Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental TheatreThe Loop
A jewel in the redevelopment of Chicago's downtown theater district. Originally built in 1926 as a movie palace, the Oriental has been renovated and refurbished into a state-of-the-art space for musical theater productions, beginning with "Ragtime," in October of 1998. Three levels hold 2,200 plush seats under a massive domed ceiling rimmed with larger-than-life seahorses and goddesses. Painted columns and colorful plasterwork add to the look of a gaudy Asian temple.