The historic Biograph movie house, at 2433 N Lincoln Ave in Chicago, the spot where the Lady in Red duped Public Enemy No. 1 John Dillinger, is in its final stages of remodeling, and will open this fall as a new performance space for Victory Gardens theater company. For all of you architecture buffs, below is what VG had to say about the remodeling project today:
“Gone is the labyrinth of walls that existed for the Biograph’s late-twentieth century life as a small cinema,” VG said in a press release. “Gone too are the false ceiling and powder blue acoustical tiles that made the historic building feel tight and boxy. With the space opened and the original brick and finish details exposed, one can begin to see how two live theaters — a 299-seat mainstage and, later, a small studio theater — will inhabit this storied building.
“A large hole has been dug to house the trap system, which will allow for moments of theater ‘magic’ impossible within the small confines of the existing Victory Gardens mainstage. The broad expanse that will comprise both stage and wing space is inspiring the VGT artistic team, led by Dennis Zacek, and members of the theater’s Playwrights Ensemble, actors, directors, designers, patrons, virtually anybody who has peeked inside the Biograph lately.
“Essentially, we are creating an all-new theater within the shell of the old Biograph,” said Daniel Coffey, principal of the award-winning firm also responsible for the restorations of the Chicago, Palace and Oriental theaters. “It will be a theater of our time, not the past.”