People have loved going to the movies ever since silent movies premiered, at a time when Chicago was Hollywood…before there was a Hollywood.
Essanay studios dominated the industry, in part due to its relationship with actor Charlie Chaplin. It was located in the heart of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood on Argyle Street, west of Broadway.
Once talkies entered the fray, ornate movie palaces sprouted up all over the city, many of them grand like the Uptown, the Tivoli, the Paradise, the Lawndale and the Ramova.
Some of these old classic movie houses still exist. Some have been modernized and renovated, some still show actual film (versus digital) movies and some show cult classics and do a variety of events and film festivals.