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News Fri Feb 13 2009

New Kid on the Block Morse Theatre May Be Closing

Photo by Flickr user xol87

Just four months after it opened, the Morse Theatre in Rogers Park may be facing sudden closure. Citing disputes with the theater's investors, owner Andy McGee is no longer booking future dates. The venue has showcased local and national jazz, classical and other often underserved performances, including even a special free neighborhood viewing party for the inauguration last month. It would be a very sad thing to see this unique theater close, especially after such a brief lifespan.

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CSC / February 13, 2009 12:15 PM


Andrew / February 13, 2009 12:45 PM

I think that was meant to be "underserved." Fixed.

anne / February 13, 2009 1:28 PM

Yeah, sorry about that. Google spell check got the worst of me pre-coffee.

Dutch101 / February 13, 2009 2:20 PM

I met Mr. McGee when this was still in the planning/development stages and I thought that his expectations were a little pie-in-the-sky based on a decade of working in and around this business. It is hard, ridiculously hard, to make a venue work, and unfortunately the reason that the genres he dove into are "underserved" is that they just don't have a reliable audience. Fickle, lazy about attending live events, and very, very diffuse.

EdgewaterJoe / February 16, 2009 7:12 PM

As tough as the concert biz may be, scuttlebutt says that finances may not be the main issue. It's interesting to note that the Chicago Tribune reports that the folks running the theatre are thinking of suing investors - not necessarily a sign of impending doom. In addition, I know from a friend of mine who works in the kitchen of the attached Century Public House that it is doing excellent business, and that many, many shows have sold out. And, certain other blogs strongly implicate issues that are not money-related.

So we'll see.

It'sWarmHere / February 16, 2009 10:44 PM

I dunno if Andy McGee reads this but I used to live there, in Chicago, back in the day and this caught my eye. Please check out the Music Liberation Fund website. They have 10 million dollars available for venues and projects like this. This looks like such a cool venue. I have never seen this Theatre in person (the winters of 79 and 80 drove me to the west coast!!!)) but I thought I'd share this. I hope it works out for Andy and the neighborhood. I'll be prayin' for ya! coast!!!)

ItsWarmHereRevisted / February 16, 2009 10:47 PM

ie. the criteria posted above

Check out this article also!

It'sStillWarmHere!!! / February 16, 2009 10:58 PM

Sometimes new money brings a fresh attitude and enviorment. Music is the "doctah" in these rough times. I have fond memories of many great sessions at the Rhythm Room. I'd say "good luck" but luck is for dumb jocks and heathens. I hope this works out for ya! BTW nice site here. It's the first time I've been here too. Forget the negative comments and generalizations from the pseudo experts Andy. Usually those comments say more about the person posting than they do you and your hard work on this project. The economy is rough right now and any venue takes awhile to get going no matter what the economic conditions. Contact the "fund" Andy and if I can be of any help I'm sure the curator will pass my info on to you. There has to be a reason I found this site!! ;)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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