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Kinetic Playground
City: Chicago, IL
United States
Date Opened: Apr 3rd, 1968
Date Closed: Nov 7th, 1969
Concert Capacity: ???
Address: 4812 – 4836 North Clark Street (@ West Lawrence Avenue), Chicago, IL
All Venues: View
Venue Notes

1894 - Roadside restaurant
1905 - Additions to the restaurant include a 2nd floor, two-story beer hall, a bowling alley, an outdoor dance floor, and several stand-alone refreshment stands
1917 - Became known as 'Moulin Rouge Gardens'
1922 - Name changed to 'Rainbo Gardens.' The Rainbo Casino and Rainbo Room were added in a major renovation
1927 - Outdoor gardens converted into an indoor sports arena called the 'Rainbo Fronton,' and 'Rainbo Arena' (used for jai-alai, boxing, and wrestling matches)
1934 - During the 1934 Chicago World Fair it was known as the 'French Casino'
1941 - Michael Todd reopened the old Rainbo Casino and renamed it the 'Michael Todd's Theatre Cafe.' It was closed after a very short period of time when he had a falling out with gangsters.
1940s/1950s - Bowling alley added to complex
1957 - An ice skating rink was added to the facility

It subsequently became a practice rink for the Chicago Blackhawks including the year they won the 1961 Stanley Cup. It also became a training rink for several Olympic figure skaters and housed a pro bowling alley before it became a rock music venue.

Aaron Russo originally opened the club as the 'Electric Theatre,' but was forced to change the name sometime in the summer of 1968 after a threatened lawsuit from New York City's Electric Circus.

Gangsters fire-bombed the Kinetic Playground on 11/7/69 and destroyed the roof and light show. The club was subsequently re-opened in the early 1970s.

A somewhat circular room with a manned huge projection booth hanging from the middle of the ceiling, filled with fifty automatic film and slide projectors, and strobe lights for the psychedelic light show. The club featured a huge balcony, eight sound towers, a kaleidoscope of full-length mirrors, an amoeba-shaped stage, and meditation booths.

One section of the building was originally the Rainbo Fronton (later Rainbow Arena, and Rainbo Roller Rink). This section was used for the jai lai, boxing, wrestling, ice skating and roller skating.

The section of the building that became the Kinetic Playground was originally the Rainbo Gardens ballroom (later restaurant, casino, and bowling alley before it became a rock club). It was directly to the south of the Rainbo Roller Rink.

Before it was demolished, the Rainbo Roller Rink was still open to the public. It was primarily a late-night roller skating rink but also hosted some concerts in the rink as well. The last event held in the building was on March 30, 2003, and it was demolished in November 2003.

A condominium complex called 'Rainbo Village' was built on the site of the old building.

Not to be confused with the original club, a new Kinetic Playground is located in Chicago at 1113 West Lawrence Avenue (@ Broadway).

Notes: Inside the "Rainbo Gardens" in the 1920's
Notes: Inside the "Theatre Café" in the 1940's