April 6, 2009

1922 Press Club of Chicago Article on Rainbo Gardens


MANN'S RAINBO GARDENS MAGNIFICENT strikes a new note in American entertainment—bringing to Chicago the sumptuous, cultivated forms of gaiety heretofore found only in the capitals of the Continent.

Located at Clark street and Lawrence avenue, near enough to Lake Michigan to have the pleasant lake breezes without the disadvantage of sudden climatic changes, Mann's Rainbo Gardens Magnificent achieves its every justification. Entering the outdoor gardens, one finds himself in a realm of exotic loveliness. In the afternoon sunlight, the green hedges stand out in sharp contrast to the shining expanse of the dancing floor, the brick walks and the gay massed flowers. The gardens are entered through broad French windows at the west end of the Rainbo room opening directly on a veranda. The stage opens on both the Rainbo Room and the Gardens and the entertainment is offered simultaneously. Below the stage is the wide dancing floor surrounded by low terraces and, at the far end, a rich and glowing grotto with trickling cascades, illuminated by colored lights, forms a rare background for the entire scene. Hedges cut up the Gardens into small areas for serving private parties and tiers of tables are ranged along the paths and at the sides of the dancing floor.

The story of how the Rainbo Gardens got its name is timely and interesting. After operating for a time under the name of Moulin Rouge, Mr. Fred Mann, the proprietor, determined in 1918 that the character of the Gardens demanded a name more appropriate to a city so essentially American as Chicago. At that time, his son, Alexander Mann, serving as a Signal Corps photographer with the A. E. F., wrote his father that he had been attached to the Rainbow Division during the Meuse-Argonne drive. Mr. Fred Mann, forthwith, gave the name Rainbo Gardens to the place.

The management holds a high ideal for the Rainbo Gardens. It is primarily for the pleasure and comfort of its patrons and nothing is spared to this end-

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