Did anyone here ever visit Old Chicago before it closed in 1981? It was a 500,000 sq. ft. indoor amusement park (possibly the first indoor park?) that opened in 1975 outside Chicago. Just wondering how the park was. ------------------ Nashville needs a theme park!
My parents took me when I was a little, little kid. Paul's site has great info and pictures, and my mom and I are convinced I'm in the Jelley Belly picture from the Fun Factory. Very vague memories (I was between 4-6 years old at best) but I do remember wishing I could ride the Chicago Loop! *** This post was edited by dawnmarie313 11/10/2003 1:49:18 AM ***
I grew up about 5 miles from Old Chicago and got my first coaster ride there on the "Chicago Cat". We went there literally all the time and I have many fond recollections of it. If you're interested I have a section on www.negative-g.com devoted to Old Chicago with a complete history as well as photos of the park, the mall and it's too soon destruction.
I too visited there only once. I enjoyed it and was disappointed when it closed but keep in mind this was a mall first and an amusement park second; similar to Mall Of America in MN.
My understanding was that the rent charged to the stores was very high and the high rents were of course passed on to shoppers. And being so far from any densely populated areas (at the time) there was limited shoppers to begin with. Bolingbrook's population alone couldn't support it.
Now that there's more people living out that way, a facility like that might stand a better chance but I would doubt anyone would undertake the effort.
------------------ Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
The biggest problem and the main reason Old Chicago failed was that it wasn't really a "shopping mall". There were NO anchor stores list Sears, Penneys, etc. Most of the stores were jeans stores,t-shirt stores and the like. After your visited the stores once, the only reason to come back was for the park. Although the concept was like Mall of America or the Edmonton Mall, the execution was not good. I visited many times and rode my first looping coaster there - The Chicago Loop.
------------------ Laugh your troubles away at Riverview, the world's largest amusement park.
Ahhh, finally I found out where Brian De Palma shot that notorious "Paratrooper vs. window"-scene. That site is great. Lots of nice pictures with a severe seventies-feel. Its sad to see the damage after such a short time. Too bad it was not more successful.
Paul's site is the best Olde Chicago site on the net - Kudos, Paul!
Growing up in the Chicago south burbs in the 70's (in 1975-1981, I was 11 - 17), we made a trip to OC about one a month - family, scouts, birthday parties - always seemed to be something going on. We never shopped in the stores. Neither did my parents. Did eat at the Wendy's, tho. First one I ever remember seeing. I thought it was an Old Chicago themed restaurant!
I was there when they shot a bunch of those scenes. The Biregarten was a realluy great place to eat. I went there numerous times including my t-ball team banquet.
The big reason OC failed is due to bankruptcy reorganization Illinois Central was forced into managing the place and they had neither the skill or desire to make it succeed. Check out my history section, there's more detailed info about why OC failed.
BTW if anyone has any OC pictures in their collection or TR's from the park I'd love ad them to my OC section.
Agreed Chitown....and don't forget to add to that list the old Forest Park Amusement Park as well. From what I have read, they had some pretty wild (and dangerous) rides there. Wasn't around for long, but sure did have an impact on the area. Despite knowing "where" it was, I have a hard time imagining a park located where the CTA station/building is at. Then again, there was no Eisenhower Expressway at that time.
Thanks for sharing that info about Forest Park. I grew up very near there and had never heard of it 'til now. Neat. :)Anyone have any information on Chicago's Hollywood Kiddieland, somewhere on the north side near Lincolnwood? My dad worked there as a teenager and "operated" the Swinging Gyms and several other rides. He says it was a pretty sketchy park and didn't have a major coaster...
I also grew up "right by" where Forest Park Amusement Park was....like I said, hard to believe a 22 acre park used to be there. While it was only around for 15 years, it seems like it was the place to be back in the day.
Another old park from that general area (and from my childhood) was the old Kiddie Kingdom out in Oakbrook Terrace. I barely remember going there but a few times....but I always remember driving past it when we'd out on Roosevelt Road going West past 83. Was always a cool looking place.....and you can't forget the big hill across from it where they used to have the water slides either!
I always wondered what that hill was there for! It's about 3 miles from my office. Looks verrry out of place among the blank flatness that is northern Illinois. I just assumed it was a former landfill or something.
------------------ What is the eleven letter word that all smart people spell incorrectly
Yah, that big hill once was home to a water slide park....and, actually, I think if you stare really hard you can still see the blue slides that are buried underneath all the brush that has grown up since they shut down the hill. I forget the name, but it was something like Racing Rapids or Magic Waters....a typical water park type name.
Kiddie Kingdom was right across 38 from that hill....where the Oakbrook Terrace Tower is actually. I remember I was pretty bummed when they finally tore down Kiddie Kingdom, but at least they didn't turn the area into a strip mall! They replaced the Kingdom with a pretty nice looking building....the tallest building in Illinois (outside of Chicago, of course).