Monthly Archives: December 2014

There’s something lurking above the York Theatre, and it’s not the well-known Phantom.

theatreAt the beginning of 2014, The Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) unveiled the Willis & Shirley Johnson and Classic Cinemas Research & Education Center, named after Elmhurst’s very own local theater owners. “We have the largest collection of theatre architecture-related materials in North America and we wanted to make sure our space was best suited for researchers coming to visit Elmhurst and our collections,” said Richard Fosbrink, Executive Director about the renovation.

While the research component is the main purpose of the space, the permanent slidesdisplays are open to the public and located on the second floor of the York Theatre building in Elmhurst, with free admission, although donations are welcome.  You won’t find ruby slippers or Mary Poppin’s umbrella, but you will see lots of photos of elaborate movie palaces, pictures of gilded chandeliers, examples of movie usher’s uniforms and pictures of the orchestra pits where live musicians were led by real conductors during the era of silent films.

The museum is sponsored by the Theatre Historical Society, which is a non-profit organization that boasts over 1,000 members. The Society was founded in 1969 by booksBen M Hall, author of the first book celebrating America’s movie theaters, The Best Remaining Seats. After Mr. Hall’s death, the founding members of the society worked towards making the THS’s collection the most extensive in existence. Once displayed in private homes, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana agreed to house the collection. Eventually the items made their way to the basement of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Chicago. In this modest space on North Avenue, volunteers began the enormous task of cataloging and organizing thousands of pieces. By 1986, THS was providing research services to a growing number of clients while continuing to add to their collection. In 1991, the THS moved to its present location in the York Theatre building, right over our own York Theatre.

Currently housed in the archives are over 50 collections telling the story of over 16,000 American and International theaters covering nearly every style of card catalogarchitecture. The collections have photographs, negatives, slides, artist renderings, blueprints, as well as, artifacts, theatre furnishings, textiles, scrapbooks, business records, trade catalogs and miscellaneous items showcasing cultural and social movie theatre history. The Chicago Architectural Photographing Co. Collection includes over 1,400 images of nearly 300 iconic theatres taken near the original opening date of the theatre.  Loew’s Theatres donated over 2,000 photographs of their theatres and Balaban & Katz Records has donated ledgers, board minutes and other legal documents of the Midwest theatre chain from the 1930s.

screen print researchAccess to the archives is free to researchers who come in person. The THS is currently digitizing its collection so that researchers can search remotely. Over 31,000 text records and 1,800 images have been bought online so far. If a student doesn’t find what they want, they are free to contact the THS for further research assistance.

The Theatre Historical Society is one of Elmhurst’s hidden gems that deserves wider recognition. Next time you find yourself in downtown Elmhurst on a Tuesday or Thursday with a little time on your hands, take a stroll up to the second floor of the York Theatre Building. You will soon find yourself lost in a time of magic and wonder without seeing a single frame of film.

Christmas Safety

lightsBy now, you have hung the UL approved lights, using a wooden ladder to avoid problems with electricity. The lights outside are meant for outside use and are plugged into circuit protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

It’s about time to clean your home before the big celebration. Use healthy cleaners that don’t emit toxic chemicals so that your guests with health problems like asthma or allergies can enjoy their time in your home. Vinegar and other natural cleansers are always safe for sensitive individuals or look for Greenguard-certified products that have gone through scientific testing to ensure they don’t pollute your home’s air.

Now that the house is ready, let’s make sure the kitchen, the leading source of holidaychristmas_table_decoration fires, is safe. Since there are so many distractions when preparing to entertain, don’t leave hot ovens or stoves unattended for long periods of time. Take an oven mitt with you if you need to leave the room so that you remember that food is cooking or baking. Wear tightly fitted or short sleeves and make sure there are no paper towels, packages or pot holders on the counters that could catch fire. Keep a pot lid close in case a fire does break out. Shut off the heat and do not pick up the pot or pan. Cover the fire with a lid. Do not use water. It will splash and could spread the fire. Treat all burns with cool, running water.

Don’t forget to turn the handles of the pots and pans towards the center of the stove top so that nothing is inadvertently knocked off the stove. If you can’t keep children and pets out of the kitchen, set a safe zone of at least three feet away from the stove and oven.

Christmas presents many concerns for our furry friends. Be especially vigilant about Christmas-Puppy-puppies-15897188-1280-800the food and drinks your pets can access. Alcohol, chocolate and even some foods can be fatal to your pets. Unsweetened baking chocolate has a much higher dose of the toxin “theobromine” than milk chocolate, but even milk chocolate can be dangerous. Chocolate poisoning symptoms include hyper-excitability, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea and death. If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, give it hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, preferably outside. Always call your vet before causing your pet to vomit.

Common holiday plants may also cause problems for your pets. Poinsettias are mistletoeirritating to a pet’s mouth and stomach, but the plant is not specifically toxic. Because there are so many types of mistletoe, it is hard to predict if your variety is toxic. Symptoms can range from mild stomach upset to liver failure or seizures. It is best to keep mistletoe hanging from the ceiling and not in reach of your pets.

While we want to share our feast with our pets, rich holiday foods are likely to upset their stomachs and often cause diarrhea and vomiting. If you are sharing with your pet, avoid giving him anything fatty or his pancreas could become overloaded, which may mean a holiday trip to the pet hospital.

A few more safety tips include not burning wrapping paper, holiday decorations, plastic artificial logs, paper, trash. or Christmas trees in the fireplace because of flying sparks. Use seasoned instead of green wood. Make sure your fireplace and hearth are clean and have your chimney cleanedMerry Christmas annually by a professional. Always put ashes in a metal container and take them outside, remembering they can re-ignite.

Now that you know how to stay safe this Christmas, everyone at LW Reedy wishes you and your family the happiest and safest of holiday seasons and a new year filled with peace and good will.

The View from 101 York – December 2014

LW Reedy has been serving the Elmhurst community and surrounding areas since 1951. As the largest locally-owned real estate agency in Elmhurst, we have a passion for local news and events. Here’s our view of the community for this month, from our perch at 101 York in the heart of downtown Elmhurst.

December 1 through January 3, 2015

Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

Be awestruck at the Morton Arboretum’s 14MRK_Illumination_website_0917_FINALIllumination. With over a mile of lights and projections, see how the trees respond to your hugs or voice. The new Symphony Woods will be performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This is the perfect one-of-a-kind family activity or a romantic date.

Doors open at 5:00 pm and the last entry is at 8:30 pm. Lights out is at 9:30 pm and the Illumination exhibit is closed Monday December 8 and 15 and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Please see the website for additional entertainment and admission fee information.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Guild’s 36th Annual Reindeer Route Housewalk

RRHW_Logo_2014Take the walk between 10 am and 3 pm or between 6 pm and 9 pm and see how the Christmas spirit has taken root in homes around Elmhurst. This event benefits the projects and programs of Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare.  Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at The Pink Elephant Resale Shop, the Wild Rose Floral & Gift Shop at the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital and Carousel Flowers in Elmhurst, Philip’s Flowers & Gifts in Elmhurst, the Uptown Shop, Red E. Boutique in Elmhurst and Salon Efthimia.

On the day of the walk, tickets will be available for $35 at any of the featured homes. Unwrapped toys will be collected at all featured homes on the day of the Housewalk for pediatric patients of the hospital.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Bazaar & Ladies Night Out

Take a ride to the White Pines Golf Club to bazaarfinish up your Christmas shopping or to take a relaxing break. Purchase spa services, boutique shopping, have a holiday cocktail, and dance to the DJ. The entrance fee is $10 and the hours of operation are 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Participants must be over 21 years old.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Jolly Old St. Nicholas Concert

The Elmhurst Historical Museum presents this celebration of St. Nicholas Day with a festive evening of holiday music, StNicholasPRCroppedentertaining stories and a visit from St. Nick. Elmhurst’s Damenchor or Women’s Chorus will sing classic German carols along with handing out treats for good little boys and girls. Don’t forget to get a picture with the man of the hour. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite Christmas jammies. The concert takes place at the Buik Recital Hall on the beautiful Elmhurst College Campus at 7:00 pm.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fischer Farm Farmside Christmas

Experience a real, old-fashioned Christmas with a hay ride Fisher Farmaround the farm, warm up with hot chocolate in the farm house and listen to the Elmhurst College Brass Quintet and the Elmhurst College Voice Ensemble as they sing Christmas carols. The Fischer Farm is located at 16W680 Grand Avenue in Bensenville. Open 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fair Trade Artisan’s Market

One WorldOpen from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm in the MPH at Immaculate Conception, purchase Christmas gifts for your most discriminating family and friends. Handcrafted by skilled artisans from over fifteen developing countries, there will be jewelry, clothing, toys and musical instruments, baskets, decorative gifts, stationary, ornaments, creches and much more.

Your purchases provide fair wages and continuing work for artisans around the world, allowing them to follow their dreams and plan a better future for themselves and their families. “Support Fair Trade – Where your purchases make a World of Difference!