The CBIC Theatre is an unparalleled Chicago icon. It was built as the Majestic Theatre in 1906, the city’s first venue over one million dollars and Chicago’s tallest building at the time. It launched vaudeville in the city and was later host to the likes of Harry Houdini and Lily Langtry. After shuttering during the Great Depression, the theatre reopened in 1945 to rave review, just in time for the heyday of Broadway. Today, the theatre honors its legacy with presentations managed by Broadway in Chicago. It hosted the Chicago premiere of Rent, Chicago, and Cabaret.
CBIC Theatre Facilities
Born out of the gilded age, the CBIC Theatre (then, the Majestic), was the brainchild of architects Edmund R. Krause and George L. and Cornelius Rapp. Now a Chicago landmark, the venue features plush red stadium seating, red carpeting, and sparkling gold paneling. It has undergone two renovations since 1906. The first was in 1945, when the theatre was purchased by the Shubert Organization as the Sam Shubert Theatre. It was carefully renovated to retain many of its original design components.
In 1991, the Nederlander Organization purchased the building but continued its reputation for Broadway entertainment. Since Broadway in Chicago formed in 2000, the rich history of quality Broadway has continued. The second renovation took place in 2005, when the theater underwent a multi-million dollar restoration. Once again, the vision of the original architects was preserved.
Architects discovered an elaborate hidden archway that had been covered over in previous renovations and restored it to its former glory. They were able to preserve original fixtures and the mosaic floor installed in the lobby in 1906. Paint chips were analyzed to repaint the theater in its original color scheme. Along with the careful restoration, modern amenities like elevators within the theater were installed. The resulting theater design holds 1,800 seats and a proscenium stage.
CBIC Theatre Programs
The theater celebrates its routes with programming managed by Broadway in Chicago. It hosts major hits like Hamilton, Kinky Boots, The Book of Mormon, and Jersey Boys. Avid theatergoers can invest in season tickets to enjoy preferred seating, advanced tickets, and theater any night of the week.
The theater works to make Broadway accessible to all Chicagoans. You can enter to win a digital lottery for $10 tickets for Hamilton, and 44 $10 seats are distributed for each performance.
Broadway in Chicago is best known for attracting pre-Broadway productions. It has hosted the premieres of Spamalot, The Addams Family, Kinky Boots, and Movin’ On Out. It also houses touring Broadway acts and has had long-run engements of The Lion King, Wicked, and The Book of Mormon, to name a few.
Getting to the CBIC Theatre
If you’re driving, Broadway in Chicago partners with InterPark to offer convenient parking. The closest location to the CIBC theatre is at InterPark 17 E. Adams St. Purchase parking in advance or show your ticket stub at the garage to receive a specially discounted rate.
The CBIC Theatre is located in the heart of the Chicago Loop, just blocks from the Art Institute, so it’s easy to get here by public transit as well. The Monroe Red Line L station and Washington/Wabash Brown/Orange/Green/Pink/Purple lines are just a stone’s throw from the theater entrance. Additionally, you can take the 146, 148, 28 or 56 bus lines.
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