The heart-stopping architectural processional [begins] with the first pulse-quickening glimpse of the sumptuous interior through the doors of the outer foyer, moves, almost hypnotically, towards the warm bath of rich tones of the massive grand lobby, through the forest of soaring, intricately carved columns, beneath glittering chandeliers, up to the great curving double staircase, a portal to a nocturnal world, as in sleep, into the indelible images of a shared dream.—Lynn Becker, ArchitectureChicago Plus

Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads is a small, not-for-profit publisher with specialties in history, mythology, culinary lore, and the preservation of folk traditions.

Uptown: Portrait of a Palace

A Limited Edition DVD—As Seen on WTTW Channel 11 Chicago

Uptown: Portrait of a Palace

A Film by John Pappas and Michael Bisberg

Progenitor of the largest U.S. movie palaces of the mid-to-late 1920s, the Uptown Theatre, Chicago, operated profitably and survived several shifts in entertainment and public taste before closing in 1981. Since then, the closed colossus has been one of the biggest mysteries of Chicago’s North Side. Though the Uptown is a popular favorite venue for generations of Chicagoans and a City landmark since 1991, it is increasingly threatened by its disuse and real-estate speculation.

The film provides a short history of the Uptown Theatre and questions why the largest and one of the most elaborate theatres in the nation has been left vacant for 25 years. It uses interviews with eight sources close to the theatre and breathtaking footage from inside the rarely seen venue to invite the viewer to question what is really important in a society fueled by money and private interest.

  • Format: DVD NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Universal/Region-Free
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Running Time: 26 Minutes
  • DVD Release Date: October, 2006
  • Limited Edition of 500 Copies

Get Your Copy Now!

This limited-edition DVD of Uptown: Portrait of a Palace comes in an attractive, full-color DVD case. Don’t miss your chance to own a copy of this award-winning documentary.

Credit card orders are processed through PayPal. You do not need to open a PayPal account, just use the payment form below.

U.S. and Canadian Orders

Price: $10.00 (+ $4.00 S&H)


International Orders

Price: $10.00 (+ $9.50 S&H)


You may also send a check or money order payable to “Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads” and mail to:

Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads, Inc.
PO Box 409095
Chicago, IL 60640-9095

John Pappas and Michael Bisberg have generously agreed to donate proceeds from Uptown: Portrait of a Palace to Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads and Friends of the Uptown (a non-profit advocacy group). Your purchase will help to further promote the entertainment potential of this historic venue.

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