Ziegfeld Picture Palace
624 S. Michigan Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Alfred Hamburger Theaters
Previous Names: Ziegfeld Theatre, V.L.S.E. Theatre
Built in 1908 by as part of the Chicago Musical College building, the Ziegfeld became a movie theater for the Alfred Hamburger circuit January 10, 1914.
Apparently the Ziegfeld was known as the V.L.S.E. in 1916 while showing Vitagraph features. VLSE stood for Vitagraph-Lubin-Selig-Essanay after those studios entered into a cooperative distribution agreement. Vitagraph later bought out the others.
The theater closed in 1921 as the building was expanded from eight stories to the present fourteen by architect Alfred Alschuler.
For many years it was recognizable for its large “Torco” sign dominating the skyline, next to the Blackstone Hotel. This Ziegfeld was not named for Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. of the famous Follies, but rather Florenz Sr., founder of the Chicago Musical College. The theater was said to have a capacity of 800 and was designed after the casino at Monte Carlo. Today, the building serves as one of the primary buildings of Columbia College.
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