Theater on the Lake, a redeveloped complex on Lake Michigan, opened after a multimillion-dollar renovation.

Designed in 1913 and first built in 1920, the Chicago venue has been converted to a year-round event facility. 

The Prairie-style building is fully-enclosed and features steel trusses and large windows that give attendees views of Lake Michigan and the city. The updated 1,900-square-foot space features a 250-seat theater and a 3,500-square-foot restaurant, surrounded by six acres of green space.


Theater on the Lake was originally built as the Chicago Daily News Fresh Air Fund Sanitarium, which was in use until 1939. During World War II, it became a recreation center for the United Service Organization. Then, in 1953, the Chicago Park District converted the building to Theatre on the Lake. 

Until this recent renovation, the theater was only in use during the summer months, but the newly enclosed box office and lobby transformed the venue into a year-round facility. 

The Lakefront Restaurant can seat 125 people and an additional 80 on its Skyline Patio, which is open in the warmer months. Helmed by Chef Cleetus Friedman, the restaurant serves Midwestern fare and craft beer and spirits. 

The event facility can host seated dinners for up to 500 people, 900 for indoor receptions and up to 1,500 guests when the restaurant’s patio, East Veranda and lawns are used. 

Theater on the Lake is a partnership with the Chicago Park District, which owns more than 8,000 acres and over 600 parks in Chicago.