North Side’s Mercury Theater Is Rising From The Dead With New Leadership And New Funding

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North Side’s Mercury Theater Is Rising From The Dead With New Leadership And New Funding

The Mercury Theater announced it was closing its doors permanently last year but now the beloved theater is set to reopen in 2021.

Last June, it seemed certain that the curtain had fallen on Mercury Theater’s time as an intimate and historic North Side theater. An announcement on June 17, 2020, read “Thank you for being a friend to Mercury Theater Chicago. As the world has been plunged into an intense emergency, we have decided to permanently close the theater.”

The theater on 3745 N. Southport Ave. was put up for sale, staff laid off, farewells reciprocated, and the next few months remained quiet as the global pandemic appeared to claim yet another historic Chicago establishment.

That was until news came out of the blue this week revealing that the theater is set to rise from the ashes.


On Wednesday, April 7, the theater announced that it is set to reopen with a new artistic director and new funding. The roughly 300-seater mainstage, restaurant, and flexible cabaret space are all set to make a comeback 10 months after being put up for sale.

According to the owner of Mercury Theater, Walter Stearns, he was approached by various parties interested in purchasing the building but after “federal support and refinancing” offered an avenue to keep hold of the theater he decided to set his sights on a revival. Along with new funding, 35-year-old experienced choreographer and dancer, Christopher Chase Carter, is set to become the new artistic director as Stearns takes more of a backseat.


A new statement from Carter on the Mercury Theater website reads “We will create art that represents the world in which we live. I am determined to create a safe and fair environment while focused on equality and inclusivity. We look forward to welcoming and supporting a new generation of artists. At Mercury Theater Chicago, we hear you and we see you.”

[Featured image from Instagram / @tgshotz]

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