Brothers Barney and A. J. Balaban started out with a rented Nickelodeon theatre, but their dream was to operate large movie palaces. So in 1916 they joined with Sam and Morris Katz to form the Balaban and Katz Theatre Corporation. By the mid-20s, the B&K chain, as it became known, had populated Chicago with large, ornate theatres boasting plush lounge areas, antiques and artwork. The Chicago Theatre in Chicago's Loop (restored in recent years) featured first-run films alternating with live stage shows by top bands and Hollywood stars. Most of the other B&K theatres are gone, but grandson David Balaban has collected a treasure house of photos that witness to their proud exteriors and marquees and their magnificently elegant interiors.
Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.