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South Loop

Historic Auditorium Theatre Hosting Free Open House For 130th Birthday

The free event will feature tours, popcorn for kids, a bar and more.

The Auditorium Theatre opened in December 1889.
Oliver Sandoval/Provided
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SOUTH LOOP — The Auditorium Theatre is hosting an open house for its 130th birthday.

Anyone will be able to explore the theater at 50 E. Ida B. Welles Drive during the Dec. 9 open house. The event marks 130 years to the day when the Auditorium opened in 1889, and the anniversary will be marked with a scavenger hunt, photo booth, tours and more activities.

The Auditorium is a national historic landmark dreamt up by tycoon Ferdinand Peck, who hired the architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan to design the theater. When it opened more than a century ago, President Benjamin Harrison was in attendance.

The event begins with regularly scheduled tours at 10:30 a.m. and noon, which will be free with pre-registration.

The open house is 4-7 p.m. and there will be guided tours during the evening. At 6 p.m., the theater’s CEO will lead a birthday toast with champagne and birthday cake.

There will be free popcorn for kids, who will also be able to color in pictures of the theater. There will be a bar and raffle for adults.

Those who register for the event online can get one free drink at the bar.