A Calm Storm

The blog of Sholeh Samadani Munion


Burnham Plaza Theatre

826 S. Wabash Street, Chicago, IL
Status: Closed
Screens: Multiplex (5 Screen)
Architect: Robert C. Berlin

The YMCA Hotel opened in 1915, located on Wabash Street in the South Loop, designed by architect Robert C. Berlin. Eleven years later, Berlin designed an addition to the hotel, in a similar style to his original.

In 1988, the building was converted over to mixed residential and retail use, including a multiplex theater, originally operated by Cineplex Odeon. The former hotel building was renamed the Burnham Plaza around this time.

After it was closed by the Meridian chain in 2000, the Burnham Plaza Theatre was reopened by the Village Theatres chain, showing first-run features, but at bargain prices.

The Burnham Plaza closed for good in September 2005. The building is scheduled to be converted into medical offices.


This was the cheapest theater in the area, and was always empty so you never had to search for a seat. It was also very close to us, and parking was easy at night. *sigh*

Chase Cafe

7301 N. Sheridan, Chicago IL
Status: Closed

Located in the very large lobby of a Roger’s Park apartment building, this all-ages venue offers a section for eating that serves soups, sandwiches and salads, along with espresso and coffee. Patrons lounge on couches and chairs near a fireplace, but wander into another section and you’ll find a cyber cafe/copy shop/computer lab (complete with CD duplicators and a brand spankin’ new color copier…forget Kinko’s). Make your way to the next section and you’ll find a pool table and a gift shop before entering the largest area, where you’ll find a ballroom whose stage features live music and improv theater. Expect to mingle with artsy locals and hippie types eager to sample something healthy from the juice bar.


This was my freshman year hangout. It is where I started overcoming stage fright and made some very dear friends. I loved Tuesday night open mic.

Zorba’s Diner

Status: Being renovated

Apparently under new management and being remodeled, and is NOT closed as previously thought. At least ONE of my college hangouts is not disappearing. whew! But I wonder if it will ever be the same…


5 thoughts on “Closed!

  1. Dear Sholeh’s Past,

    Sholeh regretfully informs you that she has been a victum of the virus known as time progression(TP). TP is an air-borne virus which affects many of us. The supplemental drug given to combat TP is known as “nostalgia” (should not be taken by pregnant women, could cause vomitting and kidey boulders), and it is the current medication the doctor has proscribed. Sholeh has also requested you have a restraining order placed on you, so please do not come within 50 yards of Sholeh, keeping in accordance with case ruling 549087y5r, of the domestic court. She is armed with a cow taser, and is a lethal shot.

    Love and poodles,
    Robbie Falconer
    Sholeh’s made up attorney.

  2. my memory of the burnham theater will forever be intertwined with the memory of ben carpenter, a guy from rhode island who used the words “mad wicked” all the time. he introduced me to dub. he also practiced aikido on me everytime he came home from class. and he liked to steal things from construction sites and alleys, then use them to decorate his apartment.

    anyway, he once took me to see a star trek movie at the burnham theater. but, the night before he required me to sit through a 3-hour lecture on star trek. he drew diagrams and timelines and quizzed me throughout. i was a very attentive student.

    the last time i saw ben carpenter he was getting into a cab at polk and dearborn. it was a january day. snow was falling. he left chicago after just one semester at columbia. they didn’t have enough prop-making classes. i miss ben carpenter. more than i miss the theater, to be honest.

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