Congress Theater

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Congress Theater
Congress Theater Chicago.jpg
The Congress Theater in 2008
Address 2135 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
United States
Coordinates 41°55′12″N 87°41′32″W / 41.92°N 87.69222°W / 41.92; -87.69222
Owner Eddie Carranza
Designation Chicago Landmark
Type theater
Capacity 3,500
Current use live music venue
Construction
Built 1926
Years active 1926-present
Architect Fridstein & Company
Website
http://www.congresschicago.com/
Designated: July 10, 2002

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

In its heyday, the Congress Theater could seat over 2,500 moviegoers and also had storefronts facing the streets. More recently, the theater operated as a 3,500-capacity live music venue. The theater was also used for professional wrestling shows by Dragon Gate USA beginning in 2009.

Under the ownership of Eddie Carranza, the venue was a source of controversy due to issues such as liquor violations, a notoriously tough security team, and lax building upkeep.[1] In April 2013, the theater was shut down and had its liquor license revoked due to numerous safety code violations.[2] In early 2014, it was reported that Carranza would sell the theater to developer Michael Moyer.[1]

Notable events[edit]

  • Oprah Winfrey filmed the introduction to her television show in the lobby of the theater.[3]
  • The theater was designated a Chicago Landmark on July 10, 2002.[4]
  • 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).
  • 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

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]