Cadillac Palace Theatre
151 W. Randolph Street,
24 people favorited this theater
Broadway in Chicago (Official)
Firms: Rapp & Rapp
Functions: Stage Shows
Styles: French Renaissance
Previous Names: New Palace Theatre, RKO Palace Theatre, Eitel's Palace Theatre, Palace Cinerama Theatre, Bismarck Palace Theatre
News About This Theater
- Feb 17, 2011 — Two of Chicago's movie palaces open for Saturday tours
- Oct 24, 2010 — "The Alamo"...Happy 50th!
- Sep 15, 2008 — Remembering Cinerama
- Sep 13, 2008 — Post Monday 9/15 Please -- Remembering Cinerama
- Nov 13, 2007 — Live Nation selling Chicago theaters
- Sep 19, 2005 — Theater Naming Issue
- Aug 25, 2004 — Zemeckis, Hanks to Close Chicago Int'l Film Festival
There was already a 1,500-seat Palace Music Hall located at N. Clark Street and W. Randolph Street operated by the Orpheum Circuit which opened on April 1, 1912 and was later renamed the Erlanger Theatre, closing in 1962. Primarily a live theatre, it did screen 3 movies and has its own page on Cinema Treasures.
The New Palace Theatre was opened on October 4, 1926 and was designed by architectural firm Rapp & Rapp. Its interior design is similar in vein to the Los Angeles Theatre - a French Renaissance style beauty inspired by Versailles. The New Palace Theatre was originally opened as the flagship of the Orpheum vaudeville circuit (the State Lake Theatre, also in the Loop, was another one of the Orpheum circuit’s vaudeville palaces in Chicago). After showcasing dozens of big-name stars during the late-1920’s, the theatre was converted into a movie palace on May 31, 1930 as the RKO Palace Theatre screening Victor McLaglen in “On the Level” plus vaudeville on the stage. The vaudeville stage shows ended on November 2, 1939 and it became a full-time movie theatre.
In the 1950’s, attendance began to wane, at what was by then called Eitel’s Palace Theatre and live shows were re-introduced to the repertoire. On July 30, 1953 Eitel’s Palace Theatre became a Cinerama theatre, screening “This Is Cinerama”. Cinerama left the building on November 9, 1959 screening “South Seas Adventure”. The theatre was closed until April 20, 1960 when it was equipped with Todd-AO and reopened with Shirley McLaine in “Can-Can”. On June 28, 1961 Cinerama returned to the theatre. It was purchased by the owners of the neighboring Bismark Hotel on March 23, 1962. On November 6, 1965 it was renamed Bismark Palace. It screened its last movie “Nicholas and Alexandra” on May 23, 1972. The auditorium was converted into a banquet hall by removing the seats on the orchestra level. In 1984, the theatre, now renamed the Bismarck Theatre, was converted into a concert venue.
Barely used during the 1990’s, the former New Palace Theatre was finally restored and renovated during 1999, and renamed the Cadillac Palace Theatre thanks to a large donation by the car company towards the theatre’s spectacular restoration. The renovated theatre was reopened on November 12, 1999, with the premier of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida”. The renovation has made true the name of the ‘Palace’.
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