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There was a large mural of Will Rogers in the lobby of the theater. Does anyone know who painted it? I understand that Louis Grell did a lot of interior work for architects Rapp & Rapp and it does look like his work. I asked on the Louis Grell web page but they had no record of it.
I understand that the El Portal will be occupied by a Taco Bell and Wahlburgers now that the Indian crafts store has vacated, which doesn’t bode well for preserving the place. I hope the world’s nicer to me when I turn 90 years old.
Khnemu, I was by there recently and it’s still standing. The gargoyles are gone but otherwise it’s intact. I was at an alderman’s meeting and the developers said they considered saving the beautiful building but there was a fire here long ago. It damaged the framework so it’s unfit for building upon. As far as the facade, the language they used was that they hoped to save it but, with century-old construction, who knows.
I saw JAWS here when I was a kid. There’s a stone in front that resembles the open-mouthed shark from the iconic poster for the movie. It’s still there.
I’ve heard that Edgar Bergen (Charlie McCarthy’s dummy ;) ) was a projectionist here during the vaudeville era. Haven’t seen an independent confirmation of that anywhere, though.
I see an ad from 1914 refers to this at the Clearmont Theatre. Not sure if this is a misspelling or the actual name of it.
The crew of the WWII German U-boat U-505 was shown “Das Boot” in this theater, although many chose not to attend.
I hope they preserve it soon. I was just by there and the entire building is slanting noticeably to the right.
The place is a dump.
Today I went to a showing of American Grafitti and a vintage car show. I understand this theater has been rehabbed but it was still crappy compared to other refurbished movie houses like The Music Box and The Vic. “30 classic cars” turned out the be four, no one took my ticket when I went in, “American Grafitti” started 15 minutes late and there was a loud buzz on the speakers. Walked out after 10 minutes. Let it turn into a church.
The Jim Jarmusch movie “Only Lovers Left Alive” was partially filmed here.
I have about 50 movie programs from the Elmo theater my grandparents collected from about 1936 through 1938. I’ve uploaded a sample of one to the photo section. Note the “free stainless steel kitchenware” promotion that was common at the time.
The Calo was where cop-killer Gus Amadeo was watching his last movie before being ambushed & killed by Det. Frank Pape back in the 50s. You can read about it here:
This is where I saw my first live-action movie when I was 5 years old, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It was a re-release. My dad yelled at the staff when they started cleaning the popcorn machine during the movie, which made a racket. Then at the end, before Bowman finished his trip through deep space, the film broke and they couldn’t fix it! Never saw the end of this movie until 10 years later.