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The Chicago Theatre

Updated on February 19, 2008

Chicago Theatre

Located in Chicago's Loop area (downtown Chicago), the Chicago Theatre hosts various different performances ranging from classical plays to magic shows and everything in between including live concerts and, at one time, movies.

This is definitely the theater to go to when in Chicago. There's always something new and interesting to watch and take part in. Plus, you get to go home and say "I saw Frank Sinatra at the Chicago Theatre;" well, although we can no longer hear Mr. Sinatra sing live, there are still other great performers that take stage in the Chicago's great theater.

Ela Fitzgerald
Ela Fitzgerald
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra

History of the Chicago Theatre

The theater that cost nearly $4 million to construct, was opened on October 26, 1921. Abe and Barney Balaban built the theater with the help of Sam and Morris Katz. Together this quartet, created what would become the flagship of theaters

Within the first 40 years after opening, the Chicago Theatre drew its biggest crowd of jazz musicians. But since then, the theater has had performers wide and vary.

Here is a small listing of a few of the performers who have graced the stage of the Chicago Theater:

  • John Phillip Sousa
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Duke Ellington
  • Judy Garland
  • Bob Hope
  • Benny Goodman
  • Ella Fitzgerald

And since it was refurbished, the theater has seen more of today's more popular culture, such as:

  • David Letterman
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Robin Williams
  • Prince
  • Coldplay
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Barry White
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Neil Young
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Liza Minnelli
  • Dolly Parton
  • Indigo Girls


Things that happened at the Chicago Theater.

  • Ronald Reagan publicly announced his engagement to Ms. Jane Wyman.
  • Al Capone got control over all of the projectionists and stagehands unions, while he, also, extorted money from the Balaban and Katz chain that founded the theater.
  • Hosted the Chicago International Film Festival and a few of the National Press Club events.
  • Mayor Richard Daley declared that July 12th "Roger Ebert Day in Chicago," and he dedicated a plaque in his honor.


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    • ceholmes profile image


      8 years ago from Chicago

      great hub on the history of chi-town theater! I am from the city and enjoyed this very much

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      10 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Gorgeous hub.

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Georgia

      ha Olive looks like we're missing out A's today...

      Thank you Patty.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Nice pictures.

    • Olive S. profile image

      Olive S. 

      10 years ago

      ha! I forgot to type an "A" in paragraph. lol

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Georgia

      thank you olive.

    • Olive S. profile image

      Olive S. 

      10 years ago

      looks good except ,

      in the second paragrph you said,"we can no longer her Mr. Sinatra,"

      forgot to type in a "A" Thanks for the info.

      great hub, and goodluck. =)


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