Movie Theater Coming to Chicago’s “Block 37”
CHICAGO, IL — According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, movies are making a return to Block 37, the long-vacant block of the Loop bordered by State, Washington, Dearborn, and Randolph Streets. Almost two decades after the last movie palace on the block, the United Artists, along with almost everything else on the site was razed, Muvico Entertainment LLC has signed a letter of intent to open an 800 seat, seven screen movie complex at 108 N. State Street. The Fort Lauderdale-based Muvico recently opened its first movie theater in the Chicagoland area, in the suburb of Rosemont.
The theater is now the second retail tenant announced for the 108 N. State project, along with David Barton Gym. The block will also include, among other things, the new studios of CBS' Chicago affilate, a residential tower, a hotel tower, and a transit station for the “L”, providing express service to the two major Chicago airports.
With the influx of residents moving into the Loop in recent years, the idea of opening a movie house at Block 37 seemed like a good idea to Muvico president Michael Whalen. “We think the demographics downtown are fantastic. We think’s it’s an up-and-coming trendier area”. Whalen says that he plans to sign a lease within the next month for 30,000 square feet on the fourth floor near the gym, opening in early 2009.
The theater will feature reserved seating, digital projection, and free popcorn, as well as a bar and restaurant operated by Levy Restaurants. Reserved weekend tickets are expected to run $13-$15 dollars.
Not only is Block 37 the site of the former Balaban & Katz United Artists Theater, but Balaban & Katz Roosevelt Theater was also on Block 37.
“Gee Dad, it was a WurliTzer!”
It is great that there will apparently be agan a functioning movie theater on the site where once two great theaters were, but only 800 seats total among the seven screening rooms? If the division is more or less equal, that works out to about 110 seats per room, and if there is even one “large” room, then the others would be even smaller. It sounds like another version of what Landmark operates at Century Centre to the north. If the intent is to go after the art or speciality market, things might get rough for Century Centre and the theater at Piper’s Alley.
I have heard that Muvico really knows how to make a presentation. So I am excited to hear this news.
Uhh, 7 screens & only 800 seats? That’s waaay too small. They should try to at least get it to 7 screens, 1100, maybe 1200 seats in total. If they go with the 800 seat capacity, they those rooms will be smaller & more cramped than Water Tower during an event film.
I am glad to see that their is going to be a movie theatre on State street once more. AMC River East 21 is a wonderful theatre but in this on on State Street will be easer to get to buy public transit.
Does any on know if thay are going to have some kind of history of the two movie theatres that were on Block 37 by that i mean the UA and the Roosevelt. One more thing what is it going to be named does anyone know or has any one heard anything?
Thank you for your time :)
How bout doing something like the Phoenix Theatres, Union Station 9 in Washington DC and giving each theater the name of a former theater in the Loop with a nice photo of that late great theater next to it’s entrance?
MUVICO CINESTAGE 7 THEATRES (Chicago folks will get the Cinestage)
Michael Todd (Sorry Mike Todd your theater is #8 and they only plan 7 theaters, but I did get Cinestage in. R.I.P.)
Monroe, Loop, Today (also out of luck)
Muvico is a class act and this can only be good news. The limited seating may be a comfort issue.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the above-mentioned MUVICO CINESTAGE 7 THEATRES featured recreations of the classic Chicago theatre marquees above each auditorium entrance?
I can see the bright lights of the State-Lake, the Woods and the United Artists flashing now!
And the velvet red seats too!