|1837||Chicago becomes a city with 4,170 inhabitants. William R. Ogden is elected the first mayor. That same year, Chicago's first dramatic production The Idiot Witness or a Tale of Blood is performed in the Sauganash Hotel. Tickets are 75 cents.|
|1847||The first permanent theatre to be built in Chicago, Rice's Theatre, is opened on June 28th.|
|1856||Louis Sullivan is born September 3rd. John Van Osdel, Chicago's first architect, designs the first cast-iron building for the Lake Street business district. Nearly 110,000 people now live in Chicago.|
|1870||Potter Palmer opens the first Palmer House Hotel on the corner of State and Monroe Streets. The building, designed by Van Osdel, moves the focus of downtown from Lake Street to State Street.|
|1871||On October 8, at just after 9:00pm, a fire starts in the barn behind the O'Leary cottage on DeKoven street. In the next two days, most of the central city is destroyed. |
|1875||Louis Sullivan returns to Chicago after studying architecture and design in Europe.|
|1879||Thomas Edison exhibits the light bulb for the first time.|
|1880||Although the steam elevator was patented in the 1850's, the first hydraulic elevators were pioneered in Chicago in the 1880's, making tall buildings possible.|
|1881||Louis Sullivan forms partnership with Dankmar Adler to create the architectural firm of Adler and Sullivan.|
|1885||William Le Baron Jenney completes the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, the first skyscraper to use a metal skeleton frame. Alder and Sullivan design a theater in the Interstate Exposition Building for the Chicago Opera Festival.|
|1886||Ferdinand Wythe Peck, a Chicago business man, incorporates the Chicago Auditorium Association on December 8th for the purpose of developing the world's largest, grandest, most expensive theater. The building is to include an office block and a first class hotel. On the board are Marshall Field, Edson Keith, Martin Ryerson, George Pullman, and other Chicago business tycoons. Adler and Sullivan are hired to design the project, based on their work at the Interstate Exposition Building.|
|1887||October 5th, President Grover Cleveland lays the cornerstone for the Auditorium Building.|
|1888||The Republican National Convention is held in the partially finished Auditorium Building. Benjamin Harrison is nominated. Adler and Sullivan hire young draftsman Frank Lloyd Wright.|
|1889||In July, the first tenant, the Chicago Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Art, moves into the Auditorium Building. On December 9th, President Benjamin Harrison dedicates the Theatre before a standing room only crowd. Operatic idol Adelina Patti sings "Home, Sweet Home". Adler and Sullivan open their offices on the 16th and 17th floor of the Auditorium tower. |
|1891||The Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuts on October 16 and makes its home in the Auditorium Theatre until moving to Orchestra Hall in 1904.|
|1893||Chicago hosts the World's Columbian Exposition. Thousands of visitors from all around the world come to view the exhibits and visit the Midway with its Ferris wheel. Many of them attend the grand historical pageant America, held in the Auditorium Theatre.|
|1900||Booker T. Washington, the founder of the first college for African-American teachers, Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, addresses a capacity crowd at the Auditorium Theatre.|
|1909||Daniel Burnham, one of Chicago's best known architects, creates an organized plan for the growing city, preserving the lakefront as a park for the people.|
|1910||The Chicago Opera Association, later renamed the Chicago Civic Opera Company, takes up residence in the Auditorium Theatre, with its first performance on November 3rd.|
|1912||Theodore Roosevelt gives his Armageddon speech at the Auditorium and is nominated for President of the United States by the independent National Progressive Party.|
|1919||The funeral of Cleofonte Campanini, conductor of the Chicago Opera Company, is held on the stage of the Auditorium Theatre.|
|1921||The Chicago Opera Company's performance of Madam Butterfly is broadcast live from the Auditorium Theatre. It is Chicago's first live radio broadcast.|
|1929||The Chicago Opera Company leaves the Auditorium for its new home on Wacker Drive, leaving the Auditorium Theatre without a major tenant.|
|1933||In the midst of the Great Depression, Chicago raises $125,000 to refurbish the Auditorium Theatre in time for the Century of Progress World's Fair.|
|1939||The Auditorium Theatre celebrates its 50th Anniversary.|
The Auditorium Theatre closes during the Great Depression.
The Auditorium Theatre is taken over by the city and used as a World War II Servicemen's Center, complete with a bowling alley on the stage.
|1946||Roosevelt University moves its operations into the Auditorium Building, but the Theatre is not restored.|
|1952||In order to widen Congress Street, a sidewalk is created through the south end of the building, destroying the hotel cafe, the famous long bar, and other original public areas.|
|1960||Mrs. Beatrice T. Spachner establishes the Auditorium Theatre Council to raise funds for the restoration of the Theatre. Respected Chicago architect Harry Weese volunteers his services to restore the building to its former elegance.|
|1967||On October 31, the Auditorium Theatre reopens with the New York City Ballet's A Midsummer Night's Dream.|
|1968||Anti-Vietnam war protesters clash with police in the streets outside the Auditorium Building and the Congress Hotel during the Democratic National Convention.|
|1968-'75||The Auditorium serves as Chicago's premier rock house, with performances by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and many others.|
|1970||The Auditorium building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.|
|1975||The Auditorium building obtains National Historic Landmark status.|
|1976||The Auditorium building is designated a Chicago landmark.|
|1989||The Auditorium Theatre's 100th birthday. Les Miserables opens, ushering in a new era of Broadway blockbusters at the Auditorium.|
|1992||The Auditorium Theatre commemorates the 25th anniversary of its grand reopening.|
|1997||The Auditorium Theatre celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Theatre's grand reopening. The Theatre continues its mission to present international, cultural and local community programming and its commitment to the restoration and preservation of the National Landmark Theatre.|
The Auditorium Theatre receives a $13 million state grant to be used toward ongoing restoration efforts.
The theatre begins the first phase of its major restoration project, which includes paint analysis throughout the theatre, restoring the proscenium, seating area, and remarkable ceiling arches of the theatre to the original colors and finishes.
|2002||The Theatre initiates Phase II of its ongoing restoration project, highlighted by the removal and reconstruction of the theatre's 113-year old stage. The Theatre's versatility is increased by the construction of a new trap system and new orchestra pit with three separate lifts and removable seating. Phase II is completed by the installation of new artist support spaces, dressing rooms, and modern amenities. |
The world-famous Bolshoi Ballet returns to the Auditorium, performing to sold-out crowds and rave reviews.
|2003||The legal dispute between Auditorium Theatre Council and Roosevelt University is resolved. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Inc. is established.|
|2004||Broadway in Chicago joins The Joffrey Ballet as an Auditorium Theatre partner. Brett Batterson is hired as Executive Director.|
|2005||The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University launches its award-winning summer camp, Hands Together, Heart to Art.|
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University presents its first self-produced production, Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz Gospel Messiah.
On November 1, grand opera returns to the Auditorium with the Chicago premiere of Richard Danielpour and Toni Morrison's Margaret Garner, with Denyce Graves in the title role.
The Auditorium hosts the memorial service for The Joffrey Ballet's co-founder Gerald Arpino on November 17, 2008
The Auditorium celebrates its 120th birthday by transforming the stage into a 200-seat black box theatre for a production of The Mistress Cycle.
ATRU produces four month city-wide Miles Davis Festival, which included ATRU's first ever commission; a piece titled "Simply Miles, Simply Us" by Frank Chaves of River North Dance Chicago.
On March 12, the Auditoirum hosted the Elevator Dedication to celebrate the addition of a long-anticipated renovation. The elevator gives access to all six levels of the theatre.
The Auditorium Theatre dedicated its Katten/Landau Studio in Roosevelt's new Wabash buildling on June 6. The studio currently serves are rehearsal space for visiting companies, a convertable to a black box for cabaret performances in the Auditorium's Katten/Landau Studio Series, and is availble for events and rentals.
The Auditorium Theatre commissions the five-month long MUSIC + MOVEMENT FESTIVAL, welcoming some of the best Chicago musicians and dance companies for a celebration spanning February through June 2013. In a series of collaborations, 11 dance companies will pair off with msuicians to create brand new works. More Informaiton