Black Excellence: Quincy Jones, Jennifer Hudson, and Chance Jointly Purchase Chicago’s Ramova Theater; Set To Reopen Soon

BY Dora Abena Dzaka November 18, 2023 9:39 AM EDT
Photo Source: Chicago Sun-Times

After being closed for almost 40 years, the Ramova is set to reopen as three Chicago icons Quincy Jones, Jennifer Hudson, and Chance the Rapper team up to buy the historic Chicago Ramova Theater.

The theater will undergo renovations and reopen under the direction of Quincy Jones, Chance the Rapper, and Jennifer Hudson.

The three celebrities are now co-owners of the edifice located on S. Halstead Street at W. 35th Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

On the south side of the city, the Ramova Theater has stood empty for four decades.

But thanks to the trio’s efforts to create a live music venue, the neighborhood will now have a new space where locals in Chicago can see performances.

The Ramova was a well-known movie theater that debuted in the Bridgeport neighborhood in 1929 and closed its doors in 1985.

Through a statement, Jones elucidated to the media how the revitalization project will contribute to the healing of the “cultural divides” that plague society.

“I believe that the arts and music will forever unite and strengthen the cultural divides within our communities,” Jones stated.

“With Ramova, I see a future in which America’s Second City will be honored, and future generations will be inspired to come and see the rich cultural legacy of Chicago shine even brighter alongside the nation’s most talented artistes.”

Jennifer Hudson and Chance the Rapper also shared their excitement about being part of the redevelopment.

“To support the rehabilitation of this extraordinary theater with such a rich history in Chicago means more to me than one could imagine,” said EGOT winner Hudson. “My mother always taught us to take care of home first.”

Chance the Rapper agreed, saying that this venue will serve to highlight Chicago’s native artistes.

“To give back to the city that has given me so much and to provide a platform for showcasing the amazing talent Chicago has to offer, I joined the Ramova team. Now is the time to use the arts, which are among the most exquisite forms of community revitalization, to transform Chicago neighborhoods,” Chance noted.

Opening in the fall, the theater will feature a brewery, a beer garden, and a grill.

In addition, the theater will “amplify community initiatives” and host educational events.