After a $6 million renovation, the 4,249 seat Arie Crown Theater has considerably improved acoustics (the ceiling was lowered 35 feet, and walls moved inward), reupholstered seating, eight new boxes and improved disabled access.
With the city's largest stage (at 91- by 59-feet), the Arie Crown Theater features large-scale theater productions with extensive scenery requirements, as well as musical producitons.
First opened in 1960, the theater was closed for four years following a 1967 fire, and reopened in 1971. Over the next two decades, it hosted Broadway musicals, ballets, rock concerts and operas. Since the late 1980s, programming had been subordinated to the adjacent trade shows in McCormick Place (It was the location for the shows' opening sessions): A new 45,000 square-foot Ballroom will now host these, freeing AE for concert and theatrical use.