Comments from GrandMogul

Showing 51 - 75 of 98 comments

GrandMogul commented about Cinestage Theatre on Feb 19, 2007 at 11:07 am

Would you believe?—-David Niven at the Cinestage? Chicago Tribune, Sunday, April 13, 1958, s. 7, p. 13, c. 1:


David Niven, who stars as the intrepid Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in 80 Days,” which is in its second year at the Cinestage theater, will arrive in Chicago tomorrow for two days. His visit will include a visit to the Cinestage and press, TV, and radio interviews. This will be Niven’s first visit to Chicago.

GrandMogul commented about Loop Theater on Feb 19, 2007 at 11:01 am

First 3-D movie shown in Chicago was at the Telenews, here’s the ad from Chicago Tribune, Thursday, January 22, 1953, s. 3, p. 7, c. 1:

There is Only 1 perfect Tri-Opticon 3 Dimension motion pictures, color by technicolor—-5th dazzling week! “Adventure in Space” “The program marks a milestone in motion picture history!”—Chicago Tribune; “brilliant visibility!”—Sam Lesner, Daily News; Telenews, State and Randolph.

GrandMogul commented about United Artists Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 11:53 am

At what movie theatre did glamorous Marilyn Monroe make her only Chicago stage appearance?

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Thursday, March 19, 1959, ad announcing:

Scoop! Today Only IN PERSON MARILYn MONROE, on stage! One Appearance Only at 12 Noon!

NOTE: She was in Chicago for the World Premiere of the Billy Wilder comedy, “Some Like It Hot.”

GrandMogul commented about Chicago Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 11:46 am

When did the first Hollywood-style premiere take place in Chicago, and at what theatre?

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE gives us the answer: Thursday, October 24, 1940, p. 23, c.1 (news item):


Chicago showed Hollywood something yesterday about putting on a real motion picture premiere—and a day early at that. But the rousing reception given the arriving “Northwest Mounted Police” stars and Producer Cecil B. DeMille was only a foretaste of what may be expected when Chicago has its first real motion picture premiere tonight.

The premiere of the DeMille technicolor production tonight is double barreled. First of all WGN, the Mutual network, and the Canadian corporation network will bring the radio premiere to the nation and to Canada. This is a scoop for WGN, for the premiere is exclusive over these networks. It will be presented from 7:30 to 8 o'clock on the regular In Chicago Tonight program under the direction of William A. Bacher.

GrandMogul commented about Will Rogers Theater on Feb 9, 2007 at 11:39 am

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ad for Saturday, September 5, 1936, announced that the Will Rogers opened on that date. So sad they demolished it, so many treasures gone, and replaced by banality … oh, well …

GrandMogul commented about Arlington Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 8:15 am

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ad for Friday, August 2, 1959 announced the opening of two theatres: The Coral Theatre, at 95th and Cicero, “Your Family Theatre,” and of the Arlington, downtown Arlington Height—-I’m assuming that new owners rehabed both and they had re-openings.

GrandMogul commented about Coral Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 8:11 am

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ad announced on Friday, August 2, 1959, the opening of the Coral theatre, at 95th and Cicero, “Your Family Theatre,” and of the Arlington theatre, downtown Arlington Heights—-I’m assuming that the Coral must’ve been rehabed by new owners, and reopened.

GrandMogul commented about North Center Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 7:53 am

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ad for Wednesday, February 3, 1926, announced that the North Center theatgre, Lincoln & Robey (now Damen) avenue, at Irving Park Road, opened on that date.

GrandMogul commented about Terminal Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 7:49 am

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ad for Thursday, January 7, 1926 announced that the Ascher’s New Terminal Theatre, Lawrence & Spaulding, “The Pride of Albany Park,” was opened on the above date. The old Terminal at 3308 W. Lawrence had become the new Metro theatre, opening the previous year. I’m assuming they liked that name, “Terminal,” because the Ravenswood branch of the rapid transit terminated at Lawrence and Kimball, not far from these theatres.

GrandMogul commented about Metro Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 7:43 am

CHICAGO TRIBUNE ad announced on Thursday, December 31, 1925 that the Metro theatre (formerly the Terminal), 3308 W. Lawrence avenue, had opened on that date. The “new” Terminal theatre opened in 1926.

GrandMogul commented about Woods Theatre on Feb 9, 2007 at 7:36 am


CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Thursday, July 31, 1958:

TOWER TICKER, by Herb Lyon

“… Ticker Takes: The Woods theater discontinued its all night movies. No night people? … ”

GrandMogul commented about Congress Theater on Feb 8, 2007 at 10:47 am

An ad in the Chicago Tribune, Sunday, September 5, 1926 announced:

OPENS TODAY AT 1 PM, Lubliner & Trinz' magnificent new CONGRESS theatre, 2135 Milwaukee Ave., Near Armitage; in person as special guest, Mary Philbin, Universal Screen Star; Miss Philbin will release 1,000 balloons from the roof of the Congress Theatre at 12:45 pm, each containing a voucher for a piece of bona fide real estate; grand opening programme: Reginald Denny in “Rolling Home”; vaudeville “Carnival of Venice,” a surprise of instrumental music.

GrandMogul commented about Garrick Theatre on Feb 8, 2007 at 8:54 am


Chicago Tribune, Sunday, March 31, 1957, s. 7, p. 13, c. 4:


The Garrick theater will reopen Thursday, April 18, with the midwest premiere of “Fear Strikes Out,” the picture based on the life of Jim Piersall, outfielder for the Boston Red Sox. It stars Anthony Perkins as Piersall and Karl Malden, former Academy award winner. Norma Moore and Perry Wilson are featured in the dramatic story of a father’s obsessive drive to achieve his own thwarted desires thru his son.

First published as a biography with the same title, it became a best seller and later appeared in condensed form in one national magazxine and serially in another.

The Garrick, one of Randolph street’s first stage and motion picture theaters, was converted into a television studio-theater for WBKB and later WBBM, in August, 1950. Prior to its conversion it presented top Hollywood films.

Many persons will recall the 1920s and 1930s when the Garrick was one of the outstanding legitimate theaters in Chicago. Among the early stage attractions presented at the Garrick was Theda Bara in “The Blue Flame,” Fay Bainter in “East is West,” Ina Claire in “Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife,” and Jane Cowl in “Juliet.”

GrandMogul commented about Congress Theater on Feb 8, 2007 at 8:45 am

The Congress Theatre went “talkie” in 1928, as this ad informs the public—–

Ad from the Chicago Tribune, Saturday, November 10, 1928:

TODAY, Complete New Policy, come and hear this, new marvel of “sound” presented with our newly installed VITAPHONE-MOVIETONE, come on everybody! See and hear this thunderous inaugural program, the talking and sound sensation, “Women They Talk About,” hear the beautiful mellow voice of Irene Rich, hear William Collier, Jr., Claude Gillingwater and Audrey Ferris talk.

Star Vaudeville Acts in sound. Van & Schenck, “The pennant winning battery of songland”; see and hear Abe Lyman, and his “Good News” Orchestra; see and hear Giovanni Martinelli, famous Opera Tenor; the First “Our Gang” Comedy in sound, “School Begins”; see and hear Fox Movietone News

GrandMogul commented about Portage Theatre on Feb 8, 2007 at 8:36 am

According to a news item in the Chicago Sun, Wednesday, January 7, 1942, B&K purchased the Portage, Admiral and Drake theatres.

And thanks G. Feret for the info on Miss Rivers—-adds to the theatre’s already interesting history …

GrandMogul commented about Biograph Theater on Feb 8, 2007 at 8:01 am

Ad for the Biograph, Chicago Tribune, Friday, July 22, 1960 (theatre section):

BIOGRAPH, 26th anniversary of Dillinger’s killing in front of the Biograph! See it now at this theatre where it happened! James Stewart “The FBI Story” plus Myron Healy as John Dillinger in “Guns Don’t Argue” Open 1:30 Cool!

GrandMogul commented about Cadillac Palace Theatre on Feb 8, 2007 at 7:56 am

Would you believe that the famed stage actor Bela Lugosi once graced the stage at the RKO Palace? Yes, as the following news item will explain:

Chicago Daily News, Wednesday, February 28, 1940, p. 23, c. 4:


Arrangements have been completed for Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price and Margaret Lindsay to make personal appearances at four of the performances at the Palace tomorrow in conjunction with the double world premiere of the Universal pictures, “Black Friday” and “The House of Seven Gables.”

Bela Lugosi, who is co-starred with Boris Karloff in “Black Friday,” will arrive in Chicago tomorrow morning from San Francisco to join Vincent Price, who is scheduled to arrive today from Hollywood, and Margaret Lindsay, also arriving today or tomorrow by plane from Massachusetts. Price and Miss Lindsay are starred in “The House of Seven Gables.”

The showing of these attractions is an event in entertainment circles of Chicago, in that for the first time in motion picture history two attractions are to be given their initial world showing at the same time and on the same program.

GrandMogul commented about Michael Todd Theatre on Feb 8, 2007 at 7:42 am

News Item:
Chicago Tribune, Sunday, December 16, 1962, s. 5, p. 10, c. 1:

Film Notes
The Michael Todd theater has scheduled Christmas to New Year matinees of “Mutiny on the Bounty” with a 2 o'clock performance every day from Christmas thru New Year’s day. The New Year’s eve performance will be at 8 pm. “Mutiny on the Bounty” stars Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian and Trevor Howard as Capt. Bligh in the new adaptation of the Nordhoff and Hall novel about the famous mutiny in the South Seas.

GrandMogul commented about Halsted Twin Outdoor Theatre on Feb 8, 2007 at 7:37 am

Chicago Tribune, Sunday, December 16, 1962, s. 5, p. 10, c. 1 (item)

The Halsted Outdoor theater has completed installation of electric in-car heaters and will be open all winter. The current double feature screen fare is “Assignment Outer Space,” in color, plus “Phantom Planet,” both science-fiction thrillers.

GrandMogul commented about Lyric Theatre on Feb 8, 2007 at 7:29 am

Would you believe that film and recording star Doris Day opened the new Lyric in 1962? The following item will explain:

Chicago Tribune, Sunday, December 16, 1962, s. 5, p. 10, c. 1 (item with photo of Miss Day):


Doris Day will officially open the new Lyric theater in Blue Island, by pressing a button 2,300 miles away. Next Friday, in Los Angeles, Miss Day on the lot of Universal-International pictures will press a key that will be heard at the premiere festivities of the Lyric, 12952 S. Western av., at 7:30 pm. When the sound is heard Mayor John F. Hart of Blue Island will cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the official opening of the theater.

NOTE: Most interesting, but since it was 2,300 miles away in some room somewhere at Universal, how would they know for sure that Miss Day pressed the signal, or someone else?

GrandMogul commented about Villa Theater on Feb 7, 2007 at 12:22 pm

News item: Chicago Tribune, Thursday, August 30, 1934, p. 3, c. 4:


Three youths were convicted by a jury yesterday of robbery with a gun, and sentenced immediately by Judge Benjamin P. Epstein, in the Criminal court, to one year to life in the state penitentiary at Joliet. They were James Arido, alias Muzzo, Peter Volpe, Tony Pizzello, all 19 years old and Philip Colonero, 18 years old. All had previous criminal records.Three employes of the Milo theater, 1821 South Loomis street, identified the first three as the bandits who robbed the theater box office of $65 on June 30. Although they were unable to identify Colonero, driver of the bandit car, who waited at the curb, he was implicated in a confession made by all four to Assistant State’s Attorneys Irwin Clorfene and Frank Donoghue. They were arrested July 7 on suspicion, and were subsequently identifed in three other robberies. Judge Epstein overruled a motion for a new trial.

GrandMogul commented about Lamar Theater on Feb 7, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Ad in the Chicago Tribune, Friday, August 29, 1930 announced:


Davis (formerly Pershing); Byrd, at Madison at Cicero, Lamar (formerly Oak Park)—-Oak Park’s Intimate Talkie Theater! Today door open at 1:30 pm, Warner Baxter, “Arizona Kid”; musical comedy duo Shaw & Lee, Variety Acts, Living News Events.

GrandMogul commented about Central Park Theatre on Feb 7, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Chicago Evening Post item for Saturday, October 27, 1917:


The Central Park Theater is one of the latest additions to the group of amusement centers in Chicago and one of the finest picture theaters in the country, if we are to believe all reports. So many unusual features have been incorporated into it by the builders that it would be impossible for one person to catalog them all, but one of the most important is a new development of the projection machine which makes it practically impossible for the operator to give anything but perfect projection. The Central Park theater is located at Central Park avenue and West Twelfth street, in the heart of a unified “home” neighborhood, and expects to draw its capacity of 2,600 persons from the immediate district.

NOTE: This theatre opened the same day as the Peerless theatre, at Grand and Oakwood Boulevards, this being an Ascher Bros. house.

GrandMogul commented about Villa Theater on Feb 7, 2007 at 12:01 pm

A strange death, perhaps murder, though more probably a suicide, took place at the Milo, as this news item details:

Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, October 8, 1941, p. 22, c. 6:


Maxwell street police last night were investigating the death of Miss Clara Sirigas, 23 years old, 3611 Hemlock street, Indiana Harbor. The young woman, who police say is a graduate of the University of Chicago, called to see her uncle, John Manta, owner of the Milo theater, 1821 South Loomis street. He was at the theater, and she went to the women’s lounge, from which she failed to return. She was found shot thru the heart, a small pistol at her side.

GrandMogul commented about Biograph Theater on Feb 7, 2007 at 11:55 am

The Dillinger police shoot-out was not the only one that took place in, or near, a Chicago movie theatre, as the following news item explains:

Chicago Daily News, Thursday, August 18, 1955, p. 5, c. 9:


The biggest—and bloodiest—manhunts in Chicago history have always been staged in the tracking down of cop killers. The search for Richard Carpenter recalls other names: John Dillinger, Martin J. Durkin, Gus Amedeo. The search for Durkin ended in his capture. The hunts for Dillinger and Amedeo ended with their deaths.

The bloodiest of manhunts was staged for the notorious Dillinger. Sixteen men lost their lives in the months he was being sought. Several of the dead were policemen, jail guards and an Ohio sheriff. Others were hoodlums and Dillinger himself. Dillinger was shot down by FBI men July 22, 1934, as he left the Biograph theater, 2433 Lincoln. This is three miles from the Biltmore theater, where policeman Clarence Kerr staged a gunfight Wednesday night with Carpenter.

Gus Amedeo was shot 13 times last Oct. 29 by police who had searched the city for the cop killer. He died in a gun duel at Clark and Berwyn, where police intercepted him, a few minutes after he left a movie at the Calo theater, 5401 Clark. Amedeo was wanted for the slaying of Detective Charles Annerino, who tried to arrest the killer in a saloon.

The hunt in 1925 for Durkin, slayer of federal agent Edwin C. Shanahan and once indicted for the slaying of Police Sgt. Harry Gray, was staged by hundreds of police and FBI men. It led from Chicago to Hollywood and back to St. Louis, where Durkin was captured and sent to prison.

Please see under Calo and Biltmore theatres for information concerning the Carpenter and Amedeo shoot-outs.