Chance the Rapper, Jennifer Hudson, Quincy Jones Team Up to Reopen Chicago’s Ramova Theatre
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Chicago’s music scene is about to witness a major revival, thanks to the powerhouse trio of Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper, and Quincy Jones. The trio has officially joined forces to resurrect the historic Ramova Theatre in the city’s vibrant South Side. After nearly four decades of dormancy, the theater is set to reclaim its glory days as a vibrant cultural hub by fall 2023.
Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper, Quincy Jones to Reopen Ramova Theatre in Chicago
The trio’s vision for the Ramova is clear: a bustling 1,500-capacity music venue fused with a grill, beer garden, and brewery in collaboration with Other Half Brewing. For Jones, it’s more than just restoring an old theater; it’s about using music and arts to bridge divides within communities.
Ramova’s story dates back to 1929 when it first opened its doors as Bridgeport’s primary movie theater. However, it shut down in 1985, marking the end with the screening of Police Academy 2. Recently earning a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021, the theater found a champion in developer Tyler Nevius, who sought to reimagine and resurrect the venue.
This revival isn’t just about entertainment; it’s also part of a larger effort to invest in Chicago’s South Side. Beyond offering a stage for top-tier performers, the Ramova aims to engage the community through educational programs, workshops, and support for local nonprofits.
As a Chicago native, Hudson expresses deep personal ties to this project. Her commitment to supporting her hometown and creating a space for artists to thrive resonates strongly. Likewise, Chance the Rapper sees this as a way to give back to the city that shaped him, providing a platform for Chicago’s exceptional talents to shine.
Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper and Quincy Jones Teaming Up to Reopen Chicago's Ramova Theatre (EXCLUSIVE) https://t.co/m1EIKDkPSy— Variety (@Variety) November 14, 2023
Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper Share Their Reasons For Joining The Project
Hudson and Chance the Rapper recently opened up about their heartfelt reasons for diving headfirst into the Ramova Theatre project. They also shed light on their deep connections to Chicago and their aspirations for this ambitious venture.
“My mother always taught us to take care of home first, so to support the rehabilitation of this extraordinary theater with such a rich history in Chicago means more to me than one could imagine,” Hudson said. “I am honored and thrilled to help build this new home for artists and highlight this special community in new ways that will reach far beyond the neighborhoods we call home.”
“Chicago will always be part of who I am,” Chance said. “This is our moment to revitalize Chicago neighborhoods through one of the most beautiful ways possible—the arts.”