The Chicago Theater was designed by architects Cornelius W. Rapp and George L. Rapp and opened its doors on 26 Oct 1921. Built in French Baroque Revival style, it is considered the first large, lavish movie palace in the US and a prototype for those that followed.
Above the marquee is a miniature replica of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, within which is a large circular stained-glass panel bearing the coat-of-arms of the Balaban and Katz group, the theater’s original owners.
The entryway is intimately scaled and features ornate details:
The five-story lobby is modeled after the Royal Chapel at Versailles. Its grand space is surrounded by gallery promenades at the mezzanine and balcony levels: