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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Chicago, Illinois: Auditorium Theatre reopens

Author Topic: Chicago, Illinois: Auditorium Theatre reopens
Adam Martin

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted September 10, 2003 12:30 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
Despite the conflicting reports of whether this theater ever showed films, here's a story from the ABC affilliate in Chicago:

Auditorium Theater reopens after two-year renovation

September 8, 2003 — The curtain is about to rise again at the Auditorium Theatre. After almost two and a half years of renovation the 113-year-old stage is ready again to showcase the biggest and best that showbiz has to offer.
During a walk through of the Auditorium's new stage with theatre, G.M. Rich Regan we get a good look at what fourteen million dollars can do. In may of 2002 we visited here and this is what the stage looked like ... It was a construction zone. Now this is area under the stage or the trap room.

"The trap room is designed to accommodate scenic elements that are required by specific performances that come through the stage floor," said Rich Regan, general manager, Auditorium Theater.

But of course most of us are really much more interested in what goes on upstairs. And that area now is very much like it was when Louie Sullivan designed it in 1889. The proscenium arch has been stripped of layers of paint.

"We discovered in the paint analysis that about ten years after it was opened they started to put different coats of paint on the original surface. So what we're looking at right now is Louis Sullivan's original paint detail was, said Rich Regan.

The auditorium has always had the most perfect acoustics in the world of theatre. For instance right now I'm not using a microphone. My voice is being picked up by the camera microphone in the back row of the main floor.

"We had acousticians come in and measure the sound levels in various locations throughout the theatre and then throughout the restoration we continued to monitor those sound levels in each of those locations just to make sure we didn't change anything," said Rich Regan.

"It's still the largest stage in downtown Chicago and with all these new improvements this theatre is in the best shape it's ever been in," said Mel Katten, chairman of auditorium board.

The auditorium reopens with the sound of music on September 23 for a one week run.

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