The long-awaited rebirth of Bridgeport's Ramova Theater took a big step forward this week as co-developers Our Revival Chicago LLC and Baum Revision broke ground on an estimated $28 million renovation. The project will breathe new life into the historic structure at 3518 S. Halsted Street, which was designed by Meyer O. Nathan in 1929 in the Spanish courtyard style as a companion venue to Lakeview's Music Box Theatre. The Ramova has sat vacant since closing in 1985.
When it reopens in late 2022, the reimagined venue will be home to a 1,600-seat auditorium and a balcony-level theater accommodating up to 200 people. The plan also includes an adjacent 4,000-square-foot brewery and tap room, an 800-square-foot Ramova Grill restaurant at 3510 S. Halsted Street, and a 50-space parking lot across the street. The developers selected McHugh Construction as general contractor and O'Riley Office to serve as architect on the $28 million adaptive reuse project.
Developer Tyler Nevius of Our Revival purchased the dilapidated Ramova property from the city for $1 and was awarded $6.8 million in tax increment financing (TIF). The project was first approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in January 2020 but had to go before the commissioners again in July of this year due to "delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic."