Plans are in the works to turn Bridgeport‘s historic Ramova Theater into a restaurant and bakery, according to a tidbit buried towards the back of a story that ran earlier this month in the Near West Gazette. Much of the theater’s original architecture will be left intact, the Gazette reports.
Built in the late 1920s near 35th and Halsted, the roughly 1,100-seat theater showed movies until it was abandoned in the 1980s, according to the site Jazz Age Chicago. Since then, the building has fallen into disrepair.
In 2002, the city’s Department of Planning and Development sought bids to redevelop the theater, but as recently as 2005 it seemed destined for the wrecking ball as development continued in the neighborhood.
Later that same year, Maureen Sullivan of the preservationist group Save The Ramova started an online petition and blog detailing the group’s work with the city and Ald. James Balcer (11th). Surprisingly, the site hasn’t been updated since December 2006. Preservation Chicago, which also went to bat for the Ramova, has no new information either. Is it just too soon to celebrate, or have plans for the restoration changed?
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