Phoenix Big Cinema

Phoenix Big Cinema

Phoenix Big Cinema

     This theater is located in a strip mall at 9180 W. Golf in Niles, Illinois. It opened in 1984 as a Essaness Theater.  It was subsequently was managed by Cineplex Odeon and then Loews Cineplex.  The theater closed in the late 1990’s as a part of Loews Cineplex bankruptcy.

     In 2002, it was reopened by the Village Theater Chain as the six screen Golf Glen.  It closed again in 2006.

     It was subsequently reopened with five screens by the Phoenix Ad Labs Chain.    In 2010, it was opened by its subsidiary Phoenix Big Cinema.  In 2014, it was taken over by Miramax Cinemas.  It currently features East Indian Movies.

State Lake Theater Chicago, Illinois

State Lake Theater

     The theater was located at 190 N. State in Chicago. When it opened in 1919 it was a vaudeville venue. It was part of the Orpheum Circuit.  In the front was an office designed by Rapp and Rapp.  The auditorium was designed by G. Albert Lansburgh.

     The theater subsequently became part of the RKO chain.  It was named for its location near the corner of State and Lake.  In 1938, it became a part of the Balaban and Katz Chain.  It had one screen and a capacity of 2,649 seats.  Until 1941, there were live acts and movies.  After that time, movies only were shown

     The theater was closed in 1984.  The interior was gutted and was converted into offices and studios for ABC television station WLS.

Is the Uptown Theater Project Really Going to Start?

    After many proposal over the years, it appears that the 75 million dollar restoration project of the 93 year old Uptown Theater may begin summer of 2019.  Apparently, the Chicago Community Development Commission is to be informed of this on November, 2018.

     The Commission is set to approve the public financial elements of the restoration project for Jam Productions and Farpoint Development.  It is also expected to approve the sale (for $1) of a 31,000 square foot city owned parking lot at 1030 West Lawrence to support the theater operations.

     The Commission is set to announce the firms involved in the project.  Lead architect will be the firm Lamar Johnson Collaborative.   They will work with Schuler Shook ( a well known theater restoration firm).  Other members were MacRostie Historic Advisors (specialist in using tax credits as a part of Historic theater rennovations), Farfront Structural Engineers, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (facade restoration), WMA Conrad  Consulting Engineers (working on building mechanical guts),Conrad Schmitt Studios (Consulting on historic finishes needed for a Rapp and Rapp movie palace)

     City of Chicago is confident that the project has adequate financing.  Current financing is from multiple sources.    13 million from TIF.  14 million in property assessed clean energy financing.  3 million in adopt a landmark financing.   The bulk of the remaining $75 million is from investments from Jam and Farpoint and commercial bank loans.

     Projected opening of the Uptown is 2021.  Please note some of these promises have been heard before.

United Artist Theater, Chicago

    The United Artist Theater originally opened as the Apollo Theater in 1921 at 45 West Randolph St.  It was a live theater venue.  It was built by A.H. Woods.  The building was designed by the firm of Holibird and Roche.

United Artist Theater

     In 1927, Woods sold the theater building to the United Artist Corporation.  It was renamed the United Artist Theater. It was remodeled by Howard Crane in the Spanish Gothic Style. The auditorium ceiling had a cove lit dome with 10 port holes.  The lobby had a middle eastern motif.  There was one screen and 1,703 seats.

     In 1929, management of the theater was taken over by Balaban and Katz.  Later management companies included ABC/Great Lakes, Cineplex Odeon and Plitt.

     It featured exclusive runs and premiers of top Hollywood films. 

     In the 1970’s, features include action and horor films.

     From 1950 until its closing, it had  an elaborate marquee which wrapped around the building curved corner entramce.

     It operated until 1987.  It was demolished in 1989.