How much is a 4,300-seat entertainment palace worth?


Finally, finally there seems to be a glimmer of hope for the future of the 80-year old, Rapp and Rapp-designed Uptown Theatre. The Chicago Tribune reports that the projected bids could be anywhere from $1 to 40-million for this celebrated theater, replete with 4300 seats and 3 vast lobbies.  Many bids are expected, including Chicago’s Jam Productions (which used the venue in the 70’s), California’s LiveNation and Madison Square Gardens.  Says Chris Jones on his blog:

It seems counterintuitive, but in many ways the judicial sale is a consequence of renewed interest in the Uptown, flowing from the increasingly competitive marketplace for live entertainment in Chicago and the relative shortage of viable venues.  The fortunes of the long-imperiled, down-at-heel Uptown look brighter now than at any point in the last two decades.

UPDATE: Uptown Theatre has been purchased by Jam Productions for $3.2 million.  Full story here, here and here.

Bonus: Though I posted Ian Sklarsky’s beautiful (and heartbreaking) Uptown Theater YouTube video months ago, here it is again:

Top picture courtesy of

The Uptown Theatre – a wondrous but heartbreaking slideshow

I would give anything to be able to have witnessed the 4,300-seat Uptown Theatre back in its glory days.  It really must have been amazing.  This slideshow is heartbreaking in the sense that it really brings to light the total neglect of this movie-palace treasure. 

A deep thank you to you could just include it was made by Ian Sklarsky, that for creating this beautiful video, and for keeping the memory of this beautiful building alive.