Auditorium Theatre Schedule

History of the Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E Congress Parkway in downtown Chicago, is a historic theater that was originally built in 1889. It served as a venue for large-scale events such as conventions and civic gatherings before being renovated in 1967 and transformed into a performing arts center. Today, the Auditorium hosts a wide range of live performances–from theater and music to dance and comedy–and has been named one of the best places to see live entertainment by USA Today readers multiple times since 1999.

Design and Features

The Auditorium Theatre is an architectural gem, with a seating capacity of over 4,000. It’s equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and features a large stage as well as a smaller studio theater. The auditorium was designed by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb in the Neo-Classical style; it opened in 1889 as part of the World’s Columbian Exposition (a world fair celebrating Columbus’ discovery of America).

The Auditorium Theatre has been home to many notable performances over its 120+ year history including:

  • The first performance by The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) at its current location on October 16th 1893
  • The first appearance by Harry Houdini on November 12th 1910
  • A performance by John Philip Sousa’s band on February 25th 1911

Productions at the Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre is one of Chicago’s most historic venues, and it hosts a wide range of productions. From classical plays to contemporary works, this venue has been the home for many productions over the years.

The Auditorium Theatre also hosts a variety of concerts and musical performances throughout the year. From jazz and classical to world music, there are many events here that you can attend for free or at low cost!

Getting to the Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre is conveniently located in downtown Chicago, just south of the Loop. The theater is close to public transportation options such as the El train and bus lines. If you prefer to drive, there are several parking garages located near the theater for your convenience.

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