The State of the New Regal Theater

The State of the New Regal Theater

Regal theater chicago
Back in 2009 The Sixth Ward Blog reported on the state of the theater. The New Regal Theater was closed and foreclosure proceedings had been initiated.

The New Regal Theater (originally Avalon Theater) is located at 1641 East 79th Street, in Chicago, Illinois. The theater opened as the Avalon Theater in 1927. The design is an "atmospheric" Moorish Revival movie palace designed by John Eberson, who was nationally known for the atmospheric design. It is said that the theater's design was inspired by a Persian incense burner that Eberson found in an antique market. The Avalon Theater was in business until the late 1970s.
Afterward, the building served as the home of the Miracle Temple Church until becoming a performing arts venue once again in 1987. At that time, the theater was renamed in honor of the old Regal Theater, a cultural center for Chicago's African American community that was demolished in 1973. The old Regal Theater was located at 4719 S. King Dr.
It received Chicago Landmark status on June 17, 1992.

The former owners of the New Regal Theater, Edward and Bettianne Gardner, closed the theater in 2003 after losing money for several years. In 2008, the building was purchased by a group that included Ron and Regina Evans with the hope of reviving it as a cultural venue.
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The new owner Regina Evans a former Chicago Police Department veteran and the Chief of Police for Country Club Hills was coming under scrutiny once the news of foreclosure surfaced. One of the comments from the blog

And she owe tons of money to her friends and assioates. Refusing to answer her phone when called concerning payment plans. Changed her recent number that she she held for over 20 years. I want my payment Mrs.Evans!!!!!!!

Now after foreclosure and the theater now an asset of the FDIC, Mrs. Evans was indicted for alleged money laundering Money for a training program was transferred in an elaborate pyramid of companies and non for profit organizations.

Irregardless of what happens to Mrs Evans, the theater is closed and probably in danger of the wrecking ball because of its size and no operator wanting to become a victim of the Clear Channel/Jam Productions war. Time will tell the fate of the Regal.

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  • Wow--very sad. Why is it that a performing arts venue on the south side cannot thrive without controversy?

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