It might look like I traveled to the Middle East to take this picture, but I only traveled to the far South Side of Chicago to peek into the interior of the New Regal Theater.
If you've looked at my Our Chicago book, you know that Open House Chicago is my favorite public event in the city. Hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, buildings all over the city open their doors to the general public (for free!) for one weekend in October. Each year I squeeze as much Open House touring into that weekend as my family's schedule allows. So yesterday, by happenstance of other obligations I had to fit in, I toured sites on the far north and far south neighborhoods of the city.
The lobby of the New Regal Theater was the title photo of this year's event guide, and it was so enticing that I simply had to get there.
Luckily, the New Regal Theater is located not too far from where I live. In fact, I've driven by many times as the access ramp to the Chicago Skyway swings by just a block west of the theater.
I can't believe I drove by hundreds of times without even knowing about the gem that lies below that Moorish style tower you see from the highway.
The New Regal Theater was the most stunning site I visited during Open House Chicago this weekend. Afterwards, the friend I was touring with and I kept racking our brains as to how this unbelievably beautiful theater could be a functional venue again as it still seems to be in better shape than you'd expect. To the naked eye, only the roof clearly needs repairs.