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DePaul University, Merle Reskin Theatre (Blackstone Theatre)

Address

60 E. Balbo Dr.

Neighborhood

Downtown

Hours

Sat, Oct 15: 12pm - 5pm

Sun, Oct 16: Closed

Family Friendly Photography Permitted Wheelchair Accessible

Architect

Marshall & Fox, 1910

Website

depaul.edu

Description

The former Blackstone Theatre has a lot in common with its neighbor, the Blackstone Hotel: architects, Beaux-Arts style, developers and even a name until 1992. The six-story building houses a tall, ornate auditorium with an original capacity of 1,325 seats. It mainly presented touring productions from New York for its first few decades—with some of the best-known actors of the time gracing the stage. After the difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II, the New York-based Shubert Organization operated the theater. They gradually scaled back productions as television diminished audiences and many of the great Loop theaters declined. The Theatre School at DePaul University—founded as the Goodman School of Drama in 1925—acquired, renamed and renovated the theater in 1988. It is now a main performance venue for one of the oldest and best-known theater conservatory programs in the region.

Behind the Scenes

Get a glimpse of this large and ornate theater, one of the few remaining historic Downtown theaters.