Oriental Theatre to be renamed Nederlander Theatre next year

People visit Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre. Oriental Theatre was founded in 1926 and is a registered National Historic Place. (Shutterstock)

The Oriental Theatre will be getting a new name next year, Broadway in Chicago announced Tuesday.

The theatre at 24. W. Randolph Street will be renamed the Nederlander Theatre, after Broadway theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander, on February 12, 2019 with the opening of "Dear Evan Hansen." The theatre will be getting a new marquee and signage.

"In 1954, James M. Nederlander had faith in Chicago as a long-run theatre town and has supported Chicago getting the best of Broadway since then. He brought his shows to the finest theatres in Chicago including the Blackstone, the Studebaker, the Shubert and the Michael Todd, and in creating Broadway In Chicago, changed the landscape of Chicago theatre, making this great city one of the most successful commercial homes for Broadway outside of New York. Renaming the theatre gives us a way to say thank you and to acknowledge the extraordinary difference he made for Chicago in his lifetime," Lou Raizin, President of Broadway In Chicago, said.

Nederlander produced more than 100 Broadway musicals and plays. He died in 2016.

His son, James L. Nederlander, said in a statement, "The renaming of the theatre on Randolph, in honor of my father, is something he would have been so proud of, as he had a love for Chicago that manifested in his steadfast support of Chicago's theatre community until the day he died. I am lucky to have inherited his love for Chicago and I am moved by this acknowledgement of his work on Broadway and his commitment to Chicago as a beacon for theatre across the country."
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