May 19, 2011

Theaters Past

Yesterday's Entertainment Center
This post is related to another post 
but first this one!

The Popularity of Theaters in Chicago Takes Off!
and in 1910
The Early Theater Listings
(click image to enlarge)
1914 The Locations from the Page above: 
(click image to enlarge)

 1915 Additional Locations from this Article:
Lake Shore
1917 listing from the Chicago Daily Tribune 
Moving Picture World Apr-June 1915
1938 listings from Chicago Daily Tribune

The Theaters of Old Lake View
image - Chicago History in Postcards
The Julian had a 799 seat capacity that opened in 1909. The theater housed vaudeville acts as well as silent film and talkies. According to a contributor to Cinema Treasures website this theater was the home of Scandinavian talking pictures until the beginning of World War II when distribution of materials from Europe became a problem.  
photo - Cinema Treasures 
via Tim O'Neil via Historic Chicago-Facebook
sign on theater reads 'closed for summer to the Buckingham'

Moving Picture World Oct-Dec 1911 pages 125-6
My thanks to Brian Wolf via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
a 1937 article about this Swedish movie house
Ingrid Bergman (Swedish-American) apparently performed at the Julian. I would assume the theater changed hands several times since the buildings demolition in 2005 when the building last housed a house of worship. According to another site web contributor a world class pipe organ was installed in 1924 – the same basic design used by the Mormon Tabernacle in 1901. The organ that was used for silent films:
A Kimball pipe organ
The Other Theaters in the Area
My thanks to Brian Wolf via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
1st quarter of the 20th century
This theater was apparently located at 3952 North Broadway Avenue according to a July 1915 Chicago Daily News – Chicago Public Library search (see classified above). Cinema Treasures does not have any useful information on it other than a picture of its former location. The 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map has this location as a ‘filling station’. The 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map does not show a theater at that general location. My guess, the theater did not survive that long. 
apparently 1914-15
This theater was apparently located near Sheffield Avenue and Diversey Parkway according to Chicago Daily News classified section via Chicago Public Library online search. I fail to see the theater imprint on either the 1894 or 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Like the Stevens Theater listed above this theater must not have had a long tenure. 
1910-ish - 1945
The Clearmont, as spelled from the 1914 Chicago Tribune classified at the top of this post, was located at 3228 North Clark Street. According to Cinema Treasures this theater opened during the 1910’s and closed by the end of World War II. In 1924 a Robert Moron Pipe Organ was installed in the theater for background music for the silent films.
1923 Sanborn Map highlights the theater
A Morgan Pipe organ would have been used
photo - Wikipedia

photo - Cinema Treasures
Once the location of a counter-culture shop since 1974,
The Alley has had an interesting history of its own! 
photo - Yelp
 an actually alley entrance to back of the shop
shop interior - Yelp
photo - abc7Chicago
(later The Mode)

1936 page of photos from Box Office Magazine
IDOT Collection via Uptown Chicago History
The Keystone Theater operating under the Essaness theater circuit apparently opened in 1913 and located on Sheridan Road just south of the current Redline known as the time as the Ravenswood Elevated. Essaness theater chain operated over 30 theaters by 1947. An Art-Deco fa├žade replaced the original theater and renamed Mode Theater. By the late 1950’s to the late 1960’s the theater was renamed again as the Puerto Rico showing Spanish language films for a new audience. According to a contributor of Cinema Treasures the neon sign was replaced by a hand-painted sign that read its new ownership name. 
Gloria Swanson movie at the Vogue 1931
photo- Art Instiute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
photo- Art Instiute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
the theater's less then respectable past -1970's
The Pine Grove Theatre opened as the Alfred Hamburger-Lubliner Trinz theater circuit . The theater was located at 717-19 Sheridan Road, Sheridan Road and Pine Grove Avenue. Architect J.E.O. Pridmore redesigned the theater when it was renamed the Panorama by 1927 when the theater building was acquired by the Essaness theater chain according to Cinema Treasures. Once again in 1929, the theater was renamed Little Theatre. The name was returned to the Panorama from 1932-1939.
By about the late 1950's and with another name change to the Essex, the theater once again changed names to be known as the Guild - operated into the early 1960's. The Essex Theater much like the Guild had a checkered history with the neighborhood. The theater was located on a residential street and with different views about a commercial building on their block. The Guild was later demolished by 1963 to be later replaced years later by a new type of apartment building called the 4+1 (renovated since). 
The Chicago Tribune articles below tell the tale of development along North Pine Grove including a 650 theater complex. The last article is dated less than 2 months before the Great Depression of 1929.
Plans for that Corner in 1927 
Located next to the Sheridan Arms Apartments 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
The ownership of the property did not last long! 1929
The Albert Fuchs Block
1916 - mid 1960's
The complex was called Vogue by the mid-century
The main entrance was on Broadway
and located across the street to the 
Bismarck/Marigold Gardens (facebook entry)
photo - Theatre Historical of America via Explore Chicago
The Chateau Theater was located on Broadway Avenue where Halsted and Grace Streets intersect with Broadway. The building was designed by August C. Willmanns and operated by Russian born Albert Fuchs (third column) for the 
Ascher Brothers theater circuit.  It had a medieval chateau style that had by the time of its demolition the building had several offices, a upstairs ballroom, 22 lanes of bowling, and 22 billiards tables that was next to Fuchs luxury apartment building of the same name. 
The couple would have some family issues as the article below mentions.

Plans for a theater to be across the street
from the Bismarck Gardens - 1915
A Playhouse on Halsted & Grace 1916
Details of the theater space - 1916

a 1919 Chicago Daily Tribune ad
Mr. Fuchs sold his floral business 
and planned to sell his holdings including the
Chateau Apartments along with the theater in 1921
Mr. Fuchs leases but not sells his properties 1927 
In 1926 the theater space became a venue for burlesque entertainment. In 1930 Essaness theaters acquired the building and apparently remodeled the interior. It was to be renamed the Vogue Theater
a change in the type of venue 1926
Essaness group leases the Chateau Theater 1930
Properties reorganized 1933
Below is a map of all Mr. Fuchs properties
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map that shows the theater on Grace Street and the set of luxury apartments 
on Sheridan Road (see postcard below)
After a modest fire in 1958 the building was used as a venue for boxing matches much like the old Marigold Gardens across the street on Grace Street that featured welterweights like Virgil Akins. Apparently, the building was demolished shortly after a fire. 
Note: Mr. Fuchs owned a number of properties that included a lagooned apartment (scroll down) complex located on Sheridan Road and Broadway Avenue. Next to the apartment complex he owned the Sheridan-Broadway Hotel located on Broadway Avenue near Sheridan Road (see map). 
In fact, apparently the Albert Fuchs owned most of the property and buildings between Grace and Sheridan Road from Broadway to Fremont that included a theater, hotel, luxury apartments, and other flats or apartments within that rectangular area.
Mr. Fuch had planned to replace this luxury apartment complex where is family resided for another grander complex. The complex never was completely realized. I believe that the postcard was labeled incorrectly. Fuch's 
replacement was from a 3 story/1 garden apartment complex Broadway-Sheridan Apartments by 1922 and sometime later to be renamed Chateau Hotel.
The planned development for the entire block 1922
If you look closely you will see the horseshoe roof of the theater on Grace Street. Broadway Avenue is to the left of image and Sheridan Road in the forefront.
Across the street on Grace on the southwest corner of Haltsed and Grace was the famous Bismarck-Marigold Gardens (Facebook). It would appear Halsted-Broadway-Grace-Sheridan area was a lively entertainment district in the day. It would appear the Halsted Street ended at Irving Park Road not at Broadway at this time.
highlights both the former Chateau Theater and Hotel
on the intersection of Grace/Broadway/Halsted
photo - Trolley Dodger via Uptown Update
In 1926, the Aschers' lease was to run out and it was announced that it would go burlesque. In 1930 Essaness acquired it and announced it would be remodeled lobby to screen and receive a new vertical. It was renamed the Vogue Theatre at this time. It burned in 1958, and was operating until then. The building was demolished a few years later according to Cinema Treasures.
3 images - Ebay
The Building as of 1946
 One of the shops that was located in the 
old theater building
apparently once located along Broadway or Grace Street within the old theater building
 via Chicago Public Library
Albert Fuchs ill faded planned development 
now part of Gill Park 
By 2013 this now SRO was purchased to be renovated for market-rate single occupancy apartment building.  The high-rise in the background is the location of the Albert Fuchs' Chateau Theater. Read more about the transition of the old hotel by DNAinfo.
1913 - ?
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
The Esthena Theater was located on 3709-11 North Southport along with a string for other theaters along Southport such as the Mercury, Music Box, and the Rex Theater that was apparently located at 3448 North Southport. It was owned by Theodore Jacabs – Mallers & Black and built in 1913 as a one story brick building. The theater was renamed Southport Theater in 1923 according to Cinema Treasures. The buildings last years were spent as a Crown Liquors store before the building was demolished.
1914 - mid 1930's
The Vitagraph Theater was established by 1914 and sat 1000 patrons. In 1925 the theater was purchased by Lubliner & Trinz circuit of theaters, according the Cinema Treasure.
The Belmont-Lincoln-Ashland shopping district of Lake View had a new retailer interest in the area to be located at 3149 North Lincoln Avenue by the mid 1930’s to be called  Goldblatts Department Store. Goldblatts survived the Great Depression of 1929 and expanded during the 1930’s to the old H.C. Struve Store located at 3155 N. Lincoln Avenue and into the old Vitagraph entrance space located 3137 N. Lincoln Avenue. The theater was converted to a new and grander shopping destination. 
 Located near the old 'Lincoln Hippodome'
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
read about about the shopping district that included this store
3145 - 3167 North Lincoln Avenue 
imgae - Imperial Realty Company
3033 N Lincoln Avenue
There appeared to be several theaters with the same name.
The Strand opened in 1914 and was located on Lincoln Avenue near Southport/Wellington Avenues. By the 1940’s the theater had been renamed the City Theater, which operated into the 1960’s according to Cinema Treasures.

1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 
The Strand Theater was established in 1914 at 3033 N. Lincoln Avenue. In the 1940’s the theater was purchased and renamed City Theater until the 1960’s, according to Cinema Treasures.
1914 - 1954
Originally known as the Glenwood Theater
Moving Picture World Oct-Dec 1911 pages 125-6
My thanks to Brian Wolf via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook 
photo - Theatre Historical of America via Explore Chicago
The theater itself was located on Buckingham Place 
while the entrance 3319 N Clark - Buckingham Lofts
The Buckingham Theater was established in 1914 according to Cinema Treasures and was located at 3319 N. Clark Street. This building was once the home of Organic Theatre Company from 1978-1997. Buckingham Theater's name is still located in the frieze of the building. 
Organic Theatre had a home 
in the Buckingham Theater 1977
(click to enlarge article)
1915 -?
1923 Sanborn Fire Map highlights 'Motion Pictures'
Cineplex-Odeon theater company gave the old Lake Shore Theater a facelift in the 1980 and named it Broadway Cinema until the year 2000. In 2002 reopened under its original name as a venue for live comedy acts until 2010.
the original entrance way
It was renamed the Broadway Cinema, because of its location on Broadway just south of Belmont Avenue
In 2011 an Los Angeles based comedy club called the 
Laugh Factory moved in the existing space converting the interior with a five million dollar renovation along with a 1/2 million marquee. Read more about the original theater through commentary for the folks from Cinema Treasures.
District of Lake View - 1916 -?
The Covent Garden Theater, opened in 1916 for the Lubliner & Trinz circuit, could originally seat 2,684, and was one of the largest theaters in the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago. It featured vaudeville and stage shows as well as motion pictures. The theater was remodeled in 1934 by the firm of Pereira & Pereira. Around the 1950’s, the “Garden” portion of the theater’s name was dropped. The theater was later operated by the Balaban & Katz chain.The theater was part of a complex which also included a hotel. 
Sanborn Fire Map 1923
Sanborn Fire Map 1923 - zoomed
1924 - 1973

image - Art Institute of Chicago
via Joe Jakubik, Pictures of Chicago-Facebook
page from a book - Ebay

photo - Theatre Historical Society of America 
via Explore Chicago Collection
Old Chicago Neighborhood: Remembering Life in the 1940’s by Neil Samors and Michael Williams
Read the comments from Living History of Illinois and Chicago-on Facebook via Jayne Hengl Kranc

 1923 Sanborn Fire Map highlights a 'Riding Academy' 
before the theater was built
1950 Sanborn Fire Map that highlights 
the Century Theater and Diversey Arms Hotel
Zoomed 1950 view of the balcony & lobby of the theater
This theater opened in 1924 designed in Spanish Baroque style by architect Edward Eichenbaum of the firm of Levy & Klein whose work also included the Granada in Rogers Park and the Marbro in Garfield Park. The theater was remodeled in the Art Deco style in the early 1930's, when it was renamed the Century, in honor of the Century of Progress World’s Fair that was held in Chicago during 1933 and 1934.
Ravenswood-Lake View Collection
1970 photos - Saul Smaizys via Flickr 
& Ron Smolen for the caption input
The apartment building was apparently razed for the parking tower as well as the smaller building north of it
Google image-Ron Smolen via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
photos - C. William Brubaker Collection via UIC 1978 
photo - Ken Vosburgh, Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
photo - Urainwan Dutkiewics
Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
photo - Cinema Treasures
In 1973, the theater was closed, the interior was completely gutted, and the theater was rebuilt as multi-level shopping mall. - Cinema Treasures
new facade 2014
The owner of the building had plans for the facade and its interior.
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht

1926 - 1957
Daily News Archives 1927
1929 image - Lake View Saga 
Sanborn Map View of the Area
above 1923 view
below a 1950 view 

 photo - Theatre Historical Society of America 
via Explore Chicago
 photo - Theatre Historical Society of America 
via Explore Chicago
 photo - Theatre Historical Society of America 
via Explore Chicago
photo - Theatre Historical Society of America 
via Explore Chicago

images - Frank Dutton 
via Motion Picture News June 24, 1927

an advertisement + more photos
blog called Frank's Place
The Belmont was one of the more popular north-side Chicago movie houses, as it was surrounded by a bustling retail hub and located close to public transportation near the intersection of Belmont, Ashland, and Lincoln Avenues.  The theater opened in 1925 for the Lubliner & Trinz theater circuit and was taken over by the Balaban & Katz chain in 1930. The Belmont was designed by W.W. Ahlschlager, who was also the architect of the Roxy and Beacon Theatres in New York City. This 3200-plus seat palace was originally a venue for both live entertainment and movies, but later turned to movies only.

 Frank Dutton 
In the mid 1960's the movie house was converted into a bowling alley until closing in the mid 1980's.
 Text image from Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler
Dr. Jake's Bowling History Blog

Chuckman Collection
1963 advertisement
Dr. Jake's Bowling History Blog
In 1996 a mixed condominium and retail complex were built on the site of the Belmont Theater with its interior demolished excluding the building Spanish Baroque style terra-cotta facade. According to Curb Chicago, in 2012 the 7th floor penthouse was marketed for almost 500k. Apparently, the "spacious combined living/dining area, with exposed duct-work and rich hardwood, thrive in all the natural light. And with south and west exposures, it manages some pretty 'boss' views of the skyline from the roof top deck according to a realtor at the time.
The Lincoln - Hippodrome was built in 1912 located at 3160 North Lincoln Avenue. The theater was designed by local architect Robert C. Berlin, seating 1800 patrons. At the time it was one of the largest theaters on Chicago’s north-side. The Lincoln was built for W. A. Wieboldt, founder of the department store chain bearing his name that were once scattered all over Chicago including the Lake View Belmont-Lincoln District. This building originally cost - $300,000. According to a Lake View Historical contributor, Martin Tangora, the definitions of ‘hippodrome’. "In Ancient Greek and Roman history - A course or circus for horse-races and chariot-races. Sometimes used as a extravagant name for a modern circus; a theatre used for various staged entertainments." This place must have been enormous! 
Below is a 1923 Sanborn Fire Map of the location highlighting two theaters Vitagraph Theater & Lincoln.
by 1950 the neighborhood had changed. The Vitagraph Theater was know Goldblatts
The Wieboldt Fountain Connection
While the exterior was a mixture of neoclassical and Renaissance styles, the interior was originally described at the time a 'Persian' and “Oriental” design. The theater building was one of the earliest larger-sized theaters in Chicago to be air-conditioned, and was noted for its excellent acoustics, then a cutting-edge technology with stylish decor. For most of the 1910's and 20's, the theater was part of the Orpheum theater circuit, and primarily used as was a vaudeville house, as well as silent movies. It wasn’t until later in the 1920's and 30's that the Lincoln-Hippodome showed talkies exclusively. In 1930, when Ashland Avenue was widened, the theater lost a small portion of its auditorium, reducing seating by about 300.
The Lincoln, also known at the time as the Lincoln-Belmont, remained in operation until about 1950. In 1952, the theater was gutted and transformed into a retail space.
Like its neighbor, the Belmont Theater, the actual theater portion of the Lincoln-Belmont was demolished, replaced by apartments in 2000 but like the Belmont Theater of the old theater have been incorporated into the new condominium building.
Ivanhoe Playhouse Theater 
It began as a tavern-speakeasy and then to a nationally recognized playhouse by the 1966. This establishment was the first of its kind to blend a live theater performance with a meal, hence called a 'playhouse'.
postcard image - Ebay
telephone exchange was 'GRAceland 2771' prior to 1948
This 1950 Sanborn Fire Map indicated the location.
The word 'restaurant' is faint on the illustrative map
photo - Craig's Lost Chicago via Pinterest
photos - Chuckman Collection
Plate with brief history - Ebay

Some Dinner Menus 
front cover image - an advertisement mailer

inside menu image - Ebay
 cover of another menu - Ebay 
Restaurant becomes a Playhouse
The Ivanhoe Theater takes its name from an historic restaurant and speakeasy now occupied by Binny’s that dates back to the 1920’s. Originally designed in an 
'In-The-Round' configuration, the theater was opened as a commercial theater operation in 1966 by the restaurant management, and served as a showcase for director George Keathley establishing a new type of theater - The Playhouse. 
His string of successes included the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Out Cry and Status Quo Vadis, a comedy which ran for more than a year before transferring to Broadway District in New York with its young and unknown Chicago star, Bruce Boxleitner. 
Jason Roth, a contributor to Forgotten Chicago-Facebook, mentioned that “Lots of shows there in the 70's: Ronnie Spector, Southside Johnny, Tom Waits, Mink DeVille, Herbie Hancock & Jaco Pastorius, Meatloaf, Crystal Gayle, Link Wray, Kiki Dee, Ramsay Lewis, Rita Moreno, Elvin Bishop, and Dolly [Patton]!”
1968 image - Chicago Daily Tribune 

This theater was once known for comedy as well
1974 image Ted Okuda-Forgotten Chicago-Facebook 

1989 image - Chicago Daily Tribune 
 1955 Chuckman Collection
image - Ebay
The plate is labeled as the Ivanhoe Overthrows The Templar. On the border areas of the plate are Rebecca, The Templar, Wamba, Coeur De Lion, Lady Rownana, and Ivanhoe according to Ebay.
Swizzle Stick for those cocktails
image - Ebay
1956 - Chuckman Collection 

 Ivanhoe Caroline Lee Bouvier 
- sister-in-law to President Kennedy
and her playbill below in 1967 - Ebay
Playbill image cover- Garry Albrecht
Playbill image inside - Garry Albrecht
postcard - Chuckman Collection
The Various Interior Views
(click to enlarge image)
Spirits - Ebay
The Cropped Views of Above Image

a postcard view - Chuckman Collection

From Mark Reiner Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
Join the conversation on Facebook
and across the street on Clark
was the 'message board
my thanks to LVH contributor David Syfczak for identification of this photo
Wine List
  Ebay unknown date
Dinner Menu Cover 1961
 Matchbook - Chuckman Collection - unknown date 
image - Chuckman Collection
 token - image Ebay
Playbill - 1966 Ebay
In its' Heyday 1969 
(click to enlarge article)
page 2 
The New Owners 1975
  The last show: a review from the Chicago Tribune & brief life for this community theatre

The following are the songs recorded at the Ivanhoe
by Tom Waits
Virginia Avenue Album 
Side 1 - Track 1. Invitation To The Blues
Side 1 - Track 2. Virginia Avenue
Side 1 - Track 3. Jitterbug Boy
Side 1 - Track 4. I Can't Wait To Get Off Work
Side 1 - Track 5. Fumblin' With The Blues
Side 2 - Track 1. Small Change
Side 2 - Track 2. Eggs & Sausage
Side 2 - Track 3. The Piano Has Been Drinking
Side 2 - Track 4. Tom Traubert's Blues
1975 Stagebill images 
Remembrances of Performances Past’- Blogspot
Earl Scruggs ticket 1977- Ebay
Bill Quateman ticket 1977
Dolly Parton ticket 1977
 The Beginning of the End - March 1977

Southside Johnny with Ronnie Spector May 1977
image -  Jerome Hughs via Pinterest
Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones - July 1977
photo - Robert Duncan via Pinterest
The New Owner 1979

The 1977 fire marked the end  - Ebay
Once known as the 'Seven Wonder of Chicago' 
photo minus the statue above the door - unknown source
According to Performmink article dated 2000 "the days may be numbered for one of Chicago’s oldest, largest and most historic off-Loop venues, the Ivanhoe Theatre located at 750 West Wellington (corner of Wellington & Clark). According to the article the building would have been demolished within the next 12-18 months and replaced by condominiums in accordance to a proposal proposed by Chicago-based Atlas Development Corporation. A tentative agreement was reached between the Ivanhoe’s principal owner, Douglas Bragan, and Atlas president Steven Siegel for the sale of the 11,000 square foot building while keeping as much as the old theater facade as functionally possible.
     Current interior that leads to the basement as of 2013   
The Catacombs - then and now
1940's - Chuckman Collection 

Sarfatty Associates  reinforced the basement and keep the contiguity of the old catacombs.
Ivanhoe Commentary
 from Forgotten Chicago-Facebook 
John Olson
Saw some shows there in the mid to late 70's. Martin Mull and Flo and Eddie (aka the Turtles).
Bernie Biernacki
My parents went there on the 40’s and my wife and I ate there twice, and even saw a play there in the 70’s. I think Bruce Boxlitner (sp) was in it. My dad always talked about "riding down into the catacombs."
Bob Mucci
I remember the fake elevator that made it seem you went down a hundred feet. But the building is a Binny's booze emporium now.
Bernie Biernacki
Bob, I remember the elevator well. You stepped into it and when the door closed it started shaking and shuddering. When it stopped another door open you were in the catacombs - just next to where you entered the "elevator".
Bob Mucci
Yes, and there was a little window and they had a scroll of a brick wall that kept running real fast behind the window to make you think you were descending far and fast.
Stan Barker Bob
Bernie, the fake elevator gimmick goes back to a "Subterranean Theater" that was proposed, never built, during the 1893 World's Fair. In the mid-1960s, when I was a kid, that gimmick was used at a "Gold Mine" attraction at Fort Dells amusement park in Wisconsin Dells. I never went to the Ivanhoe... closest I got was buying rickets to the Sex Pistols who were supposed to play there, New Year's Eve 1977. They broke up and cancelled their tour before they got to Chicago. I cashed my ticket back in. My old girlfriend hung on to hers, still has it - Worth some money now.
Paula Sue M
"Please, please let me out"! Remember the spooky trip down the fake elevator and the woman screaming?
Ivanhoe was a fabulous place!!
Jan Zweerts
As a kid we went there. When a certain paving stone was stepped on a air driven dummy would rear up to scare you. Spooky, but fun.
Paul Igasaki
Yes. Went with my parents to see a play there in the seventies. Remember the seats around the stage and a bedroom scene that my parents didn't expect me to see.
Ken Dietz
Went there several times in the 70's to see music acts---The Four Seasons being one of them. The Sex Pistols were scheduled to play there but they broke up before the scheduled date. The Ivanhoe was going to remove all the seats just for that show.
Marcey Wadas Crylen
Went to the Ivanhoe for dinner after a Christmas dance at DePaul and met Two Ton Baker!
Nancy Kesseler Adams
Our favorite as children was Two Ton Baker. We saw him in person once - a charming man who truly loved children. There is a link somewhere (I'll check) with the songs he sang. It's a nice site. Brings back memories!
Ken Dietz
Two Ton also had a puppet on his show by the name of 'Bubbles'. Two Ton would sing "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" and the puppet would appear. I think the set of his show had a pirates theme.
 Flickr   photo     
The Inspiration    

           with Clip Notes or should say Spark Notes - Ebay
a local community theatre 
'Second City' inspired improvisation
In 1963, the Hull House Theater (LVAC) was located in the Jane Addams Center at 3212 North Broadway. This theater company fostered the learning development of Chicago theater companies for the rest of the century. Founder Bob Sickinger created an environment to nourish young talent with professionalism. Chicago's noted improvisational theatre venues had roots in Hull House. Hull House Theater taught improvisational techniques to its students in classrooms at Hull House particularly the one in Lake View.  Viola Spolin, an innovator in improvisation at Second City Theater, taught at Hull House-Lake View. The Steppenwolf and the Oracle groups earned a reputation at Hull House-Lake View.
(click on article to enlarge)
Note: View and read more about this multi-purpose institution that was known as social service agency and home of local theatre groups
The Garden Theater
no photo/unknown dates
I discovered this 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map image during my research on this blog entry. I have no clue on this one and not sure if indeed it was called the Garden Theater. According to the map the theater was located in the old commercial district of Belmont-Ashland-Lincoln near the old Wiebolts building.
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
North Center Theater
Community of Ravenswood
District of Lake View
Neighorhood of Uptown
4037 N Lincoln Aveune
1926 - mid 1960's
all photos - Cinema Treasures

Sheridan Theater  
District of Lake View
Community of Buena Park
Neighborhood of Uptown
1927 - 1961
Across the street and yards away from Irving Park Road on Sheridan Road in the community of Buena Park and currently the official neighborhood of Uptown their was this theater that was built in 1927. The theater sat over 2000 patrons.
The neighborhood of Uptown was and is the home a several grand theaters of the early 20th century.
Another view with other photos
via Frank's Place blog
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
 Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
Theatre History of America via Explore Chicago 
matchbook - Ebay

1936 image IDOT Collection 
with St. Mary of the Lake steeple in the background
an artist view - Ebay
The grand buildings of Chicago's theaters that once sparkled throughout the city are credited by the insight and influence of A.J. Balaban, Barney Balaban, Sam Katz, and Morris Katz who formed the Balaban & Katz Theatre Corporation in 1925. This group planned theaters like the Uptown, Diversey, Pantheon, Belmont, Rivera, among others.
Sold in 1951 
R.K.O. - Belmont
Below is a list of theaters in the north side of which this theater is mentioned. I have not been able to located the exact address. This is 1929 ad that appeared in the 
Chicago Daily Tribune. The other theaters are mentioned in this blog post.
by 1932 this theater was not mentioned
Below is a listing in 1946

Post Notes: 
View my posts about the theaters of the present and current local community theatre.
View the list of all the theaters in Chicago (p. 40) associated with Balaban & Katz.

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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