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Chicago North Side

Next Up: The Uptown Theater District

While three schools in the Uptown and Andersonville neighborhood have been confirmed to be closed today, Uptown’s entertainment venues are sparking some interesting discussions alongside the latest CPS news.

The owners of the Aragon Ballroom and Rivera Theater are to appear in court this Wednesday night, as they face excessive fines for building code violations imposed earlier this year in Cook County Circuit Court.

Pressure to get these buildings up to code line up with Mayor Emanuel and Ald. Cappleman’s plans to re-energize Uptown’s entertainment district.

The Uptown Theater is to be renovated in the coming couple of years, according to Jerry Mickelson, owner of JAM productions and The Uptown Theater.

Money still stands as the biggest issue for the planned renovations.

A group of volunteers, architectural and theater buffs, and neighborhood residents make up the Friends of The Uptown, a not-for profit organization dedicated to the preservation of The Uptown Theater. They do not actively call for donations, according to Andy Pierce, founder of the Friends of The Uptown.

They are waiting for an altruistic act. It’s still a general mystery to the public and to the Friends of The Uptown where the funding will come from to renovate the Uptown Theater.

Cappleman’s chief of Staff Tressa Feher noted the required renovations, fines, and penalties facing the Aragon and the Rivera would not affect planned renovations to the Uptown Theater.

Meanwhile, the real estate firm @properties has opened up a location at 4705 N. Broadway, looking to get an edge the up-and-coming neighborhood development plans.

If all goes as planned, Uptown will be Chicago’s next hotspot for living and entertainment.

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