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CHICAGO — One of the most cherished theaters in Chicago’s history is back for an encore.

The historic Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building on 410 S. Michigan Ave. was established in 1898 and has been a staple in the live theatrical world for over a century.

Icons like Bob Hope, Vincent Price, Sarah Bernhardt, Eartha Kitt, Jessica Tandy, and Martin Sheen have performed on its stage leaving a legendary wake of history.

After years in disrepair, the Studebaker is currently in the final stages of a multi-million dollar renovation. The upgrades include all-new seating installed throughout the venue, enhancements, and modernization to the theater’s AV and lighting grid, state-of-the-art technical booth, updated hobbies, and a newly designed VIP lounge on the third floor.

Built in 1885, Chicago’s Fine Arts Building was originally designed to house the carriage assembly and showroom for the Studebaker Company. Within a year, the company outgrew the space, paving the way for the building to become Chicago’s first fine arts colony, housing some of the most acclaimed artists with national and international impact on the arts.

Historic sage at the Studebaker Theater

In 1898, the Fine Arts Building created the historic Studebaker Theater, originally built to house vaudevillian performances and later expanded into large production in the 1920s. With a slew of Hollywood’s top headliners, it quickly developed a reputation to be known as one of the most important live theatrical venues in Chicago, receiving landmark status in 1978.

Inside Studebaker Hall 1889-1890

The new Studebaker will have approximately 600 seats, home to many nonprofit and touring productions and special events.

The renovations are set to be completed in May and the theater will welcome concerts, ballets, orchestras, operas and more. To check on the progress of the renovation and to see list of upcoming performances, click here.

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