Sunday, July 02, 2006

I was very disturbed to find this bit of information today. Here's the link to a story about plans to tear down the Nortown Theater and replace it with condos. Admittedly, the building is not in good condition, but the project plans that were published last year incorporated the theater rather than tearing it down.

It's sad that over the past years the building has been so unappreciated that it has been allowed to slip into its current dilapidated state, which makes it easier for some to say "it's blighted, just tear it down".

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Text: November 9, 1930

Chicago Daily Tribune

Chicago's First Marine Movie

Above is an interior view of Chicago's newest talkie temple now under construction near Devon and Western by the Publix-Balaban and Katz Interests. J.E.O. Pridmore of Chicago is architect. An exterior view was given in this section on Sunday, August 10, 1930. The auditorium will be of the atmospheric type but instead of the conventional landscape treatment of sidewalls this new playhouse will have a seascape effect, so that the audience apparently are seated in full view of the ocean with lighthouse effect and ships passing in the offing. It is claimed that this will be the first theater in America with a marine treatment. The combination of water, sky and stars offers an unusual field for unique lighting effects. The theater will have 3500 seats and will cost in the neighborhood of $1,000,000 it is stated. Paschen Bros. are the general contractors. Completion is scheduled for early next year.

Text: August 10, 1930

Chicago's Newest Talkie Temple

J.E.O. Pridmore is architect of the above 3500 seat "North Town" moving picturetheater, now being erected at Devon and Western by the Publix & Katz interests.

Stair rail detail

Cherub detail

Wall and ceiling at stairs leading to upper level

Overall view of upper level, west side of stage

A wall niche on the upper level
Sea serpent and starfish

Seashell motif

Detail on main floor

Griffin / Sea creature motif

The stage on the upper level

This is the first thing I saw when I entered the theater this afternoon.

Exterior of the Nortown Theater.