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SEE HISTORIC CHICAGO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
View the Web site: http://www.thechicagotheatre.com
THE CHICAGO THEATRE CELEBRATES 83RD BIRTHDAY WITH LAUNCH OF NEW THEATRE TOUR PROGRAM, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2004
CELEBRATION INCLUDES RUMMAGE SALE OF THEATRE COLLECTIBLES AND MUSIC ON THE Mighty Wurlitzer Organ
CHICAGO -- TheatreDreams Chicago, owners of The Legendary Chicago Theatre, will launch a new, ongoing theatre tour program and celebrate the theatre’s 83rd birthday on Saturday, October 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That day’s festivities will also include the first public viewing of an exhibit of façade photographs of Chicago’s historic theatres, performances on the landmark Wurlitzer pipe organ, a rummage sale of theatre posters and souvenirs and, of course, birthday cake. This event is free and open to the public (with the exception of items for purchase at the rummage sale).
Complimentary Theatre Tour
Visitors on Saturday will be allowed to sample the new theatre tour free of charge. Tours will begin on the hour and last approximately 45 minutes. Following the birthday celebration, the tour program will be priced at $5 per person.
The tour will feature architectural highlights of the venue, which opened in 1921 as one of the first large, lavish movie palaces in America, becoming the prototype for all others. Constructed for $4 million and designed by Cornelius and George Rapp, The Chicago Theatre was the flagship of the Balaban and Katz theatre chain and had as its inspiration the Arc de Triomphe (façade) the Palace of Versailles (grand lobby) and the Paris Opera House (lobby staircase). Guests will also venture on stage and backstage, when possible, to view the magnificent 3,600 seat auditorium from the vantage point taken by international stars from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. to Jerry Seinfeld, Van Morrison and Norah Jones. Backstage walls decorated with signatures of virtually every performer to play the building since its restoration in 1986 create an amazing collage of “who’s who” in live entertainment. Lee Mahoney of the Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts will play the Chicago Theatre’s 29-rank Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ, a national landmark in itself.
First-ever Rummage Sale
For anyone interested in owning a piece of Chicago Theatre history, the lobby will be the scene of a unique rummage sale of the theatre’s live entertainment memorabilia, including Broadway show, concert, comedy and dance attraction posters and photographs. Proceeds will benefit the theater maintenance fund.
Just installed in The Chicago Theatre’s lower lobby, the photo exhibit “Chicago: Three Centuries of Theatres,” featuring vintage façade views of 20 surviving, historic Chicago theatres from the collections of Joseph R. DuciBella ASID, Theatre Historical Society of America and Chicago Historical Society, will open on October 23. The exhibit will be ongoing through 2005 and is sponsored by Friends of the Uptown and National PhotoImaging Inc.
Ongoing Tour Program
Beginning October 28, the theatre tour schedule is as follows: lunch time tours will run Thursdays at noon, with regular hourly tours every third Saturday of the month (November 20, 2004; December 18, 2004; January 15, 2005; February 19, 2005; March 19, 2005; April 16, 2005; and May 21, 2005) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ will be played during Saturday tours only.
Tours are five dollars ($5) per person, which also includes a souvenir VIP badge. Chicago Theatre Insiders receive the tour for free by showing their Insiders card. School groups and special request tours for other days and times can be booked through the House Manager. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to make arrangements in advance.
For tour reservations or questions about the October 23rd celebration, please call 312-462-6300 or visit www.thechicagotheatre.com.
TheatreDreams Chicago, LLC has been operating The Chicago Theatre, the 1921 historic landmark located in the heart of the Loop’s theatre district, since April 2004. The new owner and its affiliated companies are led by Tony Award®-winning principals Lawrence J. Wilker, William W. Becker, Jill Wilker, Joan A. Alper and Michael Alper. TheatreDreams will utilize its extensive experience in producing entertainment and managing performing arts institutions and theatres to continue The Chicago Theatre’s legendary status as a vibrant entertainment venue. Under the direction of TheatreDreams, The Chicago Theatre will offer a variety of performances, including musical theatre, concerts, dance, comedy, family, community and special events.
All material copyright 1998 - 2006, Friends of the Uptown