Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

175 E. Chestnut Street,
Chicago, IL 60611

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Water tower place

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater opened in the mid 1970s and its original four screens were built in the upper floors of the Water Tower Place Mall. Screens 5 to 7 were erected on street level on Chestnut Street.

By the 1990s, the Water Tower was in rather rough shape and eventually closed in 2001.

In mid-2002, the Village Theatres chain, which also operates the historic Biograph, Village and Village North Theatres, renovated and reopened the former 5-7 Water Tower auditoriums along Chestnut Street, as simply the Water Tower Theatre. It screened mainly art and foreign features. The 1-4 auditoriums were gutted and turned into retail space.

As of the end of August, 2003, Village Theatres closed the Water Tower theaters. In May of 2005, the former 5-7 screens of the movie house on Chestnut Street were reopened after a converstion back into a single auditorium seating 549 as the Drury Lane Water Tower Theatre. Like the other Drury Lane Theatre in suburban Oakbrook Terrace, the theater will present live musical theatre. In September 2010 it was renamed Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and is operated by Broadway in Chicago.

Contributed by Aaron S. Wood, Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

DavidZornig on April 15, 2009 at 1:51 am

I know, I know… check the box.

DavidZornig on April 19, 2009 at 12:12 pm

What are the other Water Tower Theatre’s, that were located upstairs and inside of the Water Tower Place Mall listed under on CT?

Robin Roz
Robin Roz on August 22, 2010 at 12:36 am

This entry needs to be changed. Drury Lane is no longer at Water Tower. They are solely at Oakbrook now.

This theatre is now known as Broadway Playhouse and it’s run by Broadway in Chicago. It will be closed until September 2010 for renovations. The website at least temporarily is

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on December 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm

This theatre reopened in September with Sutton Foster in concert. It currently has the Canadian show TRACES. Broadway in Chicago has other shows scheduled to play here in 2011 including a revised version of WORKING.

JRS40 on November 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

The ad in the photo section above is for the opening of the original Water Tower theaters I-IV located inside Water Tower Place. This would have been December of 1976.

mo4040 on July 16, 2014 at 10:58 pm

I saw ‘Rocky’ here in 1976 with some school friends.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on July 17, 2014 at 3:17 am

The Water Tower 1-4 closed in May, 2000. The Water Tower 5-7 closed in November, 2000. Village Entertainment re-opened the 5-7 theatres in August, 2002. Closed one year later.

coasternut (Robert Morrow)
coasternut (Robert Morrow) on November 15, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I have a ticket stub that I have saved for Water Tower Theatre 3 with an address of 845 N. Michigan Ave. Was this part of the same location? The admission price was $2.00.

CinemarkFan on November 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm


Yes, that would be the same (Mall theater) location. When Plitt opened the lower (Street) level theaters in April of ‘84, those were known as 5-7.

If you can, please upload a photo that stub! You saved a piece of history there.

coasternut (Robert Morrow)
coasternut (Robert Morrow) on November 18, 2015 at 1:53 am


I will scan it as soon as I can and will add it to the photo section.

Thanks for getting back to me.

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