Showing 1 - 25 of 1,590 comments
Jesus. Only open sixteen years? Doesn’t seem like much for such a large capital investment. But then again Golf Mill looked like it was on life support last time I was through there.
My memory of the Logan pre-fourplex is that it was all on one floor, no balcony. I think the description is incorrect.
This should say, “found in the rubble during demolition.” It was found below the remains of the right organ grill on the auditorium floor during demolition. Currently in storage. The goddess image is easily identifiable in photos of the theater while operating,
This is the State Theater that stood on the south side.
Beautiful house. Every time I think I know every theater in the U.S. a new one comes to my attention.
Monogrammed seats? Wow. They really went all in.
Click here for an architectural review of the building’s retail conversion.
1976 exterior photos:
I haven’t been down 79th Street east of the Dan Ryan in about two years. But at that time it was pretty rough. Boarded up buildings, vacant lots, a bunch of police tape from some large recent crime, two menacing guys sitting inside a car parked in a vacant lot doing God knows what.
This is an incredible building in decent shape. But I suspect there are many challenges involved in bringing it back to life.
Lou Wolf was still alive? If there’s any justice Satan will make him live in one of his own properties for eternity.
The story I heard today is that movies have to play in a theater in L.A. for at least seven days to be considered by the Academy. Netflix apparently, at least in part, wants the Egyptian so it’s original content can be considered.
I am a direct relative of the Rapps. They had no intention of being racist when naming the theater. They named it Oriental because of the decor. They respected very much the sources in the east they tapped to make the design a success. People in the United States at that time had not seen anything like that, and it was exciting for them. Getting people excited to go to the show was the whole point at that time.
I know plenty of Asian people in Chicago and nobody has ever expressed offense over the name of the Oriental. The Nederlanders simply want to put their name on the theater, and it is pathetic. When an organization wants to get rid of something or someone it is the strategy du jour to cry racism.
Traditions in New York City, like the Empire State and the Chrysler Buiding have been respected. But traditions in Chicago are not. Willis Tower is a big example.
Macy’s also came in her some years ago and erased the legacy of Marshall Fields, and in the end it has not served their purposes terribly well. The whole idea was to save money on marketing various brands. But now the Internet is challenging them, and if they had several generations of old brand loyalty for Fields it might be serving them a lot better than what they are looking at right now.
I can understand the Nederlandars' desire for self-promotion. But I’m not sure their efforts are going to land them any better than Macy’s has.
Eric Mason Ellis
Brian Wolf: I tried to reach you recently at your yahoo.com email address. But, like so many people, it’s possible you don’t monitor Yahoo any more. I have some Chicago movie palace artifacts that need a new home. You seem plugged into the Chicago preservation scene. So I thought you might be able to help identify a destination. My attempts so far have been fruitless. Please contact me at
Interesting that there is no phone number.
Whatever they are doing to the building it is taking forever. Construction still continues. They are also using different colored brick to add on, which doesn’t seem like it will look very good.
The church seems to have made a terrible decision. If the building was renovated in 2000 they probably could have started up operations as is. More renovations could have followed as they got the funds together.
I never knew that huge frieze had been purchased and reinstalled on another building. Amazing to learn it still exists after all these years. I wonder what that building is.
Evanston Round Table, Volume XXI Number 5, March 8, 2018:
Northlight and Developers Withdraw Performing Arts Center Proposal
By Matt Simonette
When it was a synagogue I’ve heard there was a giant neon menorah mounted in the dome.
It’s a shame the interior made it so many years only to get dumbed down. I wonder if some Urban Remains-type place bought those plaster pieces. If they got hauled away whole it would seem to be a possibility.
Thanks Luis. I was only trying to envision how they reused all that space in the building, and if it was an effective redesign. I’m sure none of the interior was saved. It was junk at the end.
In answer to Paul’s question from a few years ago: I saw a picture of the bowling alley interior some years ago. I think it was on two levels, because the photo I saw showed lanes at balcony level underneath the old theater ceiling. I would assume they left the balcony structure in place because it would have been a huge undertaking to remove the trusses and all that cement.
Here’s a comment on a bowling history web site that backs up the two level concept:
They may have installed drop ceilings in later years, because one of the comments in this thread makes it sound like they “discovered” parts of the theater interior during demolition.
Here’s that movie on the 20% tax. What a rip off:
Everyone knows about the impact of TV. But I had no idea the Federal Government was leeching of the theater industry like this.
I didn’t realize they had opened up the front of the auditorium until viewing RickB’s article. It looks like they did a fantastic job.
My only nitpick is the smaller auditoriums in back. I never liked the look of a split vintage auditorium when they were all twinned back in the day, and I still don’t today. If it were my project I think I would have fitted out the back cinemas with drop ceilings and modern wall coverings.
But that shouldn’t be taken as negative commentary. It looks like they did an amazing renovation.
It’s a shame to see it go. But it gets more and more difficult to run a movie theater every year. Renovations with the best of intentions also don’t always work out so well (Skokie Theater for example).
I just hope the new development is not a monstrosity with no respect downtown Highland Park’s character. They put in a new residential building in downtown Wilmette a couple years ago, on the site of an old Ford Dealer. Not only is it taller than any other building nearby, but the building style kind of looks like it belongs in a theme park. All in all is sticks out like a sore thumb.