Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

175 E. Chestnut Street,
Chicago, IL 60611

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Showing 26 - 37 of 37 comments

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on April 29, 2007 at 12:05 pm

It appears that initially, Village tried to make a go of this place. Especially as an art/indie house. Up above, it is stated that Village renovated this place. What exactly were those renovations? Village always talked about doing renovations on its cinemas but almost rarely did so.

CinemarkFan on November 5, 2006 at 7:34 pm

I just got a little choked up. That looks so attractive. I miss Water Tower, McClurg Court, Esquire and many other theaters in the area that I remember.

Now if only someone could post some photos of WT 1-4.

CinemarkFan on August 15, 2006 at 7:11 am

Yep, Water Tower held the exclusive first run showing of Rocky. Paul, do you think Mesbur & Smith(architects for Cineplex Odeon) might have photos of the remodeling jobs they did for this theater? I hoping they do, I just want to see pictures of WT again. They may have been small, but it was comfy and made every moviegoing experience memorable. Some movies I saw in the mall include: Broken Arrow, The Rock, Long Kiss Goodnight, The Relic, and John Carpenter’s: Vampires. Some movies I saw in WT 5-7 include: Speed, Scream, Double Team, and Black and White.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on April 11, 2006 at 8:13 am

This theater had the Chicago priemier of “Rocky”, I believe.

CinemarkFan on January 27, 2006 at 9:20 am

I wish I went here more than I did. The street level theatres were nice, but not has classy as the mall theatres. I just love those red curtains that covered those small but pretty screens. The last movie I saw in the mall was John Carpenter’s Vampires(I remember that day like the back of my hand). Say, does anybody have any pictures of WT 1-4? please let me know.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on January 27, 2006 at 8:34 am

This place was great in the 70s. Everything in the booth was brand spanking new. We used 6,000 foot reels to make changeovers, rather than 2,000 foot reels. Wow! The only place more automated was the Marina with its… shhh… platters. This was a classy place in its day to see a movie.

reiermann on July 6, 2005 at 6:21 am

In their heyday, the theaters showed a lot of premiere/exclusive engagements. (I saw Rocky, All That Jazz, Schindler’s List and many others here.) The upstairs theaters were very attractive but very tiny. Actually not much bigger than some new wide-screen tv’s. Attending a movie here was a treat. The theaters downstairs which were converted from the Drury Lane theater (and ironically turned back into the Drury Lane) were kind of an afterthought. The lobby and restrooms were nice, but the auditoriums were cookie-cutter.

TRAINPHOTOS on May 24, 2005 at 5:09 am

The Drury Lane opened recently. The first musical was “The Full Monty”. The play was quite successful. and the new Drury Lane Theatre at Water Tower Place received rave reviews.

msd01 on November 27, 2004 at 10:16 pm

W-T theaters on the street level (Theaters 5-7) were Drury Lane Water Tower Theaters, showing stage productions. The theaters were then converted to movie theaters.

brianlewis on May 20, 2004 at 4:31 pm

a lot of my friends worked there in the 70’s. it was my hangout to see many many movies. animal house played there for something like 24 weeks in the fall of 1978. i saw foul play there, heaven can wait, annie hall, raging bull, interiors, flashdance, footloose, gremlins,
so many late 70’s and early 80’s movies. i don’t think i ever paid to get in there

JohnSanchez on January 8, 2004 at 2:28 pm

The original 4 screen theater was located on the second floor of Water Tower Place. It opened in December of 1976 with its premiere attractions being the exclusive openings of “Rocky” and “The Seven Percent Solution” (on 2 screens each). The auditoriums were nice but very small and it was easy to sell out a movie. In the 70’s and early 80’s WT 1-4 played a mixture of first run and art films. I remember seeing the long forgotten “Sunday Lovers” there. By the late 80’s it was all first run but with the opening of other theaters in the vicinity (the 600 North and 900 North Michigan theaters) getting good films first run became more difficult at Water Tower. Their last hurrah was getting the exclusive Chicago premiere of “Schindler’s List”. Now a department store there is no evidence that the theaters were ever there.