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Chicago Theatre

2002 Photo from the Adam Martin collection.
175 N State St
Chicago IL

Live Theatre National Register 1979
Record #9880  
 Opened: October 26, 1921
Capacity: 3605 seats
Architect(s): Rapp & Rapp
Architectural Style(s): French Royal
National Register: 1979
Current Organ: 4/29 Wurlitzer
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz, ABC Great States Theatres, Plitt Theatres

The Chicago opened on October 26, 1921, with silent film star Norma Talmadge on the screen in "The Sign on the Door". Designed by Rapp & Rapp for Balaban & Katz, the Chicago became the largest, most lavish movie palace in Chicago.

Stage shows ran at the Chicago until the theater was modernized in the 1950s.

In the fall of 1985, difficult times caused the Chicago to close. Chicago Theatre Restoration Associates purchased the theater in 1986 and reopened it on September 10, 1986, with a show by Frank Sinatra. Since then, all types of live entertainment, including concerts, award shows, fashion shows and theatrical productions have graced the stage.

The theater still features its original 1921 Wurlitzer organ, which is being restored. The first song publicly performed on the organ was "When Shall We Meet Again," by Richard Whiting.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

July 2019 photos from the Dave Kraft collection.

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December 2009 photos from the Darren Snow collection.

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2002 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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2002 photos from the Scott Neff collection.

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Photos from the Darren Snow collection.

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Last featured 10/9/2003. Last edited 7/23/2022.

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