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Widows (2018)

Today’s screenshot comes from the 2018 Chicago-based heist thriller, Widows, directed by Steve McQueen and based on a British TV series of the same name.

Let’s analyze…

This is a medium shot of a politician named Jack Mulligan, played by Colin Farrell. Mulligan has just arrived in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood to meet with his political opponent (who is also a crime boss). 

The well-dressed Mulligan—with his shiny car, chauffeur in the background, and obvious unease over his surroundings—is somewhat out of his element here. Indeed, in the preceding scene, Mulligan is attending a fancy gala with other city bigwigs, all seated underneath the impressive Tiffany Dome at the Chicago Cultural Center.

In the background of this shot, those familiar with Chicago’s historic movie houses will recognize the former Central Park Theater (c. 1917), pictured here in full

Located at 3535 W. Roosevelt Rd., the Central Park Theater is notable for several reasons:

  • It is the first movie palace completed by Balaban and Katz and architectural firm Rapp and Rapp, a partnership that would spawn several landmark movie palaces like the Chicago, Oriental (now Nederlander), Riviera, and Uptown.

  • It was among the first movie theaters in the nation to have air-conditioning.

  • It offered a daycare in the basement.

The Central Park Theater has served as a church since 1971. Behind the chauffeur, note the crosses etched into the walls.

Start at 02:30 to watch the scene from Widows unfold.



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