Reviving The Uptown

A long-vacant Chicago theatre and historic landmark could be due for a second lease on life should discussions with AEG and Live Nation result in a sale of the property.

Both companies have recently taken close looks at the 4,300-seat Uptown Theatre, Greg Harris, an aide to the 48th district alderman, told the Chicago Sun Times. Either or both of the promoters is expected to submit a proposal in the coming weeks.

“These are major groups that have the financial capacity to do the job right,” Harris said. Although the Uptown is in the possession of financial adviser Robert Lunn, the city council has not ruled out a forced acquisition of the theatre amid financial scandals that pushed Lunn into bankruptcy, according to the Sun Times.

Specifically, the council could threaten condemnation of the building if Lunn is not willing to accept the offers presented to him.

The Uptown, built in 1925, has gone relatively unused since the early ’80s, when the building sustained extensive water damage. Various community efforts to raise enough money to renovate the theatre proved fruitless, and the building was shuttered.

The venue was originally built as a movie house. However, during the ’70s it held concerts by bands including The Grateful Dead and ELO.