Monday, September 12, 2016

Maintenance Work Begins On The Uptown Theater


Scaffolding went up last week along the Lawrence side of the Uptown Theater after a court order on August 31st approving repairs and maintenance to the building. We are glad to see this gem getting the attention and care it needs.

While most of us only think of the marquee when we think about the Uptown, it's a massive building taking up the block between Magnolia and Broadway. You can get an idea of its size here (click to enlarge):


9 comments:

  1. A question is this just preventative to insure it does not suffer greater damage...and as it is court ordered who is paying for the repairs/maintenance

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    1. IMO this theater is a losing project. The owners (with city tax fund help) have put a ton of $$$ into this building and it's been like that for 20 years. Honestly, I don't think it's going to be finished in my lifetime.

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    2. That's BS. If this was in the Loop it would be done. It is all about the vision (or lack of vision). I've been told George R.R. Martin has Uptown roots. Why not write him and get this theater on his radar? Let's think big, get Hollywood premieres and the CSO to perform here. It could be done and could be beautiful.

      JAM is squatting on this and obviously doesn't have the financial wherewithal to fund an appropriate update. They are hoping for a bailout so they can turn a dime on their land banking. If the City and Cubs can update Wrigley Field (biggest shit hole in town) they can update this. This is the bellwether for our neighborhood, you'll know things are actually changing for the better when this is updated.

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    1. The owner, JAM Productions (as a holding company). You can look up a group, Friends of the Uptown, for more details.

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  3. I wish they would at least rebuild the fa├žade on Broadway with those terra cotta blocks that are supposedly in storage, or identical parts made from a more modern composite material that will better withstand time and the weather (and pigeons). I wouldn't think that would be too prohibitively expensive.

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  4. Brooklyn spent more than eighty million and completely restored the Kings Theatre (same architect as the Uptown). It really is time for Chicago to shed its "second city" reputation and get this treasure restored properly, before it is too late. Having seen the Uptown when it was still showing film, in all of its "cove lit glory" I believe that I can safely say that this theatre, with all hidd n lol gating functioning, is simply too incredible to describe. The late, great Joe DuciBella, although forever a realist, appreciated the architecture more than possibly anyone, and would be encouraged by ANY work being done on the building. The Uptown will never be duplicated and, as a Movie Palace, was without peer in America. Priority !

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    1. One big issue is that the Uptown is privately owned, by a holding company formed by JAM Productions. It's hard to make renovations to your neighbor's place, eh?

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  5. Time for the city to force Jam out of the way, there are surely other entities, that actually want to restore this gem.Jam I am afraid, is worse than a squatter

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