Chicago Theatre

175 N. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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John Miller
John Miller on December 6, 2023 at 9:43 pm

I think that I saw “Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip” there in 1981.

DavidZornig on September 5, 2022 at 3:56 pm

Enlargeable version of a previously posted 1996 Library of Congress photo in link below. More photos as well.

Broan on February 5, 2022 at 9:54 am An interesting photo of orchestra pit lighting

DavidZornig on November 10, 2021 at 7:36 pm

Paul Dimler photo.

DavidZornig on October 28, 2021 at 3:26 pm

OK, I’d say check the State-Lake across the street and the Oriental now listed as Nederlander on CT.
The film lists/dates for those theatres were added the same time in 2007 in the comments.

bigjoe59 on October 28, 2021 at 2:56 pm


to DavidZ.- I looked at the list you mentioned and none of
the films listed were roadshow engagements.

DavidZornig on October 28, 2021 at 2:26 pm

That I do not know, other than various premieres. But on page 7 of the archived comments, is a May 1, 2007 comment that lists all the films and their run dates from 1964-1980. Which you can use to do any research on what were possibly roadshow engagements or not.

bigjoe59 on October 28, 2021 at 2:10 pm


thanks to DavidZ. for your reply. just out of curiosity from 1952-1972 the studios regularly released their BIG films with roadshow engagements. was the Chicago ever used for roadshow engagements?

DavidZornig on October 28, 2021 at 1:51 pm

Per the Overview:

“Later operated by Plitt Theatres, they closed the Chicago Theatre as a movie theatre on September 19, 1985 with Michael Dudikoff in “American Ninja” & Michael J. Fox in “Teen Wolf”.”

Both films were released in August, so I believe considered first run if showing in September.

bigjoe59 on October 28, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Hello from NYC-

when did this theater end its life as a 1st run venue?

DavidZornig on October 26, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Opened 100 years ago today. October 26, 1921. In addition to Norma Talmadge in “The Sign on the Door”, was Buster Keaton in “The Playhouse”. Grand Opening print ad added to Photo Gallery. Not previously posted.

plugai on September 22, 2021 at 3:10 pm

This theater I have many stories for! I saw Magnum Force in 1973 and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974. The theater was dark and nasty during these years. We would take the Lake Street Elevated train from Oak Park, Illinois during this period. My best friend Kevin and his brothers Michael and Danny were blessed to be part of the “carpenter rehab” of the Chicago Theater rebirth that would have Frank Sinatra open. Michael told stories of the carpenters taking their hammers and hitting the backs of the original seats, and rats would come running out. Both brothers stayed aboard to the Frank Sinatra openings and were granted opening night seats for their respective families. I was blessed with working for Donny Osmond for the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat play. I was able to snoop everywhere in that theater which was my home away from home for a few years. The architecture is fantastic!! I even got to see Penn and Teller, Chita Rivera, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and two “Glamorama” Marshall Field events for Charity! Stage left or right stage for viewers, the fountain and secret door was fun to come inside and outside of. Hanging in the closed off private “club seats” observing play progress. The wall of autographs both stage right and left. The dressing room of Frank Sinatra and others following are awesome experiences. I will always love the Chicago theater.

DavidZornig on July 12, 2021 at 4:50 pm

Some 1996 Library of Congress photos.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2021 at 9:44 pm

Link with a photo and description of the Chicago Theatre organ in 1924.

DavidZornig on February 17, 2021 at 7:57 pm

1989 marquee photo via Flickr.

DavidZornig on May 6, 2020 at 6:17 am

Photos of Loop, Chicago & Shangri-La Theatres in below link.

Trolleyguy on February 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm

I just uploaded a 1941 marquee picture.

Willburg145 on February 16, 2020 at 4:23 am

It’s great that this beauty escaped the fate of so many grand theatres, demolition.

macoco on January 7, 2020 at 2:43 pm

Bigjoe59: The Michael Todd, Cinestage, McVickers, Palace (AKA Bismark)—these were the regular venues during the 50s and 60s. The Roosevelt had The Longest Day and the United Artists had Funny Girl and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

davidcoppock on January 7, 2020 at 7:16 am

The father of the singer Toni Basil(who sang the song “Mickey”), Louis Basilotta conducted an orchestra at this theatre.

bigjoe59 on July 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Hello from NYC-

i was wondering during the prime roadshow period (1952-1972) which Chicago theaters did studios regularly use for their roadshow engagements? Manhattan had 7.

DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 8:19 am

Additional 9/16/77-10/06/77 Saul Smaizys photo.

DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 8:18 am

9/16/77-10/06/77 Saul Smaizys photo.