Magicplex was an entertainment center located in Chicago, Illinois in the Old Chicago Main Post Office building, which operated from 1999 to 2001. It remained open for only 3 years because of serious design problems, including its insufficient hourly capacity. The building is currently undergoing plans to be renovated into office space.
In 1997, after hearing of the Old Chicago Main Post Office being vacated, Robert Stainton proposed to the Illinois state government to create a covered park for the youth, inspired by a short-lived indoor park in France called Planète Magique which operated from 1989 to 1991. He was assisted by Alex Apple, the founder and then-CEO of Apple Entertainment, Inc.
The transformation of the Old Chicago Main Post Office into the Magicplex cost $700,000,000, making it "the most expensive adaptive reuse of a building" according to Alex Apple. The shareholders of the park were Apple Entertainment, Inc., GreenyWorld Studios, Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. (later CEC Entertainment), the City of Chicago, Tribune Publishing, the Chicago Cubs baseball team, Weigel Broadcasting, Bank of America, RTL Group, Robert Stainton, and others. The transformation was done in a record 9 weeks in 1998.
The course was a spiral circuit around a large inner courtyard, with numerous adjoining rooms.
Several spaces were reserved for arcade video game machines. Boundaries were also arranged along the route. Visitors could play Galaxy Force II Super Deluxe, Out Run or Operation Wolf .
A McDonald's franchise, a FamilyMart, and a Domino's Pizza restaurant completed the offer.
Attractions and animations Edit
- Circuitland: Level 9 - Arcade. Sponsored by Botan Rice Candy (via JFC International).
- Spudland: Level 9 - Interactive puzzle game featuring the band Devo as video guides, leading up to a "Devolution Temple", where players can engage in an interactive meet and greet with Booji Boy and General Boy. Sponsored by Rhino Entertainment.
- Kitty Kat Korners: Level 8 - An interactive challenge where the audience must rescue the comic strip character Heathcliff and his friends from an animal shelter. The Catillac Cats (from the strip's 1984 animated adaptation) appear as video guides. This attraction was dedicated to Stanley Jones, Riff-Raff and Wordsworth's voice actor who died after he finished recording his lines, and Ted Zeigler, Mungo's voice actor, who died before the park's grand opening.
- The Super Raceway: Level 8 - Characters from Universal Press Syndicate's comic strips appear as video guides for a raceway with cars based on a 3/4 size scaled-down NASCAR Sprint Cup Series chassis utilizing a Allison V-3420 airplane engine. Sponsored by Universal Press Syndicate comics.
- SWAT Kats: Megakat City Brawl: Level 7 - A motion simulator where the audience follows events in Megakat City during a riot. Proceeds from the construction and production of the simulator went to the victims of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The cast from the TV series reprised their roles for this, however the animation was not done by Hanna-Barbera Productions but rather by the Spanish animation studio D'Ocon Films Productions.
- The Magicplex Playground: Level 7 - Indoor playground with ball pool, ropes, ladders, play and educational workshops, etc.