Here’s another one of those old MGM Traveltalks movie shorts that surface on YouTube from time to time.
This one looks Chicago nightlife in 1947, and features a host of locales and places, many of which are no longer with us. Gosh, to see downtown’s Randolph Street ablaze in neon at the 0:53 mark – now that’s what a city should look like at night. And it is amusing seeing Mayor Martin Kennelly, Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick, Charles Dawes – vice president under Calvin Coolidge – eating and drinking at the Walnut Room in what was then the Bismarck Hotel (now the Hotel Allegro).
I wish they could have taken us inside Don the Beachcomber, an early Tiki restaurant at 101 E. Walton referenced at 2:22. That neon sign alone sold me. Instead they take us to the Chez Paree, where a troupe of women in gold pants leap and sashay before breaking into a kind of drunken sailor dance at 3:02. They suddenly wind up with long ropes or ribbons at 3:08 and are spooling and unspooling themselves like yoyos. The crowd, no doubt drunk now, is quite pleased. Curtains close.
These vintage color Chicago videos are a blast. Here’s one from 1942 I profiled two years ago.