Randolph Theater

14-16 West Randolph Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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davidplomin on October 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I worked at the Noble Fool Theater from its move there to the end. It’s a shame the theater couldn’t have made a go of it. It was a cozy main theater, with a smaller one down the hall and a cabaret bar in the basement. And haunted too. I heard strange music and singing one afternoon while locking up when we didn’t have a show that night. No one next store at the Oriental either that might have been rehearsing. Didn’t scare me, but I didn’t stick around to find out if more was coming. The foundation was not current, as they probably just tore down the previous building to build new. That foundation, visible in the crawl space was very old mismatched stonework. Solid, but could it still emanate vibrations from the past as well?

Broan on March 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Here is a 1926 view featuring the Randolph’s State Street marquee. In 1920, Jones, Linick, and Shaefer bought out a vacant site on state for a new second lobby cutting through to the Randolph.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 22, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Nice item B. That’s what Ronnie’s dining room looked like as well. Only:

1) Remove the fine light fixtures and replace them with plastic models

2) Remove the carpet and put in cheap tile floor

3) Get rid of the tables and linens and put in lunch room furniture

4) Turn the light level down by about half

5) Put an enclosed night club sort of VIP area at the top of the stairs in the rear

It sounds awful. But it was actually pretty cool in a seedy, 70’s, 42nd Street sort of way.

Randolph Street is definitely great today. But despite what some say, I don’t think it is better than it was in the 70’s and 80’s. I think it is just great in a different way now.

Broan on September 22, 2007 at 11:51 am

Here is the corrected link. That’s right, the facade is all that is left of the Heidelberg, which is somewhat ironic, as it was a new facade for the Randolph Theater, none of which still exists. The Argo Tea is in the former Noble Fool space.

Broan on September 22, 2007 at 9:34 am

Here is a view of the Heidelberg interior. The space is now occupied by an Argo Tea.

CHICTH74 on March 15, 2007 at 6:33 pm

In the book entitled IMAGES OF AMERICA CHICAGO ENTERTAINMENT BETWEEN THE WAR 1919-1939 by Jim and Wynette Edwards ISBN : 0738523305 published by Arcadis an imprint of Tempus Publishing Inc.
On page number 85 there is a very nice picture of the Randolph
The photo is courtesey of The Historical Society of America,Elmhurst,Illinois it is a picture of the marquee and it shows the whole buld.

SouthsideBoy on January 26, 2007 at 10:48 am

Bryan Kreft, please e-mail Nick Coston at , would like to talk to talk to you.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 20, 2005 at 8:59 am

Main dining hall of Ronny’s Steakhouse was constructed in the Randolph’s auditorium. When I ate there in the late 90’s auditorium ceiling was still intact. All sorts of strange characters in there. Festive atmosphere in this restaurant, with colored lights and an entrance to some sort of night club at rear…a remainder of what Randolph street was in the 70’s.