A Taste of History and Celebrity at the Chicago Theatre

Hey there! My name is Samuel and I’m the Marketing Manager at here Best Western Plus River North Hotel. The job – which involves being downtown in Chicago – definitely has some huge perks. And one of the biggest is getting to go behind-the-scenes at some of Chicago’s biggest, most famous, and sometimes little-known attractions.

Chicago Theatre entrance

The historic Chicago Theatre downtown can’t claim to be little-known but it’s got those other factors in spades.

I recently got to attend one of their regularly offered tours called “the Marquee Tour” and get a look at not only the theatre and its history but also what goes on backstage, including some surprising tidbits about some of my favorite celebrities.

The theatre was built in 1921 and will celebrate 92 years this October! It’s built in a French Renaissance style, which, as you can see from the photos, makes this one of the most beautiful buildings in Chicago.

The hour-long tours are offered pretty much 7 days a week at noon (12pm) and on Saturdays the tours are at 11:00am and 12:30pm. It’s best to check the times here before you head there as tour times can vary depending on the season and tours may be canceled if they have a concert or show that day. Use the link to buy your tickets in advance if you want to be sure of a spot. (Adults $12 | Children under age 12 are $10)

Steve Martin and Martin Short

The theatre doesn’t host musicals but they have a ton of world famous musical and comedy legends. Backstage you’ll get to see the part of the building where most performers have signed the wall, which means you can see signatures from old greats like Sinatra on up through modern performers like the Allman Brothers or Mumford & Sons.

The tour is great for children or adults. I liked the history part the best – hearing about the original organ/ist and performers who graced the stage, like the Three Stooges. But there’s also plenty of star-studded stories to be heard. During our tour, our tour guide relayed some fascinating stories about Justin Timberlake, Jerry Seinfeld, and Conan O’Brien.  History + Personal Anecdotes = A Really Fascinating Tour!

Chicago Theatre hallway

And feel free to explore the link to their website above if you’d like to take in a show here too. Their headliners are top-notch, and it’s an absolutely fantastic venue for a show – seriously.

And if you need help with accommodations or planning a trip, let us try to help you! We’re happy to simply answer questions as well if you’re just scouting for a Chicago trip. Visit http://www.rivernorthhotel.com/ for availability and hotel info or email us at reservations@rivernorthhotel.com.

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