The famous venue first opened in 1929 and served as a popular movie theater in the Bridgeport neighborhood of South Side Chicago until it shut down in 1985. Jones, Hudson and Chance The Rapper have now designed a new vision for the venue after taking ownership.
Working with some of the community’s top developers and investors, the owners are re-introducing Ramova Theatre as a live music venue and a premier entertainment site with an attached grill, beer garden and brewery.
“I believe the cultural divides in our communities will always be bridged and uplifted by music and the arts,” Jones said in a statement. “With Ramova, I see a future where the rich cultural heritage of Chicago shines even brighter alongside the country’s most talented artists, which will inspire future generations to come and bring glory to America’s Second City.”
Hudson also expressed how thrilled she is to bring back the historic site to her hometown.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Fellow Chicago native Chance The Rapper shares a similar sentiment.
“Chicago will always be part of who I am,” he said in the same statement. “I joined the team at Ramova to give back to the city that’s given me so much and to provide a stage to showcase the incredible talent Chicago has to offer. This is our moment to revitalize Chicago neighborhoods through one of the most beautiful ways possible — the arts.”
Ramova, which is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, has been remodeled as a music venue with a capacity of 1,500 people. The venue will also amplify educational programs and workshops, as well as community initiatives from local non-profits.
Ramova’s brewery, Other Half Ramova, will brew recipes from nationally-recognized company Other Half Brewing. Developer Tyler Nevius, who has been overseeing the rehabilitation of Ramova, said the goal is “to revive this theatre the right way.”
“We’re doing a complete rehabilitation to this pillar in the community, bringing back its historic grill, creating a world-class entertainment space, adding a brewery where we hope people will meet their new best friends. We’re working closely alongside locals who have kept this space standing to allow us this opportunity to do something special for Bridgeport and Chicago,” Nevius said in a statement.
Opening in the fall of 2023, The revitalized site will also feature Ramova Grill, a 20-seat restaurant attached to Other Half Ramova. Diners can order from the grill while at the same time enjoying drinks from Other Half Brewing.
“The Ramova will once again light up Halsted and 35th Street and bring the country’s top performing acts to Bridgeport, alongside educational programs, workshops, and community outreach initiatives,” the company’s website states.