The Chicago Theatre
The Loop's 3,600-seat "atmospheric" theater designed by C.W. Rapp and George L. Rapp in 1921 is a magnificent example of the classic American cinema palace. From the off-white glazed terra cotta exterior with the grand marquee to the interior Versailles-inspired lobby, Paris opera-influenced grand staircase, and Louis XIV furnishings, every spectacular inch was considered in the Neo-Baroque French-Revival style. The entire marquee was replaced in 1994 (though it retains the look of its predecessor), and the building underwent renovations in the 1930s, 1950s, and finally a nine-month, multi-million dollar overhaul to save it from demolition in the 1980s (reopening with a gala performance by Frank Sinatra). Rapp and Rapp went on to design hundreds of theaters across the country, including others in Chicago like The Riviera, The Uptown, and The Oriental.