Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

The Uptown Theater: Could things finally be resolved on Tuesday?

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A public auction has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday that may -- or may not -- finally decide which of two Chicago concert promoters will play a role in redeveloping the landmark Uptown Theater and steering its future as the jewel pin of a new Uptown music district that also will include the Riviera Theater, the Aragon Ballroom and the Green Mill.

The catch: The sale, which is due to take place at the offices of the Judicial Sales Corporation at 1 South Wacker Drive, has already been scheduled several times in recent months. Each time, it's been postponed at the last minute in what seems to be an effort by the first mortgage holder, real estate investor David Husman and the as-yet largely inactive group Broadway for Uptown, to block the second mortgage holder, a group that includes Jam Productions, from taking control of the building and moving forward with the redevelopment

Why would anyone do this? Well, Jam's arch-competitor, the national concert giant Live Nation, is also eager to control the future of the theater, it's been working with Broadway for Uptown and the city seems to favor this team over the Jam-led group.

Stay tuned -- and in the mean time, for more background, check my earlier column here.

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Having seen the inside of this amazing moth-balled giant, I can't wait to witness a genuine commitment to its redevelopment come to fruition. So many dedicated volunteers, professionals, and enthusiasts have believed in the beauty and grandeur of this fragile and intricately ornamented yet monstrously scaled venue, they and the rest of Chicago deserve to see it finally return to its intended useful life.

Don't want to get my hopes dashed once again if the latest efforts fall flat. I for one am rooting for the ol' girl, that I might one day get to walk through her doors in anticipation of a live performance rather than to steal a glimpse of an era long dead.

Whoever takes control of the Uptown, there are many waiting in anticipation for your work to be completed.

gut it and turn it into condos

Sure Jeff and have everything in uptown look as cookie cutter as the rest of the city..this is an ICON, most the great theaters have been torn down in the 70's and 80's, and actually part of Jam productions did just win the bidding, and since they used to have shows at this theater way back in the 80's Im hoping they bring back the shows and restore it to its full splendor...And, besides it is protected, the whole block is protected by the historic preservation, if you want plain boring condos and boring businesses and bars then stay in Lakeview, LIncoln Park and all the other yuppie generic areas..

I'd like to see an investigative report into the true condition on the inside of the theatre, and how much it would take to renovate/restore/fix it all. I've heard that it is horrible, and that it wasn't as bad as everyone thinks, all this afternoon - I'd love to know the truth of it.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on July 28, 2008 3:34 PM.

A look at Lollapalooza's after-shows was the previous entry in this blog.

Jam clears another hurdle in its attempt to restore the Uptown is the next entry in this blog.

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