Michael Todd Theatre
180-190 N. Dearborn Street,
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Located next door to the Cinestage (the former Selwyn Theatre) on N. Dearborn Street, the Michael Todd Theatre was the second Todd-AO 70mm roadshow theatre, and was originally known as the Harris Theatre. The Harris Theatre, designed by C. Howard Crane in 1922 (along with the next-door Selwyn Theatre) as a playhouse for legitimate producers Sam H. Harris and Archie and Edgar Selwyn, it was opened September 2, 1923. The Harris Theatre was given an Italian Palladian design, while the Selwyn Theatre was done in Neo-Georgian style.
Michael Todd took over in the 1950’s after the Harris Theatres' legitimate days were over. The Michael Todd Theatre was a bit different than the Cinestage, as it had a large flat screen instead of a curved strip screen. It also had a great waterfall curtain, whereas the Cinestage had a standard curtain that opened horizontally. There was also a huge balcony and the Century JJ-equipped projection booth was on the main floor under the mezzanine.
Before it was razed, the Michael Todd Theatre’s entire ceiling had collapsed and was basically in ruins. Unfortunately, the roofs were always neglected in both of the theatres.
Today, the Michael Todd’s facade, along with that of the Cinestage (both saved when the theatres were torn down), now form part of the facade of the new Goodman Theatre complex, which moved from its long-time location at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000.
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