Michael Todd Theatre

180-190 N. Dearborn Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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DavidZornig on November 10, 2021 at 9:48 pm

Kevin Mueller photo.


JudithK on November 29, 2017 at 6:28 am

Michael Todd was the producer of “Around the World in 80 Days” which was just shown on TCM. Mr. Todd died in a plane crash in the 1950s.

davidcoppock on November 29, 2017 at 4:26 am

Is it named after the director of “Around the World in 8o days”(David Niven version))?

DavidZornig on November 28, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Live stage production of “Two For The Seesaw” opened at the Michael Todd in December 1958. Nighttime marquee photo added.

DavidZornig on September 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

1987 photo as M&R Dearborn Cinemas added, via The Man On Five website.

DavidZornig on August 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Ran across this article from 1941.


Coate on May 22, 2017 at 11:49 am

New Showcase Presentations in Chicago article includes mention of the numerous 70mm (and roadshow) engagements here at the Michael Todd (along with other Chicagoland cinemas).

DavidZornig on May 22, 2017 at 11:05 am

Blurry Michael Todd Theatre in the background.


rivest266 on November 13, 2016 at 9:15 am

September 2nd, 1923 grand opening ad as Harris in the photo section.

rivest266 on November 13, 2016 at 9:00 am

This opened as a live theatre on December 26th, 1958. Its grand opening ad in the photo section.

RalphBenner on September 10, 2015 at 7:05 am

Though the McVickers ran hardticket the 70mm version of “Gone with the Wind” starting in April, 1968, it did so only after its opening run at the Cinestage. Here are the Chicago Tribune links:



Eight months following its opening at the Cinestage, the 70mm jobbie would be the premiere attraction at the UA Cinema 150 in Oak Brook.

Kudos to the Tribune for making its archives public. What trips down memory lane!

macoco on September 7, 2015 at 11:41 pm

“Ben-Hur” played 74 weeks at the Todd. Just checked Variety. It opened Christmas week 1959 (I remember that—I lived in Chicago then) and closed mid-May 1961. But that is still shorter than “The Sound of Music.”

JudithK on September 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Yes. I have worked in Chicago for many years (1973-to date), and the Goodman complex (former Woods, Michael Todd and Cinestage Theatres) is approximately a block from my office so I have been an interested – and concerned – observer for some time, especially during the era of the question of the future of the three theaters which extended over quite a few years. The Woods was indeed demolished, and the Cinestage and Todd Theatres gutted, with facades retained which I kept track of due to the closeness of my offices to it. It was a fascinating process to watch! I would urge theatre fans to attend an event at the Goodman Theatre to observe the end result. They have a very comprehensive webpage should you wish to investigate further.

JudithK on August 10, 2015 at 6:08 am

I saw a play at the Goodman Theatre yesterday; there are two theatres in this complex, and I was in the Owen Theatre, which is in the space that was home for the Michael Todd Theatre. Massive renovations occurred as the Todd, the Cinestage and the Woods Theatre had severe condition problems for many years. This is now a theatre in the round, to use a probably antiquated term, and a very good one at that. You can (somewhat) tell that the Owen Thatre was previously a legitimate theatre set-up that was converted into contemporary use. I am guessing that the Cinestage portion is now part of the main stage, and the common areas (I am guessing the office complex and Petterino’s Restaurant) are what were part of the Woods Theatre. Quite fascinating to see this adaptation made and in active use. I think the previous creators, stars and owners of the theatre complex would approve.

Coate on March 28, 2015 at 12:55 pm

JRS40… Forty weeks for “Ben-Hur”? Maybe I have a wrong opening or closing date or did the math incorrectly, but I have a much longer duration than 40 weeks for the Michael Todd roadshow run of “Ben-Hur.”

JRS40 on March 17, 2015 at 12:23 pm

I have a record of all bookings of the Todd (when it became the Michael Todd)from 1958 until it’s closing in 1977. No movie came close to playing there as long as “The Sound of Music.” I would have to check my records to confirm but I am guessing “Ben-Hur” would be the next closest. It played for 40 weeks.

To answer the question posed by Bobby S above – “Around the World in 80 Days” played at the Cinestage from 4/4/57 to 12/25/58.

Coate on March 17, 2015 at 11:54 am

“The Sound of Music” premiered at the Michael Todd 50 years ago today. With a reserved-seat run of 93 weeks, do you think it is the long-run record holder for this venue?

Also, on a related note, I would like to mention my new 50th anniversary retrospective for “The Sound of Music” can be read here.

RiisPark on March 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Saw “Star” in 1968 and “Exodus” around 1963. Both movies were reserved seating.

JudithK on March 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

I saw “Around the World in 80 Days” at the Beverly Theatre in Peoria, IL, so I cannot answer BobbyS' question. When I saw “Star!” at the Michael Todd Theatre it was shown on a very wide, crystal-clear, flat screen. If anyone out there has seen the film I believe the beginning of the film was supposed to be a representation of a show curtain in a theatre.

BobbyS on March 2, 2013 at 10:54 pm

So did “Around the World” play the Michael Todd theater or his Cinestage? I thought it played the Michael Todd with the waterfall curtain. Was it the same size of todays IMAX screens?

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

When I saw Ben-Hur in 70mm projection at the Michael Todd in 1960 the curtains opened horizontally to reveal a very wide flat screen. Meanwhile, Exodus at the Cinestage was shown on a slightly curved standard screen. The Cinerama strip screen was installed a few years later.

JudithK on February 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I saw the wide-screen re-release of “Gone With the Wind” at the McVickers on Madison Street in Chicago. The same thing happened in that theatre when Mr. Gable got his first close-up.

dtrigubetz on January 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm

In 1967-68 I saw the re-release of “Gone With the Wind” here. I sat in the balcony and the large audience gave Clark Gable a rousing applause upon his first screen entrance. I live in L A now and would be happy to give visitors a tour of our miraculously remaining single screens:

JudithK on December 16, 2011 at 8:45 am

Thanks, Broan! I had not seen the article, nor do I remember the interior extrance of the Michael Todd Theatre looking like this.