Pekin Theater

2700 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616, US

Category: Arts and Culture

Used in the following map:

Labor Trail

In 1905, Robert T. Motts opened the Pekin Theater, as an extension of his beer garden (opened 1900). Mott funded the theater with gambling earnings. The theater was the first in Chicago to feature black performers, and open interracial audiences. The Theater became a key part of "The Stroll" a stretch of State Street between Twenty-sixth and Thirty-ninth Streets, where "the masses and classes" of black Chicago found restaurants, theaters, music clubs, and retail shops.