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Chicago’s Oriental Theatre renamed in honor of Nederlander

Beginning this month, Chicago's Oriental Theater is now the James M. Nederlander Theatre. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

Chicago’s legendary Oriental Theatre will be known as the James M. Nederlander Theatre come February.

Broadway in Chicago (BIC) on Tuesday announced the theater would be named in honor of the late Nederlander, the founder of the BIC, the company behind some of Chicago’s biggest theater houses comprising Chicago’s downtown theater district.

The famed Oriental marquee has shone brightly at 24 W. Randolph since 1926.

“In 1954, James M. Nederlander had faith in Chicago as a long-run theater town and has supported Chicago getting the best of Broadway since then. He brought his shows to the finest theaters in Chicago including the Blackstone, the Studebaker, the Shubert and the Michael Todd, and in creating Broadway In Chicago, changed the landscape of Chicago theater, 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,” said Lou Raizin, president of Broadway in Chicago.

The official unveiling of the theater’s new marquee is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2019, with the opening of the national touring production of “Dear Evan Hansen.”