Chicago Theatre was known as the “Wonder Theatre of the World” when it opened in 1921. This majestic, grand building was a flagship theater for the Balaban & Katz theater group. For two decades, until about 1945, the theater represented the best in American cinematic experience. Other theaters around the United States were modeled after the Chicago Theatre. Today, the theatre is owned by Madison Square Garden, Inc. Instead of showing films, it is a well-known performing arts venue.
Designed in a French baroque style, the theatre is aesthetically appealing and grandiose. Its grand lobby is modeled after the Royal Chapel at Versailles and the exterior features a replica of the famous Arc de Triomphe. The Grand Staircase on the interior is modeled after those at the Paris Opera House. The Chicago Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It remains a popular entertainment venue, as well as an historical gem.