Chicago Theatre

Theater in The Loop

Image by Wenkan Zhu 500px Images

Take a gander at the six-story sign out front. It's an official landmark (and an excellent photo op). Everyone from Duke Ellington to Frank Sinatra to Prince has taken the stage here over the years (and left their signature on the famous backstage walls). The real show-stopper, though, is the opulent French baroque architecture, including the lobby modeled on the Palace of Versailles.

Opened in 1921, the theater originally screened silent movies with a full orchestra and white-gloved ushers leading patrons to their seats. Tickets cost just 50 cents, so rich and poor alike could revel in the splendor. Today it's a concert venue. One-hour tours ($15) are available most days at noon.