The “Wonder Theatre of America” owned and operated by Balaban and Katz, designed by Rapp & Rapp Architects of Chicago and opened in 1921. Still in operation today and listed as a National Historic Place and a Chicago Landmark, the Chicago Theatre”s ceiling and dome boosts fourteen very large Roman/Greek allegorically themed murals by Grell. Apollo riding his chariot adorns the proscenium arch expanding an impressive 45 feet wide by 15 feet tall. Grell first painted French Fairytale themed murals for the original grand opening in 1921, however, for the Chicago World’s Fair Exposition of 1933 and 1934, Balaban & Katz renovated the monstrous Baroque theatre to include the Roman themed murals of today. Grell was commissioned to paint the murals for the Chicago World’s Fair “Century of Progress” and his work is still on exhibit today for the world to enjoy! Today the theatre is owned and operated by Madison Square Garden.
Photograph(s) taken at The Chicago Theatre, Special thanks to MSG Entertainment and The Chicago Theatre
Black & White Images courtesy American Theatre Architecture Archive, Theatre Historical Society of America
Color Images Courtesy of Dwight Harts Photography, Denver, CO