The Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago

Photo of The Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of The Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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The Cadillac Palace Theater
Also known as:Cadillac Theater
Also known as:Palace Theater
Formerly:Bismarck Theatre
Formerly:New Palace Theater
Formerly:RKO Palace Theater
Formerly:Orpheum Theatre Chicago

151 West Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60601
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A bit bland on the outside, this architectural jewel shines on the inside and marks the Western end of what's left of Chicago's once glittering Theater District.

Being housed in the same building as a hotel, the Cadillac Palace Theater doesn't have the opportunity to show off the way some of the other nearby theaters do. Worse, the theater's purpose has been co-opted multiple times over the years. It has been used for movies, rock concerts, even banquets. But like the mighty willow, the theater has bent to the wishes of its owners in order to survive without breaking.

Quick Facts
Statistics
  • Seating capacity: 2,500.
Timeline
  • 1925: Construction begins.
  • October 4, 1926: This building opens to the public.
  • 1931: The auditorium is converted from a performance hall to a movie theater.
  • 1950's: Live performances are added to the film screenings.
  • 1999: The auditorium is restored to its original function.
Notes
  • During the Second World War the two brass chandeliers in the foyer were painted white so that no one would realize what they were made of and melt them down to help the war effort.
  • The interior of this building was inspired by the palace of Versailles in France.
Did You Know?
  • Unlike many other historic theaters in downtown Chicago, this one was created for live performances, while most others were originally movie houses later converted for stage productions.
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Your Thoughts

There are two comments.

  The structure and its renovation are fantastic. The accoustics, even buried deep under the dress circle, are crisp and clear. What is sad is that the honor/memorial plaque in the main lobby of the theatre can't get its message grammatically correct as the use of its vs. it's is a glaring error.

Kevin Rooney - Saturday, December 30th, 2006 @ 7:58pm  

  when I first stepped into the buildingmy breath was taken away. I couldint beleive how beautifull and detailed it was . I couldint even imagine how much work it would take to build something like that.

linda holota - Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 @ 12:06pm  

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