Free Chicago Theater Tours This Saturday
CHICAGO, IL — It’s the legendary Chicago Theatre’s 83rd birthday and on Saturday, October 23, 2004, between 11 am – 2 pm, free tours of the theater will be available on the hour.
The tours will include historical and architectual highlights of the building including the grand lobby areas, majestic auditorium and backstage space (when possible) where performers through the years have left their autographs on the walls of dressing rooms and corridors.
A photo exhibit just installed in the lower lobby “Chicago: Three Centuries of Theatres” can be viewed.
The MIGHTY WURLITZER THEATRE PIPE ORGAN will also be played live for all tours!
You’re are invited to help celebrate the CHICAGO THEATRE’s 83rd
A multi-faceted free, public program runs from 11 a.m. to 2
p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N.
State St., Chicago.
Public Tour Program Begins with Free Tours Each Hour
The tour will feature architectural highlights of the CHICAGO
THEATRE, which opened in 1921 and is considered one of the
best, early examples of large, lavish movie palaces in the
Built for $4 million and designed by C.W. and George L. Rapp,
the Chicago Theatre was the flagship of the Balaban and Katz
theatre corporation and had as its inspiration the Arc de
Triomphe (façade) the Palace of Versailles (grand lobby) and
the Paris Opera House (lobby staircase).
Guests on the newly designed tour may also venture on stage
and backstage, when possible, to view the magnificent 3,600-
seat auditorium from the vantage point taken by international
stars from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. to
Jerry Seinfeld, Van Morrison and Norah Jones. Backstage walls
decorated with signatures of virtually every performer to
play the building since its restoration in 1986 create an
amazing collage of “who’s who” in live entertainment.
Oct. 23 Celebration Also Includes Rummage Sale of Theatre
Collectibles and Music Played on the Might Wurlitzer Organ
You too can own a piece of Chicago Theatre history. The lobby
will be the scene of a unique rummage sale of live
entertainment memorabilia, including Broadway show, concert,
comedy and dance attraction posters and photographs.
Proceeds will benefit the theater maintenance fund.
Lee Maloney of Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts will
perform a concert on The Chicago Theatre’s 29-rank Wurlitzer
theatre pipe organ, itself a city and national landmark.
Historic Theatre Photo Exhibit
“Chicago: Three Centuries of Theatres,” featuring vintage
façade views of 18 historic Chicago theatres from the
collections of Joseph R. DuciBella ASID, Theatre Historical
Society of America and Chicago Historical Society, will open
Oct. 23 in the Chicago Theatre’s lower lobby. The exhibit
will be ongoing through 2005 and is sponsored by Friends of
the Uptown and National PhotoImaging Inc.
For more information about the Oct, 23 celebration and
the Chicago Theatre’s ongoing tour program, please call (312)
462-6300, write an email to
, or view the venue’s Web
Friends of the Uptown