Marquee That Witnessed Dillinger's Death Will Glow Again Sept. 28 in Chicago

News   Marquee That Witnessed Dillinger's Death Will Glow Again Sept. 28 in Chicago
The electric marquee of Chicago's Biograph Theatre, the site where criminal John Dillinger was shot, will be aglow again Sept. 28 when Victory Gardens Theater throws the switch, christening its new home there.

The marquee is billed as "an all-new, historically accurate, fully-functioning replica" of the 1930s marquee made famous when Dillinger was gunned down. No word on if The Lady in Red (who accompanied Dillinger on his last day) will be in attendance.

The Tony Award honored Victory Gardens has renovated the onetime movie theatre at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. for its new legit home. The marquee lighting will be Sept. 28 at 6:30 PM.

"Watch a total of 703 bulbs light up, including bright red neon under the original 'Biograph' typeface, the name of the theatre's new owner 'Victory Gardens' above, and hundreds of flashing white bulbs along the new marquee's faces, borders and underbelly," according to VG.

The marquee lighting comes one day before the first preview of Charles Smith's Denmark, the inaugural production at Victory Gardens Theater at the Biograph. Previews for the world premiere start Sept. 29. Grand opening festivities for the new $11.3 million live theatre venue, newly constructed inside the historic former movie house, are Oct. 14-15, following a week of special community performances.

Originally built in 1914, the Biograph Theater became world famous as the site where FBI agents gunned down Chicago gangster John Dillinger on July 22, 1934. Photos from the era clearly show the original Biograph marquee 20 feet above where Dillinger was shot, which transformed the sign into a Chicago icon, according to VG notes. For more information, visit

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