Arie Crown Theater History
Arie Crown was a Lithuanian immigrant who became an American success story. Just 15 years old when he arrived in Chicago in 1875, he would eventually become one of Chicago's most successful businessmen and patriarch of a prominent family.
The Theater that bears his name was completed in 1960 as part of the McCormick Place complex. At that time, the Arie Crown Theater was truly a giant venue, boasting over 5,000 seats and hosting some of Chicago's most spectacular events.
In 1967, McCormick Place was struck by fire. While the Arie Crown Theater itself was spared, major reconstruction of McCormick Place forced the Theater to close. When it reopened in 1971, the Arie Crown had been partially rebuilt and was reduced in size. The Theater enjoyed many national Broadway shows upon reopening. 'Peter Pan' swung from the rafters, Carol Channing crooned 'Hello Dolly' and Yul Brenner ruled in 'The King and I'. The Theater continues to host concerts, musicals, trade shows and corporate events.
Famous and fascinating individuals have graced the Arie Crown's historic stage over the last half-century. From prima ballerinas to rock-n-roll bands, here's a list of some of the diverse and talented performers seen at the Arie Crown Theater:
|George Dalaras||Luis Miguel||Sheryl Crow|
|D'Angelo||Elvis Costello||Alla Pugacheva|
|Mikhail Baryshnikov||Crosby Stills and Nash||The Beach Boys|
|Tony Bennett||The Bolshoi Ballet||The Boston Pops|
|Jimmy Buffett||George Carlin||Ray Charles|
|Chicago||Natalie Cole||David Copperfield|
|Bill Cosby||Earth, Wind & Fire||Whitney Houston|
|Elton John||Tom Jones||Meatloaf|
|The Ruth Page Nutcracker||The Partridge Family||Bob Dylan|
|Jerry Seinfeld||Frank Sinatra||Mel Torme|
|Tina Turner||Barry White||Stevie Wonder|
|The Eagles||Billy Joel||Carol King|
|Simon & Garfunkle||The Four Seasons||The Rolling Stones|
|The Supremes||The Temptations||Roger Waters|
In addition, an impressive list of politicians, dignitaries and sports personalities have spoken during corporate and community events, including:
|John F. Kennedy||Gerald R. Ford||Ronald Reagan|
|George Bush||Bill Clinton||Maya Angelou|
|Tom Brokaw||Gwendolyn Brooks||Barbara Bush|
|George W. Bush||Bill Gates||Martin Luther King|
|Walter Payton||Colin Powell||Sammy Sosa|
|Studs Terkel||Iyanla Vanzant||Oprah Winfrey|
The Arie Crown Theater entered the 21st century with $6.5 million of redesign and renovation. Architecturally, it is a perfect combination of past and present, combining a diverse theater heritage with modern facilities and comfort. In the new millennium, the Theater continues to provide Chicago with a home for top-name entertainment and large-scale corporate meetings.
If you haven't visited us recently, take a look at our upcoming schedule of events and come experience the Arie Crown Theater for yourself. We look forward to seeing you soon!