Saturday Night Live ignores so many perennial complaints — that it's stale, that it has a spotty history with women, that sketches are too long — that it was kind of surprising to hear in mid-December that it was holding not-very-secret "secret auditions" to find a black woman to join the cast. Cast members Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah had both been talking about it in different ways, but to have longtime SNL boss Lorne Michaels suddenly go for a midseason hire?
Apple recently released its list of top apps for 2013. The award for best iPad app went to “Disney Animated” from Disney Interactive, Walt Disney Animation Studios…and the Urbana company Touch Press. Theodore Gray is the co-founder and CCO of the company. IPM's Jason Croft talked with him recently and asked him first to describe the app.
Time is running out this year if you want to call up the very popular Dial-A-Carol and get a Christmas song sung to you by University of Illinois students. It’s an annual tradition that started in 1960 and has been going on every year since.
A piece of Hollywood is coming to Illinois early next year. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg is sending props and sets from the movie “Lincoln” to be part of a new exhibit at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
One of rock's most beloved and contrarian figures has died. Lou Reed epitomized New York City's artistic underbelly in the 1970s, with his songs about hookers and junkies. He was 71.
A group of Hoopeston residents hopes to give the community a sense of how the old downtown movie theater once operated.
The Lorraine Theatre opened its doors in 1922, but closed its doors in March of 2012, suffering the fate of many single auditorium small-town movie houses.
An unnamed buyer recently bought it, and the Lorraine 2, an old store location that was converted in recent years to show movies.
The buyer expects to do some maintenance – then turn both of them over to the Save The Lorraine Foundation in the next few weeks.
Group president and lifelong Hoopeston resident Jim Richards admitted there’s more to be done, namely, raise about $200,000 for maintenance and restoring the Art Deco design.
His memories included a day when vaudeville acts came to town.
"They didn’t have dressing rooms, so what they did, is basically put a ladder – and there’s two tiers on each side, and they went up an built little platforms," he said. "The vaudeville people would walk up the ladder on the side of the thing, go over to the space that they had - which was elevated, above the stage, they would dress in their costumes and change costumes - and walk down and present their program on the stage.”
Richards said his group is open-minded, and needs to rent out the theater for other uses to make ends meet, including theater acts and weddings.
The Save The Lorraine Foundation holds its first fundraiser Sunday, a spaghetti dinner at the Hoopeston’s Fast Lanes Bowling Alley from 12 to 3 p.m.
Illinois is a ways off from allowing oil and gas drillers to begin "fracking" but companies that are interested can begin the paperwork.
Illinois officials say this year's state fair had the highest attendance levels in more than a decade.
President Obama on Tuesday defended the U.S. government's surveillance programs, telling NBC's Jay Leno that: "There is no spying on Americans."
Champaign’s Virginia Theatre is adding digital film projection to its list of recent upgrades.