With the Riviera Theater, Aragon Ballroom, Green Mill and Uptown Theatre all within a half block of the intersection of Lawrence and Broadway, Uptown was a booming entertainment district throughout much of the 1900s. Throw in the Arcadia (three blocks south), the 5100 Club (three blocks to the north), and the Rainbo at Lawrence and Clark, Chicagoans from all over the city would flock to this area to dance, drink, dine, catch a show or take in a movie.
While most of these venues have met with the wrecking ball since Uptown's heyday, the Lawrence and Broadway core has remained intact and, with the presence of the Aragon, Riviera and Green Mill, still serves as a great place to visit for live entertainment. Unfortunately, the neighborhood's biggest gem, the Uptown Theatre, has been sitting vacant since 1981 and has become a sore topic for residents of the neighborhood, many of who would like to see it restored to it's former majesty.
There is hope, though, for the Uptown Theatre and the area surrounding these historic venues. Since taking office earlier this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated that he'd like Uptown to recapture it's former identity as premier entertainment destination. Here is an article that recently ran in the Chicago Tribune on the subject: Uptown Theatre: Polishing an old jewel