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