Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fare or an experience that will transport you to another time and place, you’ll find it in the plush velvet seats and bewitching corridors of Chicago’s theaters. In fact, it’s no exaggeration at all to say that the theaters in Chicago present a range of entertainment options to suit any mood and every aesthetic! Below, we’ve highlighted our favorite Chicago theaters specializing in everything from Shakespeare and foreign film showings to improv comedy and innovative original works for the stage.

The Chicago Theatre

One of Chicago’s most famous places to visit and an architectural icon in its own right, you won’t want to miss the Neo-Baroque French-Revival glory of Chicago’s original “movie palace.” It was built in 1921, when films were getting longer. Not only is it one of the oldest theaters in Chicago, but The Chicago Theatre was one of the first motion picture houses in the country to craft a full movie-going experience. Inside, a grand staircase—based on the grand stair of the Paris Opera House—leads to balconies, and the domed ceiling above the stage is studded with crystal chandeliers and bronze light fixtures.

  • LOCATED AT: 175 N State St, Chicago, Illinois, 60601

The Music Box Theatre

There’s no shortage of historic theaters in Chicago, and the Music Box Theatre is another terrific example. It has been operating continuously as an art-house and repertory cinema for the past two decades, although it was built all the way back in 1929. Here, you’ll find locals and visitors alike stopping in for foreign film showings, weekly first-run features, repertory films, Saturday and Sunday matinees, and midnight cult films.

  • LOCATED AT: 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

Facility Theatre

If you’re looking for theaters in Chicago with a more experimental mien, an artist-led collective like the Facility Theater might be a better fit. By putting innovation and community first, they empower performers and artists to craft works that take risks and explore new territory. Browse their events calendar for details on upcoming original plays, music, and movement.

  • LOCATED AT: 1138 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

The Annoyance Theatre

The self-proclaimed home of “Chicago’s Only Funny Comedy” is not your average Chicago tourist attraction! The Annoyance Theatre provides a stage for vibrant and uncensored works, from improvisation and sketch-comedy to original plays, musicals, and more. They also offer advanced training in improvisation and six studio classrooms available to rent.

  • LOCATED AT: 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

If you’re already spending the day at Navy Pier, don’t miss this Shakespeare-centric Chicago theater! The Chicago Shakespeare Theater puts on more than six hundred annual performances, including family-oriented programming and the critically-acclaimed Shakespeare series.

  • LOCATED AT: 800 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611

Plan Your Chicago Visit Today!

Questions about Chicago theaters or other Windy City entertainment ideas? Find out what recent visitors are saying about The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago. We’re happy to help you plan an unforgettable Chicago visit! Contact us online or give us a call at (312) 875-9447, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m, for details.