See the exteriors and lobbies of several historic and modern theaters in the recently revitalized Loop theater district. Hear Chicago’s storied history of theater and movies while learning about this unique form of architecture.
The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre. In celebration, the CAC is offering the Razzle Dazzle tour to give visitors a unique opportunity to see some of the city's most architecturally significant theaters.
A theater district has existed in the Loop since the 19th century and this tradition continues today. Ornate buildings originally built as movie palaces in the early 20th century now host Broadway touring and Chicago-based theater companies. As movie palace developers Balaban & Katz would say in their 1920s marketing materials: "The show starts on the sidewalk!" These buildings are truly works of art on their own, with stories as fascinating as those told on their stages and screens.
Buildings that are presented on the tour include CIBC (formerly Shubert) Theatre, Nederlander (formerly Oriental) Theatre, Goodman Theatre and The Chicago Theatre. Several other theaters that no longer exist will also be discussed, including the McVicker's, United Artists, Woods and Garrick.
- Although it's not required, we recommend making reservations in advance for this tour.
- This tour ends in front of The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.
- Ticket price includes entrance to the Chicago Architecture Center within 7 days of your tour. View the CAC's hours.
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