Landmark Theaters has reportedly signed a lease with Holsten to build a art-house multiplex in the Wilson Yard redevelopment, at Broadway and Wilson in Uptown. Although certainly movies are an appropriate use in what was one of Chicago’s premier entertainment districts, the opening of the Landmark Century Center (and art houses in Evanston and Highland Park, keeping North Shore moviegoers closer to home) has cut into ticket sales at the Music Box. The new theater site is similarly near the Music Box, but offers even better access to the Red Line than any existing north side theater.
Talk about signing a theater chain for subterranean space at Block 37 (to complement the Siskel, but perhaps too close to the new River East megaplex) has gone nowhere. Similarly, plans for screening revivals at old moviehouses in out-of-the-way Portage Park and Bridgeport have stalled despite overflow crowds at the annual Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park. It seems there won’t be enough indy or foreign films to fill the screens (and my dreams of ever seeing a movie on the west side — besides the City North and Lawndale multiplexes — seem all the more distant now); revivals and niche ethnic markets seem like long shots as well.