November 11, 2007
Balaban and Katz Documentary in the Works
David Balaban, author of The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz, and The Balaban and Katz Foundation are producing a television documentary on Chicago's historic Uptown Theater and the Balaban and Katz organization. David is the grandson and namesake of one of the five famous Balaban brothers.
By 1919, the Chicago Loop already boasted twenty theaters. But, the golden age of the Chicago movie palaces, embraced by who Ben Hecht called "the movie-mad masses," wouldn't officially begin until October 26, 1921. This was the day that Barney Balaban and Sam Katz opened the doors of The Chicago Theater at 175 North State Street in The Loop. It was the flagship of their empire.
There is a wonderful slideshow of Balaban and Katz theaters and memorabilia at the Balaban and Katz Magazine website, and for a peak into the past, take a look at a copy of a 1925 issue of the Balaban and Katz Magazine.