Plans for movie theater in Chicago’s Block 37 still stymied

posted by CSWalczak on April 14, 2010 at 7:45 am

CHICAGO, IL — Although negotiations to open a cinema in Chicago’s Block 37 are still ongoing, the chances for success appear dim. The major issues involve construction costs and rent and the complications wrought by the ongoing property foreclosure proceedings.

“I really would love to do a theater,” said Whalen in an interview with the Tribune. “But given the uncertainty of whether Bank of America and the other lenders would fund the required tenant allowance to construct a theater, at some point, we have to move on.”
Muvico Entertainment LLC, one of the first tenants to agree to lease space at the long-troubled retail development in 2007, initially pulled out of the project last June, setting off a string of events that led Bank of America to move to foreclose on Block 37 developer Joseph Freed and Associates in late October.

Read more in Chicago Breaking Business.

Comments (4)

HowardBHaas on April 14, 2010 at 8:28 am

Perhaps the site is cursed due to the decision to demolish the apparently wonderful and historic United Artists. /theaters/1015/
I saw the exterior in the 1980s but didn’t get inside.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on April 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

The Roosevelt Theatre was also in this block.

CinemarkFan on April 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm

With the proposed 7 screen, 800 seat configuration, I don’t know if it would’ve been a good idea anyway. With 7 screens, you need at least 1200-1300 seats for the amount of people who would be going there. Oh well, perhaps a small multiplex on the top floors of the Sullivan Center could be built. In any case, a theater in the loop should be a few bucks cheaper than the Showplace ICON. The prices there are jacked up.

And I wish I could’ve been alive to see the United Artists up close.

JRS40 on April 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

Cinemark the UA was, in my opinion, the most beautiful of the loop theaters. The decor and colors were simply amazing. The fact that the theater lasted longer than all but the Woods is a miracle but I think the decor had a lot to do with it. The owners had started letting it go in the late 70’s with video games too close to the auditorium doors so you could hear them inside. And don’t get me started on the problem with mice. In that category it was the worst theater of the bunch I think. If only the owners cared enough to take better care of these beautiful theaters.

As far as these new theaters go I am highly disappointed to see that nothing is happening now. It’s in a perfect spot and traffic for it would no doubt be heavy. No theater has opened in the loop in 60 years or so, so it is about time. Interestingly when the pedway opened late last year there was a directory stating the Muvico theaters was opening soon. Odd that Muvico dropped out last June yet they kept Muvico’s name on the directory several months later when opening to the public. Perhaps to lure prospective businesses? In any case Muvico’s name is STILL on the directory. They need to remove it.

Someone needs to put a good arthouse in there and bring back the traffic that the Fine Arts used to get. Give the Century Landmark a little competition and get rid of Piper’s Alley once and for all.

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