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.