One of the city’s oldest theaters, Auditorium Theatre was completed in 1889. The architectural marvel opened to critical acclaim as an opera house at the turn of the century. Over the years, multiple restoration and conservation projects has worked to preserve the immaculate details. Visitors can enjoy 24-karat gold-leaf ceiling arches, the architect’s original stencil patterns, ornate gilded designs, murals, and floor and wall mosaics. Today, performances on stage are equally impressive. Such inspiring dance companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Folklórico de México have all taken the stage along with uplifting performances like the Boston Pops.
Auditorium Theatre Facilities
Businessman Ferdinand Wythe Peck enlisted the help of famous architecture firm Adler and Sullivan to execute his vision for the Auditorium Theatre in the 1880s. He envisioned a place that would be the grandest building in the city, and open to all Chicagoans. Adler and Sullivan pushed the limits of technology of the time. When it opened, the building was the tallest building in Chicago and the largest modern edifice in the world. It also featured electric lighting and air conditioning.
The theater fell into disrepair after the Great Depression and eventually closed down from the 1940s through 1960s. In 1967, the restored theater reopened with a performance by the New York City Ballet. Many restoration and conservation projects throughout the years have fought to retain the theater’s original splendor. Today, guests can enjoy 24-karat gold-leaf ceiling arches, Sullivan’s restored stencil patterns, gilded and bas-relief designs, floor and wall mosaics, and murals by Charles Hollowa and Albert Fleury.
The jaw-dropping theater has an impressive capacity of 3,875. The proscenium stage is known for hosting world-class dance, theater, and music in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
Auditorium Theatre Programs
Today, the Auditorium Theatre’s programming reflects Wythe Peck’s original vision. It hosts an array of touring world-class talent along with the city’s best performers.
Dance is a popular medium here. Such companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Folklórico de México frequent the stage. The venue also highlights the city’s best local dance companies with a “Made in Chicago” series. Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Ensemble Español are regular performers here. The Auditorium Theatre is also the resident home of The Joffrey Ballet.
In addition to dance, the theater hosts exciting performances like Too Hot to Handel, Kathleen Battle, and Bernadette Peters and the Boston Pops. And, rock stars including David Gilmour, David Byrne, and Neil Young have all taken the stage.
Subscribers can enjoy 25% off of performances and perks like ticket exchange and free invitations to pre-performance fireside chats.
Getting to the Auditorium Theatre
Patrons can park at Loop Auto Parks for easy access to the show. Use an online coupon to enjoy a discount on parking. It’s a bit more expensive, but you can also park at Grant Park South Garage. Head into the Patron Services Offices at the theater for more parking information and discounts at the garage.
You can also get here via public transit. Take the CTA Red line to Jackson, Brown line to Adams, or Blue line to LaSalle.