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It's Time To Restore The Historic Uptown Theatre, Petition Urges

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 7, 2017 7:11PM

The Uptown Theatre is teeming with history and plenty of Tudor Revival splendor, but it's been largely out of use since it closed to the public back in 1981 (save for the odd Regina Spektor video shoot). Now a new online petition is calling for the restoration and reopening of the designated city landmark—and it's gaining some traction.

The petition is supported by Preservation Chicago and Friends of the Uptown. With more than 1,800 signatures, it calls on Mayor Rahm Emanuel; David Reifman, Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development; and Jerry Mickelson, owner of both Jam Productions and the Uptown, to "support and ensure the restoration and reuse of the historic Uptown Theatre for entertainment and other special events."

The petition states:

"The potential of the Uptown Theatre means so much to the people who have fond memories of it and to those who are hoping that its restoration and reuse will bring jobs and make a positive economic impact on the neighborhood and region."

The Uptown was built in 1925 and functioned as an opulent movie house for several decades. In the 1970s, the theatre transitioned to a concert venue, playing host to the likes Bob Marley & The Wailers, Prince, Duke Ellington and countless others before it shuttered more than 35 years ago.

Chicagoist has reached out for comment from the DPD and Jam Productions—which also regularly hosts concerts at Riviera Theatre, Park West and The Vic. We'll update as necessary.

[H/T Curbed Chicago]