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Letter from the Chairman

What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
00:00 / 00:00

Investors and Friends,


When I purchased the Regal four years ago, I saw it not just as a theater, but as a project that could revive our neighborhood into the thriving community of people and businesses it once was.

I knew this vision wouldn't be easy to achieve. I grew up in Chatham and South Shore during the 80s and 90s and witnessed the swift decline of hope and opportunity in the community. As a young adult, it became clear that a culture of fear and despair had replaced the lost hope and opportunity. I realized this new culture ushered in a new set of systems which distracted us from the fact our neighborhoods were slipping away from us. I also realized that there were some people in the community who promote distraction from this fact, allowing our condition to get worse while they benefit.

So what does this mean for the Avalon Regal Theater? It means that the most important part of this project is unfreezing the culture of fear and despair that has seized our community. It means setting the stage for the Avalon Regal to continue being the landmark it has been to us for so long. This includes forging partnerships with technology companies like Hologram USA, Eventbrite, and truCrowd to bring the theater out of the past so future generations can enjoy its legacy. It means using the Avalon Regal not just as a venue for entertainment and culture, but as a source of education for the community on how to be self-sufficient again.

In my vision, it means embracing technology and the arts together as a way to return our neighborhood to a better version of its former self.



In the past, the Regal was a major economic engine behind one of America's most flourishing communities: Bronzeville. Later in the century, as prosperity reached deeper into the South Side, so did the Regal brand to its current location.


Though the Regal has faced challenges, it's uniquely positioned to serve Chicago's South Side and Northwest Indiana. Unlike Chicago's North Side, which is served by a multitude of venues large and small, the Regal is the largest venue in the region and the only kind of its size south of downtown.

Aside from construction on the building, for the past four years I've been focused on rebranding the Regal. For instance, you may be aware some filming has taken place at the property. We filmed a commercial with Glade that aired during last year’s Super Bowl and a music video with Nikon Camera Company for its 100th year anniversary that debuted last month (linked below). Projects like this have helped raise the Regal's profile and brought more positive awareness to the community.

You might also notice the name has changed from the 'New Regal Theater' to the 'Avalon Regal Theater'. This is because I want to reflect the full history of the building and honor the rich legacy of the original Regal. An added benefit of the name change is that the abbreviation now spells 'ART'.

Our partnership with Hologram USA in Beverly Hills establishes us as the first venue in America that will have holographic performances alongside live productions. Though hologram shows won’t comprise a majority of our annual calendar, they’ll play a big role in drawing tourism to the neighborhood to see this cutting edge technology. More importantly, it’s going to be a great tool to teach youth about all the artists and figures of our past and present so they can become the future. You can read more about our partnership with Hologram USA in the link section below.

We’ve also inked a deal with San Francisco-based Eventbrite for venue ticketing. This partnership saves our customers money on ticket fees and creates an easy to use ticketing system that’ll protect concertgoers and promoters alike.

We’re also working with a number of community businesses to provide everything from promotions and marketing to catering and hospitality. If you know of a local business that might be helpful to us, tell them to get in touch using the info below.

All of these great partnerships will ensure a professional quality of service for patrons in the many years to come.



The Regal's saga is not unique. It represents a larger issue that has plagued most businesses in our community: lack of access to investment capital. The solution to this challenge is pooling our resources to support new and existing neighborhood businesses.

The time has passed for politically controlled grant funding in our neighborhood that distorts the market. Every year, South Siders spend nearly $1.5 billion outside the community because local businesses are unable to invest enough in serving the South Side’s total demand for goods and services.

Widespread reliance on government aid to fund private development in our community has led to major economic dysfunction across the board, including a housing market that's unaffordable, yet over-assessed and blighted, and food deserts drowning in an $85 million annual OVER-supply of alcohol in the South Side market alone. See for yourself in the charts linked below to learn more about how broken our market has become ('Supply and Demand on the South Side').

In spite of these challenges, technology can help solve a broke market too- there's an app for that. Do you ever wonder how much money is raised annually for GoFundMe crowdfunding on memorials, funerals, tuition expenses, etc. in our communities? To give you an idea, over $5 billion total has been raised on GoFundMe campaigns in the past seven years.


What if we could invest just a fraction of that back into our neighborhood businesses AND produce a return on that investment for the community?

I think it's time we "GoFundOurselves" access to our own capital.

The Avalon Regal’s partnership with truCrowd will give concertgoers the choice to also be investors in the theater’s success. My hope is that this becomes a model for how people in our community can take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities that exist right next-door; whether it's pulling the block together to invest in that vacant 2-flat across the street, pooling money to invest in a family business, or investing in a quality neighborhood grocery store that doesn't have "For Less" in its name and is not also a dollar store or gas station.

Local businesses with access to capital have the power to create local jobs. President Barack Obama created the JOBS Act to help small businesses raise money by making it easier for community members to invest in those businesses with technology. truCrowd is one of two JOBS Act-compliant crowdfunding companies in Illinois approved by the government to vet local investment opportunities and offer them to the community. It’s like GoFundMe, except you make a financial return on the money you invest, instead of just donating it.

Investors in the Avalon Regal Theater's Seat Bond program can look forward to professional reporting, oversight, and transparency once we officially launch the investment offering to the public later this month. We've been transferring investment information to the truCrowd platform and current investors will hear more on the status of that in a couple of weeks. I greatly appreciate your faith and patience during this process.

See the link section below for more information on truCrowd, the JOBS Act, and the Avalon Regal Theater's Seat Bond program.



As for our opening... we're planning something very special for this summer, because I decided “Summertime Chi” is the most ideal time of year to put our best foot forward~ and you better believe we’re coming out swingin', steppin', and foot-workin'!

Feel free to share this message with your network and let people know to sign up for our mailing list at to stay in tune as we move into the future.

I'll be hosting a crowdfunding panel discussion on Wednesday, March 14th (please note the date change from the 15th) with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.


RSVP here for that event:

Jerald Gary



Video links:


Avalon Regal Theater for Nikon Camera's 100th Anniversary


Partner links:


Hologram USA




JOBS Act information:


Avalon Regal Theater's Seat Bond program:


Supply and Demand on the South Side charts:

Online link to this letter:

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