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Ad announcing the opening of the Ellantee: Chicago Tribune, Saturday, March 1, 1919:
OPENS TODAY, AT 6 PM. LUBLINER AND TRINZ' NEW THEATRE ELLANTEE, DEVON AVENUE AT CLARK STREET, with Dorothy Gish in “Boots” interwoven with a specialty orchestra and corresponding novelties; a program of high standards
News item, Chicago American, Thursday, September 5, 1940, p. 21, c. 6:
‘MARIHUANA’ AT ROGERS
The Rogers Theater, 2516 Fullerton av., is showing a film called “Marihuana,” today and tomorrow. The picture depicts the devastation the weed causes among young people and efforts of authorities to curb the use of it.
To marihuana, cultivated secretly in the United States, the police attribute a great percentage of juvenile delinquency. The film was produced with the co-operation of federal narcotic authorites and officials of many states. The picture is being shown at the Rogers to adult audiences only.
News item concerning the Julian: Chicago American, Thursday, September 5, 1940, p. 21, c. 6:
JULIAN REOPENS SEPT. 14
Chicago’s home of Scandinavian talking pictures, the Julian Theater, 918 Belmont av., which has been closed for several months because the war in Europe caused almost complete cancellation of films, has succeeded in obtaining a new Adolf Jahr feature which might be the last to be seen on the screen of the North Side cinema until the events overseas are cleared. The latest importation, “Only a Trumpeter,” will reopoen the Julian on Saturday, September 14.
It’s hard to believe that in obscure Libertyville, far removed from the glamor and glitz of Hollywood, a world premiere of a major Hollywood film took place—-but a premiere did take place at the Liberty theatre (seating capacity 700) in 1942, during World War II—-the following news item will explain:
Chicago Tribune, Thursday, September 24, 1942, p. 16, c. 7:
WAR BOND FETE IN LIBERTYVILLE YIELDS $65,000
TOWN HAS WORLD PREMIERE OF MOVIE
Residents of Libertyville in Lake county [population 3,900] stepped out last night on a duel mission. With all the panoply of Hollywood repeated they saw the world premiere of a new movie, “Desperate Journey,” starring Errol Flynn, and they bought war savings bonds to the amount of $65,000 or more.
The town had already purchased more than $110,000 of the bonds and the new total of $175,000 brought a compliment from Gov. Dwight H. Green, who was present.
Ad in the Chicago Tribune, Saturday, May 3, 1930, announced: New Harper, 53rd and Harper, Grand Opening Today, Western Electric Sound, Entirely redecorated; Jack Mulhall, Sue Carol in “Her Golden Calf.”
The following ad must’ve been placed to announce that the Biltmore had gone “talkie”:
Ad in Chicago Tribune, Friday, August 1, 1930:
Publix Greater Talkie Theaters, an event of great importance for the West Side! Be among the tremendous throngs who will see the magnificent splendor of this perfect talking picture theater! Biltmore Theater, Division near Damen. Opens Today, at 4 pm; opening program, Paramount’s thrilling mystery drama, “The Return of Dr. Fum Manchu, with Warner Oland, Jean Arthur and Neil Hamilton
Chicago Tribune ad for Friday August 29, 1930 announces: “Attend the opening of one of these wonder talkie theaters! Byrd, Madison at Cicero, Chicago’s Wonder Talkie Theater!
An ad in the Chicago Tribune, Friday, September 12, 1932, announces that the new Lindy, opens today at 6 pm, 3437 Ogden, with Billie Dove and Clive Brook in “Sweethearts and Wives.” Everything New!
Ad in the Chicago Tribune for Saturday, September 1, 1917, announces the new Irving, Irving Park Boulevard at Crawford—Opens Tonite—with first exclusive showing in Chicago of Mary Miles Minter, “Charity Castle” Irving—-the new theater of comfort and luxury, presenting the utmost in photoplays with proper musical accompaniment, etc.
Chicago Evening Post, Saturday, October 27, 1917:
ASCHER’S NEW PEERLESS THEATER OPENS TODAY
Ascher Brothers will add to their string of theaters the Peerless, on Grand boulevard near Fortieth street.
Chicago Evening Post ad indicates that the Central Park theatre opened on Saturday, October 27, 1917. It was a B&K theatre.
Chicago Evening Post, Saturday, November 10, 1917, p. 8:
ASCHER BROTHERS OPEN ANOTHER NEW THEATER
One of the seven new theaters in Chicago is the Adelphi, the newest and most beautiful of the whole splendid Ascher string of motion-picture theaters. Located on North Clark street near Estes avenue, it is, with its straight lines and artistic interior decorations in pastel colorings, a monument worthy of the fifth largest industry of the country.
address given is 7070 North Clark, cor. Estes Ave; opened at 6 pm on the date given. The film was Metro’s, “Outwitted,” with Emily Stevens
Note: please see under the Biltmore theatre (also in Chicago) for another police shoot-out that happened in August, 1955 (less than a year after the Amedeo gunplay), and made headlines in all the newspapers!
Note: Please see under Calo theatre for another famed police-shoot-out that occured in October, 1954 (less than a year before the Carpenter gunplay). What can not be answered clearly is why in Chicago so many prominent shoot-outs are in or near movie theatres!
Chicago Tribune, Sunday, January 12, 1958, s. 9, p. 13, c. 4:
1958 IS SILVER ANNIVERSARY OF CLARK THEATER
This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of Chicago’s unusual movie theaters. In 1933, just seven years after the first full length talkie was introduced, the Clark theater opened its doors. Since then the Clark has shown more pictures than any other theater in Chicago. Since 1951 the theater has had a daily change of double features.
Under the management of Howard Lubliner and Bruce Trinz, the Clark has introduced many unique policies. One is the Film Festival, a special program of outstanding films from Hollywood and Europe. The 1957 festival was made up of academy award films comprising a total of 47 Oscar winners. In November, 1950, the Clark started its Sunday Film Guild to re-show two all-time film favorites each week.
Chicago American, Thursday, August 18, 1955, p. 1, c. 5:
KILLER ESCAPES TRAP
CARPENTER ‘WOUNDED’ IN MOVIE GUN FIGHT
More than 250 policemen searched a mile-square Northwest Side area today for Richard Carpenter after he seriously wounded a rookie patrolman and eluded a police trap.
Carpenter, 26, who had been sought since Monday night as the slayer of Detective William J. Murphy, 34, in the Roosevelt rd. subway station, was believed to have been wounded in a gun battle in the Biltmore Theater, 2046 Division st., with Patrolman Clarence Kerr, 26.
Chicago American, Thursday, August 18, 1955, p. 4, c. 1:
TERROR IN DARK TOLD
How it feels to be sitting between a killer and a policeman shooting it out in a darkened theater was told today by Mrs. Florence Novak, 44.
Mrs. Novak, of 1452 N. Ashland av., was in the Biltmore Theater last night with ther husband, Edward, and their son, Wayne, 11, when the gun battle between Richard Carpenter and Policeman Clarence Kerr began. Mrs. Novak told the Chicago American: “If you have never felt the breeze of bullets whizzing past your head, you won’t know the terror we went through.”
THREE FEET AWAY
Mrs. Novak said she was seated three feet from Carpenter when he started firing his revolver at Kerr, who was on the opposite side of the Novaks.
_________________ [new item]
WIFE’S PLEA IN VAIN
“I tried to stop him but he said he had to go in.” With these words Mrs. Marion Kerr, 24, described how her policeman husband, Clarence, 25, re-entered the Biltmore Theater and was shot by a man believed to be Richard Carpenter, accused slayer of a detective.
… Outside her husband’s room at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital, Mrs. Kerr told a Chicago American reporter she and her husband had gone to the theater to see a double feature, “Road to Denver” and “Call Me Lucky.”
[Note: John Payne starred in “Denver,” and Mickey Rooney starred in “Lucky.]
PHOTO and caption, Chicago Daily News, Thursday, August 18, 1955, p. 4, c. 1:
Copter searces rooftops in vicinity of Biltmore theater for Ricahrd Carpenter, 26, killer of Detective William J. Murphy. The Navy loaned the helicopter to the police kThursday in its hunt for Carpenter after he had wounded Policeman Richard Kerr in a gun duel in the Biltmore theater.
[Note: Marqee of theater displayed the following: Cinemascope Stereophonic Sound, Cool Comfort.]
It is hard to believe now, but the comfortable obsurity that the beautiful Biltmore had was so rudely shattered in August, 1955. Soon the entire city of Chicago would know the Biltmore—-as one of the most spectacular police shoot-outs occurred within that same theatre. It is so sad they tore it down. Such a treasure. Now, read further:
Chicago Sun-Times, Thursday, August 18, 1955, p. 1, c. l (headline):
POLICEMAN SHOT IN MOVIE
BLAME HUNTED COP KILLER
A policeman was shot in a West Side movie by a man believed to be Richard Carpenter, the accused slayer of Det. William J. Murphy.
The latest victim is Patrolman Clarence Kerr, shot once in the right side of the chest Wednesday night in the Biltmore Theater at 2046 W. Division.
The gunman ran from the theater and disappeared down an alley between Crystal and Division near Damen. He was accompanied by another man.
The Calo never got the fame the Biograph Theatre did, but it got close:
Chicago American, Saturday, October 30, 1954, p. 3, c. 5:
DILLINGER, COP KILLER TRAPS ALIKE
When police guns last night blasted the life out of cop-killer Agostino (Gus) Amedeo it seemed as if the clock had been turned back 20 years. On July 22, 1934 FBI agents and police killed the notorious outlaw, John Dillinger, as he left the Biograph Theater, 2433 Lincoln av. Amedeo was cut down at Berwyn av. and Clark st. as he walked from the Calo Theater, 5404 N. Clark st.
WOMAN AS BAIT
In each case, the murder of a policeman and a trap with a woman as bait resulted in the death of a killer. Chicago police had sworn to “get” Amedeo since Oct. 21 when he shot and killed Policeman Charles Annerino. The trap was sprung by Mrs. Dorothy Del Genio, the sister-in-law of Medeo’s sweetheart. Amedeo had asked her to leave a car for him at Berwyn and Clark. She told police, and 58 men led by Lt. Frank Pape were waiting.
It’s hard to believe, but the obscurity that the Calo languished in for decades was loudly interrupted back in 1954, when one of the most spectacular police shoot-outs occured yards away. Soon the entire city knew where the Calo was. The folloiwng news items will help to understand what happened.
Chicago Daily News, Saturday, October 30, 1954, p. 1, cs. 7-8:
POLICE TELL HOW THEY GOT AMEDEO
SET UP TRAP AT THEATER
KILLER CHOSE TO SHOOT IT OUT, DIED WITH 13 BULLETS IN BODY
Detectives disclosed Saturday how they trapped and killed Agostino “Gus” Amedeo, slayer of a detective and jail-breaker.
Amedeo fell Friday night in a storm of bullets at Berwyn and Clark during a duel with policemen, some disguised as hunters. He was hit 13 times The death was termed “justifiable homicide” by the coroner’s jury.
Amedeo died in much the same fashion as a more celebrated criminal—John Dillinger. Like Dillinger, he saw a movie in his last hours.
Gunman Amedeo, 26, took in a film called “Duel in the Jungle” in the Calo theater, 5401 N. Clark, a few minutes before he lost his last gun duel. Charles Scherr, 31, the theater’s assistant manager, saw him there. “He stood for a few minutes at the candy counter, then lit a cigaret and left,” Scherr said. “I said good night to him and he nodded.” Then the hunted killer walked out of the lobby and headed for the fatal intersection.
Chicago Daily News, Friday, October 22, 1954, p. 32, c. 3:
CALO THEATER REOPENS WITH DOUBLE FEATURE
The Calo theater, 5404 N. Clark, was reopened Friday, following a two-year absence from the ranks of neighborhood theaters.
The Calo, popular for 40 years, served as a foreign film house for a short period following its closing.
“Dragnet,” starring Jack Webb, and “Gypsy Colt” have been co-featured for the opening bill. The theater is planning to install a Cinema-Scope screen shortly.
Chicago American, Wednesday, July 30, 1958, p. 1, c. 1:
CONCUSSION ROCKS HALSTED STREET AREAA
Three walls and the roof of the 800-seat Spanish language Villa Theater at 320 S. Halsted st., collapsed today less than an hour after an audience had departed.
The concussion rocked the neighborhood and damaged a factory and several shops separated from the theater by three-foot-wide areaways. It was estimated damage might run up to $100,000.
Fire Attorney Earle Downs and Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn said there was no evidence of an explosion. Downes said the 65-year-old building’s supports “just gave way causing the collapse.”
Henry Erenberg, 52, of 3951 Van Buren st., operated the theater on a lease from the owner.
A small blaze that followed the collapse was extinguished without difficulty. First Division Fire Marshal Frank Reilly set damage at $30,000, but Erenberg said it would be close to $100,000.
Downes said investigation leads him to believe the fire was caused by electrical wiring which was torn apart by falling debris.
A spokesman for the Peopoles Gas Light and Coke Co. said no evidence of a gas explosion was found, and that company records showed no use of gas in the building.
The rear wall of Jacobsen & Daw, Inc., mill supply house at 315 S. Green st.—across a three-foot areaway west of the theater—collapsed outward.
Windows in the shops on Halsted street south of the theater entrance were broken by the concussion.
PHOTO [Caption]: Inside view of Villa Theater showing seats smashed under caved in roof.
Poster’s comment: the previous name of this theatre was Halsted.
Chicago American, Monday, July 28, 1958, p. 3, c. 7:
BLAST, FIRE HIT EMPTY THEATER
Firemen today battled a 2-11 alarm fire at the Gold Theater, 3411 Roosevelt rd., where a marquee sign displayed the title “Jungle Heat.”
Fire Attorney Earle Downes has been asked to investigate the blaze, which started with an explosion. Lester Lewis, 1123 S. Sacramento av., waiter at a restaurant next door, said:
“I was almost jolted off my feet.”
Chicago Daily News, Tuesday, July 29, 1958 (photo on back page):
NOT TOO ‘COOL’ TODAY
Sign reading “Cooled,” looks out of place on Gold theater, 3411 Roosevelt rd., as firemen battle 2-11 blaze that followed explosion there. The explosion occurred at 2:43 a.m., when the theater was empty. Damage was estimated at $10,000