Update on Columbia College Chicago Theatre Center Renovation of Getz Theatre and Classroom Spaces

We’re happy to report much progress on the renovation of the historic Columbia College Chicago Theatre Center, home of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department, at 72 E. 11th St., in Chicago’s South Loop. The Emma and Oscar Getz Theatre, the Theatre Center’s mainstage auditorium, is cleared and ready for installation of a catwalk support system. The old stage and orchestra pit are completely gone.

A new costume shop is being installed on the west side of the third floor.

A new make-up classroom is being created on the south side of the sixth floor. The make-up counters will be installed the last week of July.

And in the basement, pads for new boilers will be poured next week. The new boilers will take up about half the space as the old, original boilers — and will use a lot less gas.

Thanks to John Kavouris, Columbia College Chicago’s Associate Vice President for Facilities and Construction, for keeping us updated! The renovation is part of an ongoing effort by Columbia College Chicago to improve student experience and address the needs of the 21st century student as they enter rapidly evolving industries. “The Getz renovation is a good example of this,” Kavouris says. “Doing deferred maintenance (such as repairing the inefficient boilers underneath the stage) in conjunction with new capital projects (redesigning the interior) is very efficient. It’s proof that the leadership is thinking economically while keeping the student experience in mind.”  For more pictures, click here.

The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Center building was built in 1929. The Art Deco building was acquired in by Columbia College in 1980. In 1985, the college restored the main auditorium, formerly known as the 11th Street Theatre, with a gift from the family of Oscar and Emma Getz. The current renovation marks the first upgrade to the space in more than 30 years. As reported previously in this blog, the Getz Theatre is slated for a makeover as part of the college’s efforts to update campus spaces. Above is an artist’s rendering of what the theatre will look like when it reopens next year. Please follow this blog for news of the progress of this exciting development over the summer, as well as news of the great things our alumni, students, and faculty are doing professionally! To follow us on Facebook, click here.