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Ford Center for Performing Arts

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Ford Center for Performing Arts Information

Info

Hours:
7:30 pm - 11:00 pm,

When to Go:
Evening performances and shows.

Age Restriction:
None

Nearest Transit:
Lake (Red Line), State/lake (Brown Line, Green Line, Orange Line, Pink Line, Purple Line) Washington-Blue (Blue Line)

Ford Center for Performing Arts

Quick Facts

  • Decked out in lavish Orient-inspired decor, the Ford Center for Performing Arts opened in 1926 under the name The Oriental Theater.
  • Up until the 1970's the Oriental Theater would show feature films, but now limits its entertainment to live-stage musical performances.
  • In 1997, the theater was renamed the Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
  • The Ford Center for Performing Arts is on the Federal National Registry of Historic Places list.

Address:
24 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601
View Map



User Average Review

Overall:
1
Location:
1
Information:
1
Fun Factor:
1

Based on 1 review

Rating Distribution

1.0 out of 5 Stars

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Ford Center for Performing Arts Reviews

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Tour Review : Ford Center for Performing Arts


JeffMyrs

Joined: June 2012

xxx.xxx.97.49

Overall:
1
Location:
1
Information:
1
Fun Factor:
1

Would not recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 6/12

Went with:

The tour was:

Not worth going. Staff and policies of the theater unbearable

The staff and the policies at the oriental theater are horrible. Absolutely horrible. To a one, they are rude and go out of their way to make sure you have the worst time possible.

Avoid this theater at all costs until they change their policies and their rude staff. I don't care if your favorite show is playing there. If you're a tourist, GO TO ANOTHER THEATER while you're in chicago.

Here are some specifics. This specifically refers to my experience at the Rain concert on Thursday June 29, but the staff and policies are the same for other concerts.

1) If you even take out your phone they will confiscate it. They will not be nice about it and politely tell you to just turn it off like every other theater, airplane and every other location known to man. THEY WILL CONFISCATE IT. Go ahead, look at their rules or call them. They'll admit to it. And they will not give it back till after the show. I am not kidding. And their excuse? Oh they have some signs posted on the door. Yeah, the door that everyone is ushered quickly through to get into the theater. God forbid you forget to read the rulebook posted there. Listen, nobody likes a bunch of people using their phones. So don't feed me that line. Other theaters do it right. MOVIE theaters do it right. Airplanes do it right. You guys do it wrong. Bottom line.

I would like to add here that my phone was NOT confiscated. I am writing here because of the atrocious behavior I saw around me.

2) There was a large white bald man in a suit harassing people near me. He was constantly up in people's faces and pointing his finger in their faces.

3) There was a female usher in the aisle three, white with black hair, constantly harassing people. She would stalk up and down the rows CONSTANTLY, making sure everyone was obeying her every whim. She was possibly the rudest and most horrible woman I've ever encountered. Not a bit of kindness in her. She was mean to the kids, mean to the parents, mean to everyone. Went out of her way to make sure people who paid $75 a piece had a horrible time.

4) If you're not there EXACTLY on time, they will not let you in. This policy is beyond stupid. Why? Because once you've crossed the magical barrier once, you can exit all you want to go to the bathroom or get refreshments. Luckily, I got there in time, but god forbid if you are even one minute late. No refunds, and I heard them blatantly making fun of people who didn't get in. Oh, and before you feed me the "oh but we we have to help you find your seat" line, NOBODY helps you find your seat. At least they didn't for us. But then again I had the horrible witch lady in my isle so other experiences may vary. She offered no help and blatantly ignored us when we came in. She was too busy harassing other people.

Again I reiterate that none of worst things here happened to me. I am writing this on behalf of the people I saw whose night was ruined. I felt so sorry for them.

You, the staff of the Oriental Theater, should be ashamed of yourselves.

Ford Center for Performing Arts Photos



Ford Center for Performing Arts Hotel

*Some images shown above are not actual photos from the attraction, but category representations. Visit the attraction's web site for actual photos.

Ford Center for Performing Arts

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Top Musical Performances at this Chicago Theater.

Located in

Central

The Loop

Ticket Pricing

Prices Range From: $10.00 - $100.00

Summary

Features: As one of the first motion picture palaces whose d├ęcor was inspired by the Far East, Chicago's Oriental Theatre opened to much fanfare on May 8, 1926. Among the many stars that played the theatre are Paul Ash (billed as "the Rajah of Jazz"), The Three Stooges, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Stepin Fetchit, Sophie Tucker, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Fanny Brice, Danny Kaye and Alice Faye, and later Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Little Richard.

Over the years, the Theater became is such disrepair that there was talk of replacing it with a shopping mall. However, in 1996, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced that the Oriental would be restored to its original grandeur for the presentation of live stage musicals. In 1997 it was renamed the Ford Center for the Performing Arts and the restoration was completed in October 1998.

Check the Broadway in Chicago website for upcoming performances.

Why We Go: Located in the heart of the Chicago Theater District, the Ford Performing Arts Center has been a popular fixture for more than 80 years. The lavish decor, ornate architecture, and stellar musical performances make a night at the Oriental Theater one to remember. 

  • Fabulous Entertainment: Over the years, the Ford Center for Performing Arts has seen a variety of amazing performances on its stage, including Billy Elliott, Wicked, and Beauty and the Beast.
  • Great Seats: The plush velvet seats at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts offer unobstructed stage views.

Inside Knowledge: After becoming rundown and derelict, the Ford Performing Arts Center was closed in 1981. There were plans to demolish the iconic theater and build a two-storey shopping mall instead, but the iconic theater was restored to its former glory in the mid-90's. Reopened in 1998 after almost 20 years, the Ford Center for the Performing Arts has been a staple of the Chicago Theater District ever since.

Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do Book Ahead: Make sure to snag tickets early for a show at the Oriental Theater, as tickets have been known to sell out ahead of time.
  • Do Take a Tour: Every Saturday, the public can take a tour of the Ford Center Performing Arts theater  as well as two other top Chicago theaters. The tour highlights the fascinating decor, costumes, and technology that make this Chicago theater so unique.  
  • Don't Forget to Bring the Kids: The theater isn't just for adults! The Ford Center for the Performing Arts offers a variety of kid-friendly entertainment, including the popular musical, Beauty and the Beast, 
  • Don't Forget to Admire the Decor: The Gothic Revival architecture is one of the main  features of the Oriental Theater. A beautiful palate of rich colors and ornate carvings are almost as eye catching as the performances. 

Comments

Sort Reviews By: | | |

Tour Review : Ford Center for Performing Arts


JeffMyrs

Joined: June 2012

xxx.xxx.97.49

Overall:
1
Location:
1
Information:
1
Fun Factor:
1

Would not recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 6/12

Went with:

The tour was:

Not worth going. Staff and policies of the theater unbearable

The staff and the policies at the oriental theater are horrible. Absolutely horrible. To a one, they are rude and go out of their way to make sure you have the worst time possible.

Avoid this theater at all costs until they change their policies and their rude staff. I don't care if your favorite show is playing there. If you're a tourist, GO TO ANOTHER THEATER while you're in chicago.

Here are some specifics. This specifically refers to my experience at the Rain concert on Thursday June 29, but the staff and policies are the same for other concerts.

1) If you even take out your phone they will confiscate it. They will not be nice about it and politely tell you to just turn it off like every other theater, airplane and every other location known to man. THEY WILL CONFISCATE IT. Go ahead, look at their rules or call them. They'll admit to it. And they will not give it back till after the show. I am not kidding. And their excuse? Oh they have some signs posted on the door. Yeah, the door that everyone is ushered quickly through to get into the theater. God forbid you forget to read the rulebook posted there. Listen, nobody likes a bunch of people using their phones. So don't feed me that line. Other theaters do it right. MOVIE theaters do it right. Airplanes do it right. You guys do it wrong. Bottom line.

I would like to add here that my phone was NOT confiscated. I am writing here because of the atrocious behavior I saw around me.

2) There was a large white bald man in a suit harassing people near me. He was constantly up in people's faces and pointing his finger in their faces.

3) There was a female usher in the aisle three, white with black hair, constantly harassing people. She would stalk up and down the rows CONSTANTLY, making sure everyone was obeying her every whim. She was possibly the rudest and most horrible woman I've ever encountered. Not a bit of kindness in her. She was mean to the kids, mean to the parents, mean to everyone. Went out of her way to make sure people who paid $75 a piece had a horrible time.

4) If you're not there EXACTLY on time, they will not let you in. This policy is beyond stupid. Why? Because once you've crossed the magical barrier once, you can exit all you want to go to the bathroom or get refreshments. Luckily, I got there in time, but god forbid if you are even one minute late. No refunds, and I heard them blatantly making fun of people who didn't get in. Oh, and before you feed me the "oh but we we have to help you find your seat" line, NOBODY helps you find your seat. At least they didn't for us. But then again I had the horrible witch lady in my isle so other experiences may vary. She offered no help and blatantly ignored us when we came in. She was too busy harassing other people.

Again I reiterate that none of worst things here happened to me. I am writing this on behalf of the people I saw whose night was ruined. I felt so sorry for them.

You, the staff of the Oriental Theater, should be ashamed of yourselves.