Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre

24 W. Randolph Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Showing 176 - 183 of 183 comments

Ziggy on September 22, 2004 at 7:05 am

A quick addendum: Naylor’s book also has one photo of the Paradise in Chicago indentified as “Loew’s Paradise in Chicago”, when, in fact, it was a B&K house. I don’t think Loew’s had a single theatre in Chicago at all. Another reference to my above comment: when I mentioned the opportunistic couple who bought the chandelier out of Loew’s State and then purposely destroyed it, I should have correctly identified them as a couple of @#%$@***@#% !!!!!

Ziggy on September 21, 2004 at 6:16 pm

I personally don’t put any store in the anecdotes in David Naylor’s book. He doesn’t seem to have researched things very thoroughly. For example, he stated that the Fox in San Francisco was the only theatre to have an organ in its lobby. Well, that would be true if one overlooks the Roxy, and (I think) the Fox in Detroit. He also stated that the Tiffany chandelier in the Loew’s State, Syracuse was missing because it was removed during WWII due to misplaced concern regarding its fall in case of a bombing attack. In actuality the chandelier hung there until the 1970’s (I’ve seen it), when it was sold to a couple who purposely broke it up to sell it piece by piece. Mr. Naylor’s book is full of great photos, but as a source of information I don’t put a lot of stock in it.

Broan on September 14, 2004 at 10:19 pm

Research the Iroquois theater. You’ll find a lot of information about it, I guarantee you. The Oriental was built on the same site.

JuanCarlos on September 14, 2004 at 8:52 pm

I have a question regarding the Oriental. A teacher of mine asked us to find out what the Oriental has to do with the Fire Service. He did not really give us much to go off of so I am having a hard time finding anything. I was wondering if there was a historic Fire or anything of that nature or anything else that could help me out. thank you

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 12, 2004 at 4:57 pm

I love those giant vertical signs. On 42nd Street both Loews and AMC have instlled them and they are pretty impressive.

bruceanthony on August 12, 2004 at 2:03 pm

The Oriental seated 3200 before the recent restoration/renovation.The Oriental now seats 2200 which is 1000 seats less.During the renovation the lobby was expanded into the back of the auditorium. The stage was also expanded by knocking down a building behind the backstage wall. The Oriental was a quality restoration/renovation making the theatre work for the legitimate broadway stage. It was a blessing that the theatre survived do to lack of investment in the North Loop for many years. The Loop is one of the most improved downtown districts in the United States. It is fortunate that the Loop retained two of its large downtown department stores Marshall Fields and Carson’s and Sears which left the loop in the 1970’s and returned in the 21st Century.The loop now boasts three restored movie palaces the Chicago,Oriental and Palace. The loop is the finest example of a traditional large downtown in the United States.brucec

johnstallsworth on January 30, 2003 at 8:22 am

If my history is correct, the Oriental Theater is on the same site as the infamous Iroqois Theater, which burned in 1903, and was remodelled as the Colonial. The facade of the Oriental is, partially the same as the facade of the Iroqois

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on October 26, 2001 at 8:54 am

I think after it closed in 1981 no one ever thought it would open again and so the theatre pipe organ was removed, but I can’t recall what happened to it? They were wrong it did reopen!