The Loop’s 5,000-seat Chicago Theatre was the opulent French baroque-style flagship of the Balaban and Katz movie-palace chain when it opened in 1921. It’s still a beautiful venue (you’ve probably seen the famous illuminated “Chicago” marquee even if you’re from out of town) that’s surprisingly cozy for its large size. It has also hosted some phenomenal shows: We’ve caught everyone from Mariah Carey to our favorite podcasters here, and we’ve never been disappointed.
Chicago loves to take the spotlight. Live performances of plays, music, and other fantastic artforms are a backbone of what makes the Windy City a beacon of culture in the midwest. Many of Chicago’s neighborhoods are home to multiple theaters, but only the Loop has the officially designated Chicago Theater District—so declared in 2000 by then Mayor Richard M. Daley to mark the Goodman Theatre’s move from the Art Institute to Dearborn Street and the unification of several of the downtown houses that host touring musical theater productions under the Broadway in Chicago banner. The more theaters that move to the loop, the more new ones seem to keep popping up. These theaters and more make the Loop an inarguable destination for live performance and family-friendly theater. Browse the best downtown theaters and reserve a ticket to see a show today.
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