Controversial venue owner Erineo “Eddie” Carranza may indeed want the historic theater restored to its prime. But as is made clear in the city Building Department’s ongoing legal proceedings against him, which cite a daunting list of 37 violations, he’s got a long way to go to get there.
Only three days before a Deleterious Impact/Public Nuisance Hearing set to take place on the venue, a fight during a hip-hop show at the Congress Theater Friday night prompted a response from more than two dozen police and fire officials and shut down Milwaukee Avenue for several blocks in both directions.
Though it can be admired for filling a void in the local music scene by booking underground sounds and hosting independent concerts that might not otherwise find a home in Chicago, the Congress Theater is notorious among local music fans as a bad-sounding, poorly maintained and horribly managed dump
These are precarious times for old Chicago theaters. The New Regal Theater on east 79th is in foreclosure; dedicated volunteers are fighting to get a new use for Bridgeport's Ramova Theater.And the Uptown has been closed 30 years of its 86-year existence.