Oct 26, 2021 - News

Happy 100th Birthday to the Chicago Theatre

Chicago theater.

The Chicago Theatre is exactly 100 years old today. Courtesy of MSG Entertainment

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has declared today Chicago Theatre Day.

Five things to know about this iconic Chicago landmark on its 100th birthday:

  1. Balaban & Katz opened the building on October 26, 1921 and dubbed it "The Wonder Theatre of the World," a name that didn't really stick.
  2. Its first presentation was the silent film “The Sign on the Door,” accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra.
  3. The 3,000-plus seat theater has since hosted performers ranging from Duke Ellington and Aretha Franklin to Arcade Fire and Wilco.
  4. The grand lobby is modeled after the Royal Chapel at Versailles and the grand staircase is patterned after the Paris Opera House
  5. If you look hard, you can spot a mini replica of Paris' Arc de Triomphe sculpted above its State Street marquee.
Theater lobby.
Courtesy of MSG Entertainment

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