Jan 13, 2022 - Things to Do

Revisiting the demolished Garrick Theatre

Man in front of art exhibition
Chicago's cultural historian Tim Samuelson narrates one of the videos on the Garrick Theater at Wrightwood 659 in Lincoln Park. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Visitors can step back in time by touring Chicago's Louis Sullivan-designed Garrick Theatre in an exhibition called "Romanticism to Ruin," hosted at the Wrightwood 659 gallery.

Why it matters: Super COVID-safe entertainment is in short supply these days, and this exhibit delivers lots of wows without the crowds.

  • Famed cartoonist Chris Ware designed the show. It's housed in a hidden gem of a museum tucked between residential buildings in Lincoln Park.

What you'll find: Huge blown up photos, tickets, programs and even actual terracotta art from the theater that stood near Randolph and Dearborn from 1891 to 1961.

Neatest feature: Bangladeshi architectural animator Razin Khan created a virtual reality style video tour of the building in mind blowing detail.

Person in front of video of building.
Monica stands before the incredible digital video recreating the old Garrick Theatre

Cool fact: The facade of the Garrrick was saved and remounted over the iconic entrance to The Second City theater building on Wells Street.

If you go: Romanticism to Ruin is open on Saturdays through February and tickets are reservation only.

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