoirs” (1979) is the story of a theatre very similar to Uptown, the Loew’s Kings, Brooklyn, which also remains closed and without a plan for reuse. The film was shot on location as the theatre was drawing down in the late 1970s. If someone had had the foresight to shoot a movie in Uptown (minus the Brooklyn accents!), it would be a similar movie with the same kinds of memories and sentiments expressed.

This event will be confirmed soon via Uptown Adviser.

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Comments (1)

Rebirth on November 21, 2005 at 10:44 pm
Any and all questions will be answered by
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