Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

175 E. Chestnut Street,
Chicago, IL 60611

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Related Websites

Broadway in Chicago (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Meridian Theatres, Plitt Theatres, Village Theatres

Functions: Live Performances, Live Theater, Retail

Previous Names: Water Tower Place Cinemas, Drury Lane Water Tower Theatre, Water Tower Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 800.775.2000
Manager: 312.977.1700

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News About This Theater

Water tower place

This theatre opened in December 21, 1976 as the Water Tower Place Cinemas. Its original four screens were built on the 2nd floor of the Water Tower Place Mall, at the back of where the hotel is now located, with the address given as 845 N. Michigan Avenue. In April 1984 Screens 5 to 7 were erected by Plitt Theatres on street level on E. Chestnut Street.

By the 1990’s, the Water Tower was in rather rough shape and screen 1-4 closed in May 2000 and screens 5-7 closed in November 2000.

In August 2002, the Village Theatres chain, which also operated the historic Biograph Theatre, Village Theatre and Village North Theatre, renovated and reopened the former 5-7 Water Tower auditoriums along E. 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. At the end of August 2003, Village Theatres closed the Water Tower Theatre.

In May of 2005, the former 5-7 screens of the movie house on Chestnut Street were reopened after a conversion into a single auditorium seating 549 as the Drury Lane Water Tower Theatre. Like the other Drury Lane Theatre in suburban Oakbrook Terrace, the theatre 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 32 comments)

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.

rivest266 on November 14, 2016 at 3:30 am

April 13th, 1984 grand opening ad for the expansion in the photo section.

Mister_Comics on April 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Newspaper ads from 1980’s have the address as 835 N. Michigan. But newspapers have been known to make mistakes. See newspaper ad in the “Photo” section that I posted.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on September 22, 2023 at 10:46 am

The Water Tower Theatres 1-4 opened on December 21, 1976.

Ed_Rooney on May 21, 2024 at 11:00 am

Was this (one of) Chicago screening room(s) for press & media (critics), e.g. advance screenings for embargoed publications?

One year we did our holiday shopping downtown chicago – slimmed my shopping duties to catch a screening of ‘Wild Bill’ (1995) here.

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