The Golden Era of Chicago Movie Theatres

bk5Two great families buried in the Jewish Waldheim Cemetery at Forest Park changed Chicago entertainment forever.

maxwellIsrael Balaban (1862-1931) a Jewish immigrant arrived in Chicago in 1882 from Odessa Russia along with his wife Augusta “Goldie” Manderbursky (1868-1936). They opened a grocery store and fish shop on Chicago’s famous Maxwell Street. They and their five sons and  daughter lived in the back of the store.

 

By 1910 the family had moved to the west side where two of their five sons,  Barney Balaban (1887-1971) the oldest son,  and A. J. Balaban (1889-1962) along  with partners Sam Katz (1892-1961) and Sam’s father Morris Katz (1869 -1939)  became the genius behind the Balaban and Katz chain of palatial “movie palaces “.  These wonderful theatres shaped how almost every one of us and our parents sought entertainment and viewed the Hollywood movies. Continue reading “The Golden Era of Chicago Movie Theatres”

Ten Cemeteries and Wrigley Field

Join me on a virtual tour of Chicago’s Northside cemetery corridor. It will help you to understand the growth of burial places along Clark Street,  a north-south street and one of the oldest roads in the city. It runs parallel to and not far from the shore of Lake Michigan, extending north into Evanston Illinois where it becomes Chicago Avenue.clark map Continue reading “Ten Cemeteries and Wrigley Field”

The third and least known cemetery in O’Hare Airport

Cemeteries command little respect when the “powers that be” want to build or expand an airport. Our  departed ancestors are simply “in the way” when we focus on aeronautical progress.  dualThe classic and most recent case was the destruction of St. Johannes  Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery on the west end of O’Hare International Airport, until a few years ago,  at the foot of runway 9-R. There, some 1,400 people and five acres of cemetery of the St. John United Church of Christ in Bensenville, were dug up to expand the “the world’s busiest airport.” Another nearby cemetery, Resthaven, clings to existence.

But this story is about a third, least known cemetery over there by runway 32-R,  on the far eastern edge of the airport. It was the first to be removed in the name of progress. Lets look at Wilmer’s Old Settler Cemetery also known as the cemetery for the Evangelical Zions  Society of Leyden Township. Continue reading “The third and least known cemetery in O’Hare Airport”