One of the two organizations backing the $75 million Uptown Theater rehabilitation project in my neighborhood has backed out:
Farpoint Development is no longer involved in the efforts to revitalize the Uptown Theatre, the legendary movie palace and concert hall that has been shuttered since 1981. Jerry Mickelson, owner of the theater and founder of JAM Productions, and Ald. James Cappleman (46th) confirmed the news Monday.
Mickelson and Farpoint Development’s plans envisioned restoring the venue to its Jazz Age grandeur. On top of restoring the building’s facade and historic features, the project would have increased capacity from 4,300 to 5,800, installed removable seats on the first floor and added a new marquee.
Mickelson said he did not want to place a new timeline on the Uptown Theatre’s renovation due to the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic. He did say that there will be “strong” demand for live entertainment once the pandemic has subsided, and he is optimistic that the Uptown will eventually be open to help meet that demand.
“The Uptown Theatre is one of the most iconic venues in the country,” Mickelson said. “It’s got a bright future.”
I hope it's not dead and gone. It hasn't hosted an event since 1981, and it hasn't had the best maintenance since then. But losing it would really suck.