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Logan Square's infamous 'Aloha' billboard finally taken down

Written by
Clayton Guse

It's finally time to say "aloha" (the goodbye one) to Logan Square's most famous billboard

The massive sign for Cameron Crowe's flop of a film, Aloha, on the top of the old Grace Furniture Building at 2618 N Milwaukee Ave has been taken down. The billboard hung over the park surrounding the neighborhood's Illinois Centennial Monument for a whole year, long after the movie exited theaters. 

The billboard (along with another now-blank pair on the same building) is in the Logan Square Boulevard Historic District and has drawn some ire from the Logan Square Preservationists group—but it also developed a cult following. A Tumblr page was created by Matt Byrne last November with the goal of answering a single question: "Is the poster for the movie Aloha still on that billboard in Logan Square?" Until today, it was updated periodically with the simple answer: "Yes." It drew so much attention that Avondale resident Brian Solem created a Facebook event to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the film's release on Sunday, May 29. Unfortunately, the ad didn't last long enough (the event title has been changed from an "anniversary" to a "vigil"). 

The billboard is owned by local company VisualCast, which also owns the other pair of signs on the face of the building that have been blank for years after a lengthy legal battle with local preservationists. The rookie 35th ward alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has been a strong advocate of keeping billboards out of the historic district, which could explain why it took so long for the billboard to come down. Rosa was not available for an immediate request for comment. In any case, the sign's removal is a pretty big win for anyone who wants to keep Logan Square's most historic area free from the plague of advertising. 

The film is, by pretty much every measure imaginable, truly awful. It stars Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone (who for some reason was cast as an Asian-American woman), and depicts a military contractor (Cooper) who returns to Hawaii and reconnects with "the one that got away," or something like that (this writer did not see the picture). It grossed $26.3 million worldwide—but had a production budget of $37 million— and received a 19 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Crowe somehow got Bill Murray to sign on, but we assume he just used it as an excuse to take a paid vacation to Hawaii.

It's unclear whether or not the blank billboards will be taken down any time soon, but locals will forever remember the buzz around the obnoxious ad for a terrible film. 

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