Majestic Theatre

22 West Monroe Street / Chicago, IL

from: Chicago Tribune, January 2, 1906

Opening of the Majestic

"Chicago has a new vaudeville theater, and it is a beauty, The Majestic, after eighteen months spent in construction, was opened to the public for the first time.
The management claims for the new house that it is “the finest and most substantial theater in Chicago and the best structure for its purpose in the world.”
The claim is a large one, but the facts in the case make it not easy to disprove.

The most that could be done probably would be to reduce the rank from the positively finest to the but slightly reduced degree of one of the finest, and even
that would be a task as difficult as it were futile. It suffices that the Majestic is a theater of exceptional beauty, comfort, safety, and completeness.

It has been constructed under Chicago’s new building laws governing the erection of places of amusement—laws the most exacting to be found in any city in
the world—and its observance of their every mandate has made it a model as regards security and commodiousness. Inasmuch as the esthetic has not been
overlooked by the owners of the house, the blending of the utilitarian with the beautiful has been accomplished, and with remarkable success.
It is a theater of which Chicago may with justice be proud, and to which the amusement seeking public may turn with
confident anticipation of finding there a place wholly to its liking.

The Majestic Building & Theater / Architectural Record / June 1906

The interior of the new theater is attractive beyond the usual. The impression received is one of coziness and intimacy, despite the largeness
of the room—the seating capacity is greater than that of any other playhouse in town except the Auditorium. The lower floor has a breadth and a
sweep of line which suggest comfort and east, the new mezzanine and the balcony proper are brought far enough forward to make the stage seem close
at hand, and the gallery is the finest in arrangement and fittings that is found in any theater in the city.

The mezzanine is a novelty in American theater arrangement. It consists of a shallow balcony immediately over the back of the parquet. In the Majestic
it is fitted with two rows of boxes and two rows of seats in the rear. Thirty private boxes are thus provided, and with the twenty-four proscenium loges
gives the theater an unusual total of fifty-four boxes. The patrons who wish a certain exclusiveness in location will find no scarcity of accommodation
in the new home. The decorative scheme of the auditorium is in rare good taste. Old gold and ivory have been used on all the elaborate plaster work which
faces the proscenium arch and the framework of the boxes and the panels and wall spaces have been covered with old rose or with mural paintings.

The entire color scheme is exceptionally harmonious and beautiful. In the foyer on the lower floor old rose, soft gray, and olive greens have been
used with admirable effect, and in this promenade have been placed a dozen paintings by master artists—Bouguereau, Jacquet, Roybet, Clairan, Corcos,
Ridgeway, Knightm Bergen, Baxter, Chica, Detti, and Gaston being among those represented.

From the marble corridor which leads into this handsome foyer descent is made on one side to the men’s smoking room, and on the other to the women’s
resting room. The smoking room is fitted up in nautical style, the woodwork, seats, and decorations all being similar to those found in a “smoker” on board,
a first class ocean liner. Even the portholes, with view of the sea, are not lacking. In the women’s room heliotrope, white, and lemon gold are the colors
used in decoration, and they make the little parlor a veritable gem as regards beauty and comfort. Upstairs at the rear of the main balcony a promenade
even large than the one on the main floor has been provided. It, too, is furnished in old rose, attractive paintings adorn the walls and every comfort
in the form of chairs, sofas, and lounging places has been provided.

The stairways are of marble, iron, and brass, are wide and easy, and are provided with a double handrail in the center, which divides the crowd and assures
safety. Safety as well as comfort clearly has been the constant watchword of the builders of the house. Exits fairly line the side walls of the auditorium,
and the location of the building, with alleyways on both sides and at the rear, makes direct egress into the open possible from all parts of the house.

Behind the footlights the same completeness and comfort that characterize the auditorium and foyers are in evidence. The dressing rooms are models,
the stage is one of the largest and best equipped in the country, the supply of scenic sets and of stage furnishings is astonishingly abundant, and the
fireproofness of everything is subject for admiration and commendation.

The opening bill at the theater is an attractive one. The eight Allisons, who head the list, are a family of acrobats from Europe who offer one of the most
sensational and daring acts of its kind ever seen here. Herrmann “the great,” contributes an entertaining series of tricks of magic and sleight of hand,
the Empire City quartet does some singing of a comedy variety, Macey and Hall are seen in Clay Clement’s comedy, “A Timely Awakening,” Mabelle Adams
contributes several violin solos, and acts are presented by Bruno and Russell, singers and dancers; Alf Grant, entertainer; Redford and Winchester,
jugglers; Clara Hess, vocalist; Ferry in Fairyland, physical trainer; Tegge and Daniels, comedians; the La Mothe trio, and Lambert and Pierce."

from Wikipedia:


The theater opened in 1906 as the Majestic Theatre, named for The Majestic Building in which it is housed. The Majestic was a popular vaudeville theater
offering approximately 12 to 15 vaudeville acts running from 1:30 pm to 10:30 pm, six days-per-week. By the 1920s the theater had become part of the
Orpheum Circuit and presented many famous vaudeville headliners.

In 1932, the theater closed during the Great Depression. In 1945, the Shubert Organization purchased the venue, remodeled, and reopened it as the
Sam Shubert Theatre. The Nederlander Organization purchased the building in 1991, however, Chicago Public Schools owned the land until 1997 when
Nederlander also purchased it. Between January 2005 and May 2006, the theater underwent restoration and a name change to the
LaSalle Bank Theatre and floors 4-21 of the adjoining office building were converted to the Hampton Inn Majestic Hotel.
The hotel & theatre share the building, with the theatre on floors 1-6 & the hotel on floors 4-21.
The hotel has a small entrance west of the theatre entrance with its own address of 22 West Monroe Street.
Since 2000, the theater has been operated by the Nederlander subsidiary, Broadway In Chicago, and has hosted touring productions,
pre-Broadway productions and world premieres. Nederlander sells naming rights: In May 2008, the theater was renamed the Bank of America Theatre
when that company acquired LaSalle Bank in 2007. In 2017, it became CIBC Theater when that company bought the then current naming rights holder, PrivateBank.

Programs available from this theatre:

  • Majestic Vaudeville / Chicago (1907)

  • Return to Index of Theatres