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New Regal Theater (Avalon Theater)


1645 E. 79th St.


South Shore


Sat, Oct 15: 9am - 5pm

Sun, Oct 16: 9am - 5pm

Photography Permitted Wheelchair Accessible


John Eberson, 1927


This 2,500-seat auditorium opened in 1927 as the Avalon Theater. It was renamed in 1987 as a tribute to the original Regal Theater in Bronzeville, which was demolished in 1973. The "atmospheric" Moorish-Revival design by John Eberson was similar to that of the Paradise Theater on Chicago's west side, which was demolished in the 1950s. The New Regal Theater was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1992. Despite holding an election-night party to celebrate Barack Obama's victory in 2008, the theater has been vacant and mostly unused since 2003. A mural on the exterior of the building includes the likenesses of many famous jazz and blues musicians associated with the Regal Theater: Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and more.

Behind the Scenes

Explore the inside of one of the most amazing theaters in Chicago—closed for most of the last decade.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s partnership with the South Shore community is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company.

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