Cadillac Palace Theatre

151 W. Randolph Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Broadway in Chicago (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Orpheum Circuit, RKO

Architects: Cornelius Ward Rapp, George W. Leslie Rapp

Firms: Rapp & Rapp

Functions: Stage Shows

Styles: French Renaissance

Previous Names: New Palace Theatre, RKO Palace Theatre, Eitel's Palace Theatre, Palace Cinerama Theatre, Bismarck Palace Theatre

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News About This Theater

Cadillac Palace Theatre

There was already a 1,500-seat Palace Music Hall located at N. Clark Street and W. Randolph Street operated by the Orpheum Circuit which opened on April 1, 1912 and was later renamed the Erlanger Theatre, closing in 1962. Primarily a live theatre, it did screen 3 movies and has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

The New Palace Theatre was opened on October 4, 1926 and was designed by architectural firm Rapp & Rapp. Its interior design is similar in vein to the Los Angeles Theatre - a French Renaissance style beauty inspired by Versailles. The New Palace Theatre was originally opened as the flagship of the Orpheum vaudeville circuit (the State Lake Theatre, also in the Loop, was another one of the Orpheum circuit’s vaudeville palaces in Chicago). After showcasing dozens of big-name stars during the late-1920’s, the theatre was converted into a movie palace on May 31, 1930 as the RKO Palace Theatre screening Victor McLaglen in “On the Level” plus vaudeville on the stage. The vaudeville stage shows ended on November 2, 1939 and it became a full-time movie theatre.

In the 1950’s, attendance began to wane, at what was by then called Eitel’s Palace Theatre and live shows were re-introduced to the repertoire. On July 30, 1953 Eitel’s Palace Theatre became a Cinerama theatre, screening “This Is Cinerama”. Cinerama left the building on November 9, 1959 screening “South Seas Adventure”. The theatre was closed until April 20, 1960 when it was equipped with Todd-AO and reopened with Shirley McLaine in “Can-Can”. On June 28, 1961 Cinerama returned to the theatre. It was purchased by the owners of the neighboring Bismark Hotel on March 23, 1962. On November 6, 1965 it was renamed Bismark Palace. It screened its last movie “Nicholas and Alexandra” on May 23, 1972. The auditorium was converted into a banquet hall by removing the seats on the orchestra level. In 1984, the theatre, now renamed the Bismarck Theatre, was converted into a concert venue.

Barely used during the 1990’s, the former New Palace Theatre was finally restored and renovated during 1999, and renamed the Cadillac Palace Theatre thanks to a large donation by the car company towards the theatre’s spectacular restoration. The renovated theatre was reopened on November 12, 1999, with the premier of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida”. The renovation has made true the name of the ‘Palace’.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 109 comments)

DavidZornig on December 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Erlanger page is up. Searching for a suitable Overview photo, before I post the print ads.

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on December 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm

The Stifel Theater (Kiel Opera House) in St Louis just screened The Brain there in October for Mystery Science Theater 3000. Does that mean it is now a “Cinema Treasure”?

DavidZornig on May 9, 2020 at 2:30 pm

The Bismarck Theatre Grand Opening as a concert venue was August 10, 1984. Steve Dahl & Teenage Radiation with Garry Meier was the inaugural show. Chicago Reader print ad credit Shelley Howard added. Long time graphic designer for JAM Productions.

Norm Lindway
Norm Lindway on May 9, 2020 at 3:07 pm

I was surprised that RKO operated theaters in Chicago. I thought B&K, always controlled the Chicago market. Does anyone know when and why major companies like RKO, Loews, Warners, Fox and Paramount didn’t have operations in Chicago?

Broan on May 9, 2020 at 8:45 pm

Fox did for a while in the late 20s, acquired many Ascher Bros theatres. Warners controlled the Cooney Brothers circuit. B&K were part of Paramount. So they were mostly present, B&K just controlled the big downtown theatres and many neighborhood ones.

Cinerama on November 16, 2023 at 6:53 pm

Click on link to see ads, articles, and pictures of the Palace Theatre. Please do not copy to this site.

m00se1111 on November 17, 2023 at 7:04 am

157 Bismarck Convention Center ?

Cinerama on November 18, 2023 at 3:04 pm

Hi m00se1111, Thanks for finding that error. I corrected it. Looking at the Overview, it was copied from the link - . Changes were made which created errors. Some of the errors for the above Overview:

Not converted to a movie palace in 1931. Live shows were not added in the 1950’s. Cinerama was not added in the late 1950’s. Not renamed Bismarck Palace on 11/12/65. The Bismarck Hotel did not purchase the theatre in the 1970’s. To see the correct info just go to Eitle’s Palace

Cinerama on November 29, 2023 at 10:20 am

Hey Kinospotter,

Please remove all the photos you copied from my web site You could have just posted a link to

m00se1111 on November 29, 2023 at 10:39 am

You have quite an extensive online collection, however I don’t seem to find a source credited from where you got the material. So shouldn’t you just be posting links to your sources as well?

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