Garrick Theater Chicago

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Garrick Theater Chicago  Photo Courtesy of Tim Schapker

     The Garrick Theater was located at 64 West Randolph St.     It opened in 1891 as the Schiller Theater.  It was named after Friederich Schiller, a German philospher, poet and playwright.  It was funded by publisher Anton Hesing and other German investors.  It was to be used for German operas and cultural events.

     It was designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler.  On the second floor arcade, there were multiple terra cotta busts of famous Germans.

     The building was one of the tallest in Chicago at the time of construction.  The theater has a capacity of 1300 seats.

     In the late 1890’s, the German investors backed out of the Schiller Theater.    German operas and programs no longer were shown.   The theater now featured touring stage shows.

     From 1898–1903, the name was changed to the Dearborn.  In 1903, name was changed to the Garrick Theater.  Schubert Brothers assumed management of the venue.It

     In 1934, the Garrick Theater was acquired by the Balaban and Katz movie chain.  The firm of Rapp and Rapp was retained in the 1930’s to remodel the main entrance, ticket booth,  and lobby areas in an art deco style.

     From the 1940’s to the 1950’s, the theater was used for live local and later national television broadcasts.

     From 1957 to 1960, Balaban and Katz resumed slowing movies at the Garrick.  Ultimately, they closed the theater on May 19, 1960.  It was razed a few months later.  In the location a multilevel parking garage was built.   This was demolished in the late 1960’s.

     A portion of the Garick facade was preserved and was installed in the entry way of the Second City Theater Chicago.

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