Sunday, May 12, 2013

WGN & CLTV Visit The Uptown Theater This Week

"Downstaging Uptown" by Eric Holubow
Curious about what the Uptown Theater looks like and what its future is?  WGN and CLTV are taking an in-depth look this week:
  • "The doors of the historic Uptown Theater were shuttered for the final time in 1981. Since then the majestic theater has sat dark and boarded up, a skeleton of the crowned jewel on Chicago's North Side that once boasted "an acre of seats in a magic city." Watch WGN-TV's News at Nine this Tuesday at 9pm as Randi Belisomo takes our cameras inside the theater to show you what it looks like now. Find out what is waiting to come back to life.
  • Then tune in Wednesday for the News at Nine at 9pm as Randi reports about the plans for a music district in Uptown which would center around the Uptown Theater.
  • Will it become a reality? We will take a closer look at that question during a LIVE half-hour special "Creating a Music District" on CLTV Wednesday, May 15th at 10pm. Uptown Theater owner Jerry Mickelson, Alderman James Cappleman and The Green Mill owner Dave Jemilo will join Randi Belisomo to discuss the plans and take viewers' questions. Tune in to CLTV or watch live on the live stream at
You can submit questions to the CLTV Facebook page ( or call 877-358-CLTV (2588) with your questions or comments. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter with @CLTVNews and using the hashtag #Uptown.

If you miss it, all of the stories will be posted on our web sites at and"

If you haven't seen this inside of this magnificent theater, check out the slide show here, by And check out the documentary Uptown: Portrait of a Palace, which is on Vimeo, and may still be available on DVD from Compass Rose.


  1. I grew up in Albany Park and had an Aunt who live in Uptown. I often visited my cousins taking the big red wooden streetcar to the begining of the line at Broadway and Lawrence. We went to all the neighborhood theaters.The Ardmore,Parkside,Rivera and the Uptown. The Greenmill on the corner and Nelson Brother's furniture down at the other end of the block.And next to the theater was a karmel Korn shop. It was still a grand theater. I remember seeing "30Seconds over Tokyo" there in 1943. The Uptown played the movies after they left downtown,and after the Uptown thery were shown at the Terminal. I remember when they showed BOXING Heavy weight title fights on a special live broadcast Between Sugar Ray Robinson and Joey Maxim. It was so hot-Referee Ruby Goldsteine got K.O. by the heat. It did not sell out and tickets were going for 50 cents each including a movie. The Marring Kind with Judy Holiday and Aldo Ray in 1952. I remember walking out on the movie because Holiday and Ray had cartoon like voices! I miss the old Uptown Neighborhood. There was a Peter Pan Hamburger place on the N.E. corner of Lawrence that closed after serving horsemeat. The Uptown Bank on the S.E side was one of the windiest corners in Chicago. The Glass Phesant resturant was the only nearby Chinese food around. A large Yarnell Chevey car lot Broadway and Ainslie One of the first Pizza Places in the early 50s was at Argyle & Broadway and they threw the dough in the air in the front window. Streetcars ran on Broadway.

  2. I live on Broadway near Leland an plan on being here for a long time. Stories like The Bleacher Preacher posted give me hope that Uptown can - and will - rise again (while maintaining it's current character.) Politics and complaints aside, I see and feel great things in the future of our neighborhood!

  3. Did anybody get a chance to pick up this awesome print from CB2 (Uptown Theatre Print):

    No longer available as they rotate art often. Also was a top rated item. So cool.

  4. I'm sure this wasn't coordinated without Da Mare's office involved.

    Could this be the precursor to the announcement of the renovation with a date to coincide with the Wilson El?

  5. I was lucky enough to so Springsteen, the Dead, J. Geils and Elton John there back in the day. Springsteen rocked so hard, the balcony was actually moving during Rosalita. Shame to see it wasting away.