International Amphitheater


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International Amphitheater
Posted by: Scott1964 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: December 27, 2012 01:48PM

I've been to the old Amp a few times in the 70's for Chicago Cougars hockey games. In the 80's, we drove by and snapped a few photos of the arena. Something is puzzling me. I've seen photos and read stories that say there was an expansion built on the south end of the arena, then another added on in 1960. The square footage of space went from 200,000 to 400,000 then to almost 600,000 of convention space. When we last saw the building in approximately 1986, only the original structure was present, the long expansions were gone. Does anyone know when or why these expansions were removed? Apparently because of lack of events once McCormick Place was built, but when were they torn down?

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: WayOutWardell (63.226.79.---)
Date: December 27, 2012 03:09PM

Good question. There's a still-standing large brick at roughly 43rd and Halsted that looks like one of the additions, based on old aerial photos; perhaps only the original Amphitheater structure was demolished in 1999?

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: daleschaul (---.phnx.qwest.net)
Date: March 02, 2013 09:32AM

Saw the Rolling Stones here back in the 60's!!

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: Business7007 (---.hsd1.fl.comcast.net)
Date: March 25, 2013 08:39PM

The International Amphitheater belonged to Union Stockyards and Transit, they built it in 1934. They also owned all of the land that once was the Union Stockyards. That has all now disappeared into vacant land and redevelopment. The Amphitheater met the same fate and while those long brick buildings may have once been part of the facilities their bricked-up windows and an occasional sign say they have been put to other uses. The main bilding and the great Stockyards Inn facilities are long gone.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: jak378 (---.hsd1.fl.comcast.net)
Date: April 02, 2013 03:26PM

The Amphitheatre began its long demise after a particularly incident of gang rape around Christmas of 1981. w Young females were beaten, stripped of clothing and raped by a conglomeration of gangbangers during a concert. A male was also stripped and beaten. After that incident it was unusual for thelace to have first class entertainers or show. It was finally torn down sometime in the '90's

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: mo4040 (---.hsd1.va.comcast.net)
Date: August 05, 2014 10:58PM

Saw the LA 'Thunderbirds' (rollerderby) at the Amphitheatre back in the mid-70's.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: justacruzr2 (---.260.popsite.net)
Date: August 23, 2014 06:50PM

mo4040 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Saw the LA 'Thunderbirds' (rollerderby) at the
> Amphitheatre back in the mid-70's.

Went to one of those roller derby matches in the 70's also. Also saw Jethro Tull and Kansas there. And when I was just a kid in the early 60's dad took the whole family there several different times to see the rodeos they used to have there. Wasn't there also some auto racing done there too?

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: b.a.hoarder (---.hsd1.in.comcast.net)
Date: August 23, 2014 07:48PM

justacruzr2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> mo4040 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Saw the LA 'Thunderbirds' (rollerderby) at the
> > Amphitheatre back in the mid-70's.
>
> Went to one of those roller derby matches in the
> 70's also. Also saw Jethro Tull and Kansas there.
> And when I was just a kid in the early 60's dad
> took the whole family there several different
> times to see the rodeos they used to have there.
> Wasn't there also some auto racing done there too?

Yes there was auto racing, previously mentioned in a thread here was the indoor drag racing in '62 and '63. They also ran midgets in the auditorium there (where they held the circus, rodeo, etc.) and would put Coca Cola syrup down on the smooth concrete to provide traction for the tires. Lots of noise and carbon monoxide, what more could you ask for?

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: justacruzr2 (---.260.popsite.net)
Date: August 24, 2014 02:07PM

b.a.hoarder Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> justacruzr2 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > mo4040 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
> Yes there was auto racing, previously mentioned in
> a thread here was the indoor drag racing in '62
> and '63. They also ran midgets in the auditorium
> there (where they held the circus, rodeo, etc.)
> and would put Coca Cola syrup down on the smooth
> concrete to provide traction for the tires. Lots
> of noise and carbon monoxide, what more could you
> ask for?


How did we ever manage to survive without the EPA and OSHA holding our hands.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: dmr37 (63.139.146.---)
Date: January 20, 2015 02:36PM

I was one of those little kids that flagged the cars into the parking lots on Halstead in the early 70s

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: SWEDE (---.lightspeed.iplsin.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 23, 2015 08:39PM

Back in the 50's & 60's we went to every Auto Show, Rodeo, Dog Show and whatever. Stockyard Inn had the best steaks. My grandmother worked in the yards for Armour. Just about every friday when I was a kid we went to Drovers Bank and then went to the slaughter house. Went to St Michaels school. I remember the cattle trucks rolling in thru the city especially the smell.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: Eric F (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: January 23, 2015 08:47PM

I remember going there for Chicago Cougars games, Loop Fest, and AWA Pro Wrestling.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: SWEDE (---.lightspeed.iplsin.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 23, 2015 08:50PM

Growing up we went to Comiskey Park to watch wrestling and Soldiers Field to watch stock car racing.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: southwestside83rd (---.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 24, 2015 01:41PM

Working in the late summer of 1968, near 38thstreet at the now demised Hysan products, was able to actually see the people (police?) standing atop the amphitheater on the now infamous Democratic convention. At least that it how it is remembered. What a huge building the amphitheater was! It was an event gathering place, there were student science fairs held there, even the auto shows, pre-the first McCormick place! good old summer of 1968!

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: ambrosemario (---.hsd1.in.comcast.net)
Date: January 24, 2015 02:40PM

Back in the early seventies one of the most popular "sports" attractions in town were the Friday night pro wrestling cards held at the Amphitheater. Those of us old enough will remember that Bob Luce was the promoter and among the wrestlers always featured were the Bruiser, Crusher, Verne Gagne, Pretty boy Bobby Heanen, and a local favorite, Moose Cholak. The top priced ticket (around $15), included a steak dinner at the Stockyard Inn and a ringside seat. I'm not sure how many the Amphitheater could hold, but it was always sold out. Great times.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: Eric F (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: January 24, 2015 08:36PM

Yukon Moose Cholak owned the Calumet Beach Inn at 9910 S Ewing (torndown) and occasionally tended bar. Dick the Bruiser really did on occasion hangout at Ben's Auto sales at 59th-Western.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: rjmachon (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: February 01, 2015 07:40PM

The last time I was there was for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. ambrosemario, I read that it only held 9,000 seats.

Also the Chicago Bulls played there there first year in the NBA, 66-67.

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: Longford (---.c3-0.arm-ubr1.chi-arm.il.cable.rcn.com)
Date: February 07, 2015 03:14PM

I remember, as a kid in the 50's and 60s, going to the IA to see the International Livestock Show. I'd also go for the circus, and later to watch the Chicago Bulls play there. I graduated from Tilden High School, nearby, and would often pass the IA (until the late 1960s).

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Re: International Amphitheater
Posted by: SS1960 (---.lightspeed.spfdmo.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 17, 2015 09:56PM

I went there as a kid for the Sportsman Show and the Custom Car shows, then as a teenager to see Yes in-the-round and Van Halen.

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