The Granada movie theater in Rogers Park, which opened in 1926, has 3,447 seats, which makes it the second largest in Chicago and the sixth largest in the country. It has lots of marble, ornate plaster, and an 85-foot dome. It is also the only building by architect Edward Eichenbaum still standing. It was boarded up in June and now faces demolition. In protest, architect Daniel Watts has organized an exhibition of photographs and artifacts from the Granada Theatre, on view today through the end of August at the Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton. A reception from 5 to 7:30 opens the show; gallery hours are 9 to 4 Monday through Thursday Free; more info at 764-4326.
Step, step, step, and hop to the music of some of the country’s best polka bands, including Grammy-winning Chicagoan Eddie Blazonczyk’s Versatones, at the 19th annual International Polka Festival, today through Sunday at the Ramada Hotel O’Hare, 6600 Mannheim Road, Rosemont. The music starts at 5:30 Friday and Saturday, 12:30 Sunday; there’s also a Polka Music Hall of Fame awards banquet Saturday at noon, and a Polka Queen crowning Sunday at 4. Tickets cost $8 a day, $20 for a three day pass. 254-7771.
“When I’m sad I do artwork to help me feel better,” says a member of a rehabilitation program at the Edgewater Uptown Mental Health Center, 4740 N. Clark. “When I’m angry I can put that into my pictures instead of taking it out on myself. It makes me feel good when the things I make turn out all right.” Art therapy has been part of a program for the chronically mentally ill at the center since 1985; today an exhibition of the work of patients in the program opens at the Beacon Street Gallery, 4520 N. Beacon. The organizers of Exhibit 4740: Healing Images From Uptown hope it will help the public understand the complexities of recovering from mental illness. There will be a reception from 4:30 to 8:30 tonight, and gallery hours are 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. The reception and the show are free; details at 561-3500 or 769-0205.
Pineapples, like other bromeliads, root in air rather than in water, sport stiff leaves that form the shape of a rosette, and are native to South America. More than 200 such plants will be displayed at the Bromeliad Society of Greater Chicago show and sale today and tomorrow at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake Cook Road east of Edens, Glencoe. Besides the plants, you can see a film and a lecture about bromeliads. The free show runs 10 to 5 both days; parking costs $2 a car.
The American Drug Free Powerlifting Association presents the Men’s National Powerlifting Championships today and tomorrow at the Hyatt Lincolnwood, 4500 W. Touhy, Lincolnwood. The men, who range from 114 pounds to 275 pounds, are tested for drugs before they can compete. Lifting starts at 10:30 both days. $3 each day gets you in; 561-9692 for details.
Four women make up the cast of director Rick Levine’s version of Waiting for Godot, which opens tonight at 7:30 at Holsteins, 2464 N. Lincoln. The play explores what waiting, anticipating, and never quite being satisfied mean from the female perspective. Admission is $7; 327-3331.
Wood carvers will carve, flax spinners will spin, weavers will weave, and a Lithuanian cook will offer such delicacies as kugelis (crusty potato pudding) and cepelinai (blimp-shaped meat dumplings) at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture’s International Folk Festival today. There’ll also be a craft sale, performances by various ethnic dance groups, and children’s activities. Inside the museum: exhibits and lectures. The festivities run noon to 6 at the museum, 6500 S. Pulaski; admission to both fair and museum is $2, $1 for children. 582-6500.
When he’s not appearing in Broadway musicals (the recent Mystery of Edwin Drood), earning Tony nominations and Outer Critics Circle Awards (for Mystery), or starring in Chicago premieres (the Goodman’s current Sunday in the Park With George), Chicago native John Herrera likes to sing with his five-piece band. (Two band members come from local shows Pump Boys and Dinettes and 1776.) They play a Latin-tinged combo of pop and jazz; their performance at 9:30 tonight at Orphan’s, 2462 N. Lincoln, is part of a series titled Mondays In a Club With John (continuing August 17 and 31). $6 cover per person, plus a minimum; call 929-2677 for reservations.
Abiogenesis, Inc., a six-member dance company that’s recently relocated here from New York, introduces itself to Chicago tonight with Other Worlds, a collection of six short pieces. They’ll “re-create the beginning of time, explore movement in outer space, and bring amoebas and puppets to life.” The free performance starts at 5:30 at the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; info at 346-3278.
China took control of Tibet in 1953, abolishing Buddhist rule; in 1956, after Chinese troops crushed a Tibetan rebellion, the Dalai Lama and 100,000 other Tibetans fled to India. Glenn Mullin, a translator of Tibetan texts, studied under the Dalai Lama for 12 years in Dharmsala, India, and is an expert on Tibetan Buddhism. He gives a talk on the framework of Buddhist belief titled Moment-to-Moment Enlightenment tonight at 6:30 at Akbar, 63 E. Adams. Thursday at 6:30, his lecture Wisdom and Compassion will cover methods of developing these two qualities. Admission is $10 each night; info from Jan Conrad at 875-5742.
Fred does his thing with various dancing beauties in the Film Center’s tribute to him, Amazing Astaire. It starts tonight with Roberta at 6 and Top Hat at 4 and 7:45 and runs through September 1. The Film Center is at the School of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson; admission is $4.50, $2.50 for Film Center members. For a complete schedule, call 443-3737.
Sculpture Chicago kicks off its fifth year today by hosting an alumni retrospective exhibition along Printer’s Row. In keeping with the program’s goal–to create a “museum without walIs”–alumni from past SC shows have come up with new outdoor work for this show, which runs through the end of September. Live music and food will add to today’s festivities, 5 to 8 on Dearborn between Congress and Polk. Weekly informal lectures and walking tours start Monday, August 10, 5 PM at the Hotel Morton, 500 S. Dearborn. Everything’s free; 987-1980 for more info or to arrange a special tour.
Prospects for a U.S.-Soviet arms agreement, the connection between nuclear power and weapons proliferation, and alternatives to nuclear power will be the topics of tonight’s panel discussion, Prospects for Peace in the Nuclear Age, at the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. The panel includes Len Ackland, editor of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Edward Gogol, founder of Citizens Against Nuclear Power and Weapons, and Dr. Harvey Kaplan, member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. The free discussion runs 6:30 to 8:30; 728-8652 for info.
Learn a new way to relax, reduce stress, or achieve goals when social worker and psychotherapist Laurieann Chutis teaches Self-Hypnosis: A Strategy for Health and Self-Change at Ravenswood Hospital’s Adler Pavilion, 4550 N. Winchester. Admission is $3, $2 for seniors and students; details at 878-4300.
Jesus Negrete specializes in corridos (a sort of Chicano blues: music about the woes of poor Mexican-Americans) and has won numerous awards for his work. Today at 12:15, Negrete will lead the audience at the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, in a program of songs that tell about Chicano music, history, and community life. He’ll also show slides. Free; 346-3278.