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Chicago Theatre, Chicago: 4 reviews and 7 photos

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  • Dolly Parton Performs at Chicago Theater - Chicago
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  • Lovely Detail Work at Chicago Theater - Chicago
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On Friday, May 9, my husband Allan and I were lucky enough to have tickets to see the wonderful Dolly Parton at the Chicago theater. Her show was so much fun; she is down-to-earth, very funny, and such a talent.

It was the first time that I had been inside the Chicago Theater. I was certainly impressed. The building [called the Page Brothers Building] itself is seven stories tall. I was quite surprised to see a circular Tiffany stained glass window inside the arch. When you stand across the street, you notice that this building has off-white terra cotta...but, it's the interior that really stands out in my memory. There is a French Baroque influence. The main lobby is five stories high and is surrounded by gallery promenades [mezzanine and balcony levels]. The grand staircase is supposedly patterned after the one inside the Paris Opera House.

I especially liked the crystal chandeliers and the bronze light fixtures [with Steuben glass shades].

The marquee is quite famous...kind of a landmark in Chicago. It was replaced in 1994, but looks exactly like its predecessor. I learned that the first [original] marquee was donated to the Smithsonian Institution.

Even if you've never been to Chicago, no doubt you have seen this famed marquee in numerous movie and TV shows that are set in Chicago. One of the most famous times that it was featured in a movie was when its neon font was used in the title of the 2002 musical, "Chicago". Until this Friday, I had no idea that there is a "Y-shaped figure behind the horizontal word 'Chicago' on the State Street side of the marquee, a city symbol which represents the Chicago River."

This theater was originally an opulent motion picture house. It was constructed in 1921 in the classical revival-French Baroque style, and is now the oldest building that has survived as an example of this style of architecture in Chicago. It was modernized in the 1950, and during the 1970s, it started to decline. In 1985 it closed., but in 1986, the Chicago Theatre Restoration Associates and the City of Chicago bought it, which saved it from demolition. For 8 nine months, a multi-million dollar restoration took place. It then reopened in 1986 with a grand performance by Frank Sinatra. Thank Goodness it was saved!

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and named a Chicago Landmark in 1983.

Address: 175 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60601
Theme: Live Music
Website: http://www.thechicagotheatre.com

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 13, 2008
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