search through: for: advanced search
RELATED INFORMATION
Who's Who - Theatre/Film

Styles: Jeff Award, Theatre Companies

Directory: C
Own Candlelight Dinner Theater Today!
Theatres

By Style:
Broadway-ish, Comedy Clubs, Improv Clubs, Dinner Theatres
and more

Directory
Movie Theatres

By Style:
Art Film Houses, Drive-Ins, 1st-Run Cinema, 2nd-Run Cinema and Suburban
and more

Directory
Candlelight Dinner Theater
 
America's first dinner theatre has, unfortunately, now closed its doors.

In 1961 (while still a student), William Pullinsi (with help from his family) acquired a tavern and adjacent barbershop, remodeled it, and opened it as a dinner/theatre. It was small (seating about 112), but successful. In 1964, a new theatre was constructed at its present location, seating 350 (it has since been expanded to seat 600), while the old building has been replaced by I-55. Musicals were added to the repertoire, and Candlelight became the first resident company in Chicago to perform a 52-week season, 8 shows yearly. Its over-200 shows included many classics, but also 3 world premieres, and more than 40 Chicago firsts, entertaining more than 2 million theatregoers, and being nominated for over 200 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Candlelight has served more than 9 million meals.

A number of notable actors (including Shelley Long, Mandy Pantinkin and Joe Mantegna) got their starts working at Candlelight. Jim Jacobs wrote the score to the musical Grease in Candlelight's dressing room (he was appearing in Jimmy Shine.

In 1971, its sister theatre, Candlelight Forum Theatre was built.

Production History through 1985

1961
The Moon is Blue
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter
Born Yesterday
Tunnel of Love
Champagne Complex
Two for the Seesaw
1962
Everybody Loves Opal
My Three Angels
The Tender Trap
Under the Yum Yum Tree
Mister Roberts
Charley's Aunt
See How They Run
Lullaby
The Marriage-Go-Round
Bell, Book and Candle
1963
Breath of Spring
The Girls in 509
Abie's Irish Rose
Come Blow Your Horn
The Beauty Part
Visit to a Small Planet
1964
Tchin, Tchin
Goodbye Charlie
Teahouse of the August Moon
A Thousand Clowns
Enter Laughing
Three Men on a Horse
Arsenic and Old Lace
1965
Mary, Mary
Photo Finish
Nobody Loves an Albatross
No Time for Sergeants
Never Too Late
She Loves Me
1966
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Roar of the Greasepaint
How to Succeed in Business
Funny Girl
Any Wednesday
Abie's Irish Rose
1967
Hotel Paradiso
Little Me
Barefoot in the Park
Luv
The Odd Couple
1968
Macbird
Tenth Man
Something Different
1969
The Star-Spangled Girl
What Did We Do Wrong?
The Knack
Cactus Flower
1970
The Apple Tree
Don't Drink the Water
Jimmy Shine
Everything in the Garden
1971
Man of La Mancha
1972
Fiddler on the Roof
1973
1776
Oliver
1974
Play It Again, Sam
The Sound of Music
1975
Carousel
My Fair Lady
The Gingerbread Lady
The Owl and the Pussycat
1976
God's Favorite
How the Other Half Loves
Butterflies Are Free
1977
Boy Meets Girl
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Dames at Sea
1978
Cabaret
Hello, Dolly!
1979
Mame
The King and I
Gypsy
1980
South Pacific
Oklahoma
1981
Follies
Show Boat
Annie Get Your Gun
Bye Bye Birdie
1982
Zorba
West Side Story
Mack & Mabel
Music Man
1983
They're Playing Our Song
Annie
1984
Guys & Dolls
Grease
The Pirates of Penzance
1985
Nine
Evita
1986
Little Shop of Horrors