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. Aside from holding an election night party to celebrate Barack Obama's presidential 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, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. The building was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1992.
Visitors will have the chance to explore the lobby and auditorium, with some restrictions. QR codes with a more detailed history of the theater and surrounding community will supplement the self-guided tours.