Oak Park Arms
Golden Age of Radio performances for seniors at the Oak Park Arms

Radio Reenactment: In Old Chicago

Oak Park Arms

Ben Dooley of Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear Old Time RadioThose Thrilling Days of Yesteryear (TTDY) Old Time Radio Recreations Troop presents “In Old Chicago” at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 9, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave.

The city of Chicago has an amazing history. Consider: from world renown architecture to a widespread culture to one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. It’s a city where people came to seek their fortunes, to pioneer new business and industry. It’s where laws were made by leaders and broken by the mob. It’s many stories are known the world over, from Al Capone and Elliot Ness to Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan to deep dish pizza.

Perhaps there’s no story more legendary than that of the Great Chicago Fire, which took down most of the great city on October 9, 1871.

In 1937, the movie, “In Old Chicago” appeared in theaters across the country, telling the story of the O’Leary family as they moved to this bustling city as a last hope of survival. It’s there that two young boys grow up to be powerful young men. “Honest” Jack, following the path of the law and becoming a renown district attorney; the other, turning to a life of crime and becoming one of the most feared gangsters in town. But they both love their mother, their city and each other, that is, until they become bitter rivals. The fire in their hearts was only dwarfed by the fire that appears at the end of the movie.

On October 9, 1944, exactly 73 years later to the date, the Lux Radio Theater revised this story on the air for listeners all over the country.

Now, on October 9, 2016, exactly 145 years to the date from this historic event, TTDY will bring this classic story of an Irish family, the birth of the city, and it’s near death by a great fire. It’s the story of “In Old Chicago.”

A reception with coffee and cookies follows the performance. The free radio recreation shows are very popular with Oak Park Arms’ residents and people from the community. Some guests bring their children and grandchildren to show them what entertainment was like before television.

About Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear features actors and voice over artists who share a common interest – performing old time radio programs for the community. Each actor and technician donates talent and time.

Group founders, Ben Dooley and Pam Turlow, husband and wife, established a connection with The Oak Park Arms in September of 2002, when Turlow’s father became a resident. They’ve been volunteering/performing at The Arms ever since.

Dooley and Turlow’s group performs only once every two months due to the considerable challenges involved in creating a show. They browse through thousands of old time radio episodes, select a favorite, listen and type out the script. Many shows are not available in print and have to be painstakingly transcribed. Then they gather sound effects, rehearse and mount the show.

Sound effects were an important part of live radio shows, and the group performs them live. They have a real door for slamming, doorbells, buzzers, a sound board and shoes for footsteps.

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The radio shows are free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.