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That's the eternal question. Most people who have been inside it want it to be revived. Others question whether it will ever happen. City planners see it as a crown jewel that will attract people from all over to Uptown.
But right now, it sits.
Crain's did an article this week that reveals that a plan was in place to revive the beautiful shuttered building in 2015... but claims it was scuttled when Mayor Emanuel replaced the staff of Chicago Infrastructure Trust, the agency that had spearheaded the plan.
It's very sad to read for those of us who want to see the theater become relevant again. The plan would have transformed the massive building "into a multipurpose entertainment complex offering concerts, movies, dining and more. With tenants identified and a financing model in place, it was the closest the Uptown, once one of the largest movie palaces in the world, had ever come to a genuine resurrection."
It's a long article and difficult to summarize, so we highly recommend reading it yourself if you're interested in the future of this theater. It's here: A deal to save Uptown Theatre was all set. Until it wasn't.
For those who will say, "Tear it down!" -- it's landmarked as part of the Uptown Square District, so that won't happen.
In a comment, Ald. Cappleman says, "All the discussion I have had with the Mayor's Office, the Dept. of Planning & Development, and the current owner is on restoring this building. People rightfully ask for a timeline, but because there have been too many false promises made, nothing will be said until everything is in place to make this happen.
This is a heavy lift but I'm committed to making this a reality. Anyone who has ever been inside it quickly understands why it must be restored."
If you've never been inside, we recommend the 2006 film short, Uptown: Portrait of a Palace, free on Vimeo.