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Chicago Theatre

See a stage show at this iconic cultural beacon, which still captures all the splendor of a trip to the movie theater in the early 20th century.

Grand movie theaters defined the cultural climate of the U.S. in the early 1900s, and the Chicago Theatre was one of the first buildings of this type. It now hosts live productions rather than film, and the opulence of its early days has been carefully preserved. See a show here to admire a magnificent interior that is an important piece of history. 

The theater cost $4 million to build, an enormous amount of money in 1921, when it first opened. The building’s opening was met with a storm of excitement. At the time, it was known as the “Wonder Theatre of the World.” Take a quick look around the building to see why. Stand in the lobby and look up. The decorations of the grand space are inspired by the Royal Chapel at Versailles. See the crystal chandeliers, elegant marble columns and ornate ceiling details that make this open area so impressive. The theater spawned many imitations throughout the country during the first few years after it opened. It is still considered one of the best original palace-style movie theaters. 

Step into the 3,600-seat auditorium to see how the grandeur is taken to another level. Its high ceiling means the space is an impressive seven stories tall. Appreciate the incredible detail on the murals above the stage and on the ceiling. 

Buy tickets for a show here well in advance, as events are popular and sell out quickly. Modern legends who have appeared on the theater’s stage include Ellen DeGeneres, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, David Letterman, Van Morrison, Arcade Fire and many more. 

Whether or not you plan on attending a show at the Chicago Theatre, it is worth a visit just to appreciate its beautiful façade. Special features include an enormous stained-glass window along with an unmissable multi-level fluorescent sign. Find the theater in the downtown area, just south of the Chicago River.


Guide to Exploring around Chicago Theatre


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Lodging Near Chicago Theatre

See all 503 Hotels near Chicago Theatre
River Hotel $117
River Hotel

River Hotel

75 East Wacker Drive, Chicago
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 4,186 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in The Loop, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chicago Theatre, Wrigley Building, and Tribune Tower. Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre and Chicago Cultural Center are also within 10 minutes.

    Central Loop Hotel $121
    Central Loop Hotel

    Central Loop Hotel

    111 West Adams Street, Chicago
       
      4.2
      of 5, from 4,028 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in the heart of "the Loop," the contemporary Central Loop Hotel is steps from all of Chicago’s major business and cultural destinations such as Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Grant Park, the State Street shopping district and the Art Institute of Chicago.

      Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront $119
      Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront

      Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront

      71 E Wacker Dr, Chicago
         
        4.4
        of 5, from 6,523 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        This 39-story Chicago hotel is across the river from Magnificent Mile shopping, six blocks from Lake Michigan, and a half-mile from the Loop's theater district and the Art Institute of Chicago.

        Hotel Felix Chicago $87
        Hotel Felix Chicago

        Hotel Felix Chicago

        111 W Huron St, Chicago
           
          4.1
          of 5, from 3,579 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Hotel Felix Chicago is 5 blocks from the Magnificent Mile, one of America’s most dazzling thoroughfares. It’s a 7-minute cab ride to the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, whose 40 gondolas command unmatched skyline and lake views. Chicago-Red Metro Station is a 6-minute walk from the hotel.

          The Whitehall Hotel $94
          The Whitehall Hotel

          The Whitehall Hotel

          105 E Delaware Pl, Chicago
             
            4.1
            of 5, from 7,567 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Built in 1927, this Chicago hotel is one block from Michigan Avenue shopping and Rush Street restaurants and nightlife; Lake Michigan is within five blocks.

            Palmer House a Hilton Hotel $118
            Palmer House a Hilton Hotel

            Palmer House a Hilton Hotel

            17 E Monroe St, Chicago
               
              4.2
              of 5, from 10,140 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              This 1925 Beaux Arts-style Chicago hotel is steps from Millennium Park, 2 blocks from Macy's and the Art Institute, and 1 mile from Lake Michigan, Magnificent Mile shopping, and Wrigley Tower.

              Congress Plaza Hotel $88
              Congress Plaza Hotel

              Congress Plaza Hotel

              520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
                 
                3.6
                of 5, from 2,113 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Built in 1893, this downtown Chicago hotel offers a convenient location across from Grant Park and close to Lake Michigan.

                Loews Chicago Hotel $159
                Loews Chicago Hotel

                Loews Chicago Hotel

                455 North Park Drive, Chicago
                   
                  4.7
                  of 5, from 1,116 reviews
                  4.5 out of 5.0

                  Located in Near North Side, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tribune Tower and Wrigley Building. Navy Pier and Chicago Children's Museum are also within 15 minutes.