That Toddlin’ Town
50 Years of Nightlife Chicago 1927-1977
With this issue, Classic Chicago begins a new monthly feature, in which we will cover 50 years of nightlife in Chicago from 1927 to 1977— the city’s restaurants, cafes, cabarets nightclubs and theater.
The extraordinary advertisements, with their original artwork are from the extensive collection of Stanley Paul.
Because the name Stanley Paul is synonymous with finest and most widely known nightclub in Chicago’s history, it is appropriate that he is the author of this new Classic Chicago feature, an addition to the publication we are honored to present.
Stanley Paul gave his large collection of music scores, recordings and artwork, documenting his career and life as a musician, to the city of Chicago in 1991 to be housed in the Chicago Public Library. Given his high-profile position in The Pump Room, Chicago most celebrated club, Stanley met many stars of stage and screen and developed friendships that endured. Included in the collection are personal notes and photographs from people such as Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Lauren Bacall, Carol Channing, Liberace, Ethel Merman, Gloria Swanson and Oprah Winfrey.
For our first series, we will cover live theater in Chicago from the late 1920’s when there were 18 legitimate theaters (can you imagine!)
Chicago was also home to some of the most fabulous movie palaces, which also featured extraordinary vaudeville entertainment.
In this issue we will also cover many of the wonderful nightspots and restaurants from that bygone era—remember Prohibition was still the law of the land, so many of the places were really speakeasies too!
Hope you enjoyed our first series. In the next issue we will cover what was happening in our “Toddlin’ Town” during the time of the Century of Progress 1933-34 (and there was plenty!)
Images courtesy of: