Comments from plugai

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plugai
plugai commented about Forest Theatre on Dec 10, 2021 at 11:51 am

I remember walking west with my mom past an empty Forest Theater on Madison Street. No lobby cards displayed. No movie posters. Newspapers lined the tile floor, looking through the glass doors. I never was lucky enough to witness a movie in this theater. The next time I passed this spot, there was a brand-new Mobil Gas station and a grand opening of McDonalds!

plugai
plugai commented about AMC Dine-In Yorktown 18 on Dec 10, 2021 at 11:36 am

I saw one movie at this theater back in 1979, “The Warriors” with my buddies. I will always remember leaving out of this movie when movie goers started chanting “Warriors… come out to play-ee-ah!” Years later I met Michael Beck, and Deborah Van Valkenburgh, at the “Hollwood Show.” All great memories.

plugai
plugai commented about Lamar Theater on Dec 10, 2021 at 10:58 am

I finally found a photo of The Lamar Theater with the vertical neon lights that I had spoken of. The picture looks to be of Marion Street looking south from South Blvd( early1950’s?). This photo is part of an article about the Oak Park Theater circa 1916. This picture and the story of pre-Lamar can be read on Drypigment.net. “Tales From a Scenic Artist and Scholar. Part 931- March 14, 2020” by Wendy Waszut-Barrett, PhD.

plugai
plugai commented about Lake Theatre, Oak Park, IL - seat on Nov 8, 2021 at 4:34 pm

I don’t remember the colorful art-deco designs on the legs of the chairs. They must have painted over these designs in the 1950’s.

plugai
plugai commented about Varsity Center for the Arts on Oct 18, 2021 at 2:58 pm

I was able to view two movies in the Varsity theater between 1983-1985. I saw: Against All Odds, and Purple Rain. I remember the screen being really small which made my eyes wander. The original interior architecture being lost, made for a generic experience. It was nice though, to still visualize the exterior of this 1940’s theater, knowing it was once, one theater not three. One could walk after class to see a afternoon movie, without having to drive. Nice touch. The theater by the IGA, which was larger and modern had the re-release of Alfred Hitchcock’s, Rear Window and Woody Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo was more to my liking. University Mall ultra modern theater had Witness, Ghost Busters, and The Natural respectively. Great experience.

plugai
plugai commented about Chicago Theatre on Sep 22, 2021 at 3:10 pm

This theater I have many stories for! I saw Magnum Force in 1973 and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974. The theater was dark and nasty during these years. We would take the Lake Street Elevated train from Oak Park, Illinois during this period. My best friend Kevin and his brothers Michael and Danny were blessed to be part of the “carpenter rehab” of the Chicago Theater rebirth that would have Frank Sinatra open. Michael told stories of the carpenters taking their hammers and hitting the backs of the original seats, and rats would come running out. Both brothers stayed aboard to the Frank Sinatra openings and were granted opening night seats for their respective families. I was blessed with working for Donny Osmond for the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat play. I was able to snoop everywhere in that theater which was my home away from home for a few years. The architecture is fantastic!! I even got to see Penn and Teller, Chita Rivera, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and two “Glamorama” Marshall Field events for Charity! Stage left or right stage for viewers, the fountain and secret door was fun to come inside and outside of. Hanging in the closed off private “club seats” observing play progress. The wall of autographs both stage right and left. The dressing room of Frank Sinatra and others following are awesome experiences. I will always love the Chicago theater.

plugai
plugai commented about State-Lake Theatre on Sep 22, 2021 at 2:27 pm

The State Lake is the only Chicago theater I never saw a movie in. My Dad would drive our family in his 1966 Chrysler Newport “downtown” in the evenings and I do recall seeing outside the State /Lake one evening quite large advertising for One Million Years B.C. in 1966 with a life size cardboard cut out of Raquel Welch dressed in fur skins standing outside the glass doors! Years later, my friend who worked with me in theater, invited me across the street from the Chicago Theater we were working a theatrical play to visit with her husband who worked for Channel 7 for a tour of the Channel 7 facilities. The former State/Lake theater is still preserved in the Channel 7 facilities. From the news studio, to Oprah’s former studio. One could see evidence of the former theaters self. I’m glad I was able to observe architecture of the former theater.

plugai
plugai commented about Geneva 4 Theatre on Sep 22, 2021 at 1:40 pm

My family would come to visit Lake Geneva, Wisconsin during the summers every year during the 1960’s and 1970’s. My first opportunity to see a movie at the Geneva theater was Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Nolte in The Deep in 1977 and later Liar Liar in 1997 with Jim Carey. Great memories from both movies, enjoyment of the theaters architecture, and bringing my future wife on a date to the second movie! Super memories lots of fun.

plugai
plugai commented about Lamar Theater on Sep 3, 2021 at 11:27 am

I recall now that the Lamar theater had vertical neon lights that spelled out Lamar both on the north side and south side of the sign. The neon lights were red and shown brightly as that the Lake theaters original red, now blue. Also, in the mid 1960’s I remember that the lettering would go dark on certain vowels. The big rectangular marquee had numerous light bulbs that lit up the sidewalk underneath. One could see where the paint would pull up and flake off, around each light bulb. All this great look (similar to the Lake theater design) was all taken down and replaced by the signage that lacked any personality which you see in those black and white pictures before the Lamar was torn down. Again I wish I could find a picture that showed the Lamar from 1930-1966.

plugai
plugai commented about Lamar Theater on Aug 23, 2021 at 2:03 pm

On October 3, 1964 I walked from home to the Lamar with my sister Debbie and her friends. I was 5 years old, she was 8. I was the only guy in the entire theater that afternoon! Hundreds of screaming girls! They screamed all the way from the start of A Hard Day’s Night until the end. My ears were ringing and ringing. Great memories of being with my sister and her friends, seeing the Beatles on film, and stopping off at my fathers office at 210 Marion Street to tell him, his boss, and secretary about the film. For many years I would look at pictures at my parents home of the Lamar theater with my two sisters dressed as Girls Scouts and the old huge marquee that hung over the box office and doors that were taken during one of the Memorial Day parades on Marion street in the mid 1960’s. If my memory serves me well, the Lamar had a remodeling after my Dad took those pictures(marquee removed for good). Years later after my Dads passing, I hunted for those pictures for memories, but could not find the pictures or negatives.