Congress Theater

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Congress Theater
Congress Theater Chicago.jpg
The Congress Theater (present day)
Address 2135 N. Milwaukee Avenue
City Chicago, Illinois
Country United States
Coordinates 41°55′12″N 87°41′32″W / 41.92°N 87.69222°W / 41.92; -87.69222Coordinates: 41°55′12″N 87°41′32″W / 41.92°N 87.69222°W / 41.92; -87.69222
Designation Chicago Landmark
Architect Fridstein & Company
Owned by Eddie Carranza
Capacity 3,500
Type theater
Years active 1926-present
Current use live music venue
Designated: July 10, 2002

The Congress Theater in Chicago, built by Fridstein and Company in 1926 for the movie theater chain of Lubliner and Trinz, is a surviving example of a movie palace. It features ornate exterior and interior design work, in a combination of the Classical Revival and Italian Renaissance styles.

The Congress Theater could seat over 2,500 moviegoers and also has storefronts facing the streets. The theater is currently operating as a 3,500-capacity live music venue. It is located at 2117-2139 N. Milwaukee Avenue and was designated a Chicago Landmark on July 10, 2002.[1]

Oprah Winfrey filmed the introduction to her television show in the lobby of the theater.[2]

In August 2008, pop punk band Paramore recorded a live CD/DVD titled The Final Riot! at the theater. It was released in November 2008 and it was awarded in US (Gold Album) and Canada (Platinum Album). Dragon Gate USA began using the venue for its professional wrestling shows in 2009.

On March 31, 2009, VH1 Storytellers recorded a segment on blues band ZZ Top at the Congress Theater; the show aired June 27, 2009, on VH1 Classic.

Notable performers[edit]

The sign of the theater

Controversies and Legal Issues[edit]

The venue has long been a source of controversy for numerous reasons. One reason is the notoriously tough security team, who have allegedly used excessive force on people.[citation needed]

In April 2013, the theater was temporarily shut down due to numerous safety code violations, though later reopened after owner Eddie Carranza promised to fix the violations. However, the city of Chicago revoked the Congress theater's liquor license over the violations, something which Carranza is currently attempting to appeal.[4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]