222 N. State Street,
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Previously operated by: Kohlberg Theaters
Architects: R.H. Weldon
The Rhumba Casino, which opened in 1941, was built on the site of the Three Deuces nightclub (which was in business since the mid-1920’s until it was destroyed in a fire in 1940. It gets its name from its address at 222 N. State Street). In 1944, the space became the Polynesian/Far Eastern-themed Shangri-La restaurant.
After the restaurant was closed in 1968, it was remodeled into the Shangri-La Theater in 1969-70. It was operated by Kohlberg Theaters, which was also the last chain to run the nearby Oriental Theatre as well as a number of other theaters and drive-ins around the Midwest. Opened June 26, 1970 with “The Strawberry Statement”, the Shangri-La Theatre began to show pornographic films within a year.
Operating into at least 1979, the building which housed the Shangri-La Theatre was demolished in 1981. Its site was used for a while as a parking lot. Eventually the remainder of the buildings on the entire block, an office building and retail stores, a fire station and a parking garage, were demolished and replaced by a hotel, now the Renaissance Chicago.
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