Chicago Theatre Sign – Classic Marquee Art

Prices From:


Not mass produced – All prints and other physical items are made individually for your order.

Tags: , , , , ,

About This Image

The Chicago Theatre Sign hangs above a familiar 20th century story that played out across many American cities. It’s a tale of a grand old movie palace that flourished, floundered, and was then reborn. The Chicago Theatre opened in 1921 and like many of its era was purpose built for both live performances and movies. For decades it was a thriving business but like many theaters of its vintage, the 1970s and 1980s were marked with decline.

For a period of time the lights on the Chicago Theatre sign went dark. The end of an era came in 1985 when it closed as a movie theater. But it wasn’t curtains for the Chicago Theatre! It was the beginning of a project to restore the landmark building to its original grandeur inside and out. In the year following, the Chicago Theatre was reborn as a live performance venue and a major part of the North Loop Theater district.

History aside, anyone who has followed my work knows that I’m attracted like a moth to a flame by old marquees like the Chicago Theatre Sign. I just love the over the top style of vintage movie palaces. Going to the movies was a new and novel experience back then and those old theaters are a beautiful reminder of the era. Back then, the experience of going to the movies was just as theatrical as what played out on the silver screen behind that classic sign.

My artwork in this case is based off old black an white photos of the Chicago Theatre sign Those photos were documentation for the US Government for the Historic American Building survey. Working with those detailed photos gave me the opportunity to capture the beautiful vintage details off that landmark sign.

And it’s definitely a landmark. Not only is the Chicago Theatre on the US National Register of Historic places, the Chicago Theatre sign is part of a marquee that has become an unofficial emblem of Chicago itself.

This artwork has a bit of a dreamy vibe. In part this dreamy quality was a nod to the nostalgic charm of this old sign. But it was also a nod to all those years where the stage and screen of the Chicago Theatre captured the imagination of patrons!

Have you taken in a movie or play at the Chicago Theatre? Or does this print remind you of the city you love? I hope you’ll take a moment to share with me what speaks to you about this particular print.

If you encounter difficulty accessing the on-site purchase button at the top of the page, please use this button to shop directly from Pixels/Fine Art America, the vendor who handles fulfillment for these products. And please notify me!

Mark Tisdale - The Artist Who Runs This Site
The Artist Behind The Curtains

How Can I Help?

At the end of the day, it’s important to me that you can put a face with the art you’re considering purchasing through my site. Aside from the print vendor who ultimately prints and ships your order, this is a one man show. The person who made the art is the same one who is typing this message and the one who will answer your questions if you drop me a note.

You are not a number and I care that you are happy with whatever art you might buy here. I’m here if you’d like to ask questions before or after purchasing. And I’m also happy to work with you where possible to customize the work you’re buying. Maybe you’d like a tweak to the shape of a print to fit in with your existing wall art. Or you’d like to add a little nod to someone special in it? Just ask! I also keep a running list of subjects I don’t currently have but people are seeking. So if you enjoy the style of my work but didn’t find quite what you were looking for, please do let me know.

I’ve been an artist for 15 years now and most of that time it’s been my full-time passion. And it matters to both the endorphins in my brain and the food I put on the table for me (and my cats) that you find the experience of purchasing the products offered here to be a pleasure.