Chicago’s Iconic Davis Theater Re-Opens After 5-Million-Dollar Renovation Alongside New Counterpart, Carbon Arc Bar and Board


CHICAGO – December 12, 2016 – Once the epicenter of the filmmaking industry, a piece of Chicago’s rich history will be reclaimed with the re-opening of the 98-year-old Davis Theater in Lincoln Square. After undergoing a 5-million-dollar renovation to restore its original character and design, and make improvements such as updated restrooms, state-of-the-art screens and world-class technology, the iconic theater will open its doors on Thursday, December 15, in conjunction with its new dining and drinking counterpart, Carbon Arc Bar & Board.

“The Davis Theater is the oldest continuing operating theater in Chicago. The re-development is a true passion project and celebration of the arts in both film and food, and we believe will be a cornerstone in Chicago’s entertainment industry,” says Principal Tom Fencl. “We’ve set out to create a place that’s modern yet nostalgic so people can really connect with and appreciate the history.”

The Davis Theater, now on the National Register of Historic Places, captures the look and feel of the original Pershing Theater which opened in 1918. A collaboration of Kennedy Mann Architecture and Analogous Design, the 19,000-square-foot art deco-inspired space houses an expansive 300-seat theater with stadium seating (combining the previous two rear theaters into one) and two 150-seat theaters. A nod to its extraordinary past, original organ pipes were uncovered in the larger theater, adding the charm of yesteryear. Additional bright and opulent design elements, such as rich red curtains and leather chairs, transport guests.

An entertainment epicenter, The Davis Theater shows first-run movies alongside alternative programming, such as prominent sporting events, rockumentaries, concert streaming and The Metropolitan Opera Live. To enhance the experience, patrons can indulge in gourmet treats from The Davis Theater Candy Factory concession. Locally-made chocolates, a variety of gourmet popcorn flavors, like Bourbon Bacon Caramel Corn, Sriracha Sesame and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn and beverages including ready-to-drink small-batch cocktails, wines and local craft beers are among the offerings.

The event planning community can count on The Davis Theater to host fully-catered corporate events accommodating groups sized 25 to 300, with a stage and state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities. As one of only two theaters in Chicago large enough to host formal movie premieres and offer full food and beverage service, the Davis Theater is an illustrious backdrop to celebrate any film’s debut.

Hungry moviegoers, beer and cocktail aficionados and those looking to grab a casual, yet upscale bite to eat can look no further than Carbon Arc Bar & Board. Located adjacent to The Davis Theater, the new full-service neighborhood restaurant and bar serves up contemporary American fare alongside well- made cocktails, a thoughtful whiskey collection, wines and an extensive selection of beers.

“The experience between The Davis Theater and the restaurant and bar are complementary. We have entertainment programming at Carbon Arc and guests can take their food and drinks into The Davis Theater – we want the experience to be complete in either setting,” says Principal Ben Munro. “Our food and beverage programs offer something for everyone, including the whole family. Guests should feel at home when they come to Carbon Arc Bar & Board.”

Leading the culinary charge, Chef Gilbert Langlois presents a menu of inventive flatbreads and unique fusion tacos, fresh salads and more. Signature items include Chicken Vindaloo and Korean BBQ Tacos, Mushroom Flatbread with truffle white sauce and Chalkboard Chicken with biscuits, white sausage gravy and cabbage slaw. A comfortable spot for the whole family, Carbon Arc Bar & Board offers an interactive Kids menu with favorites such as Short Stack of Pancakes, Chicken “Movie Strips,” and Mac & Cheese, served alongside sides like Mashed Potato Cone. Moviegoers can conveniently satisfy their hunger and quench their thirst with Carbon Arc’s elevated, quick service by taking their food and drink into the theater on trays designed to fit the cup holders.

Those looking to imbibe will appreciate the straightforward cocktail list, divided into three sections: Timeless, Updated Classics and Original Screenplay creations. Highlights include a kegged Old Fashioned, “Mule Madness” with the spirit of choice up to the guest and the New Dirty with vodka or gin and spicy pickle juice. A selection of red, white and sparkling wines and 26 beers on tap, featuring a balanced variety of craft breweries and macro favorites, are also offered.

The 3,500-square-foot Carbon Arc Bar & Board is warm and welcoming, with rich wood floors, white subway tile, brass detailing and deep blue wallpaper featuring carbon arc projectors. Twelve HD flat screen TVs offer media-centric and sports-friendly programming.

For more information on The Davis Theater and Carbon Arc Bar & Board, please visit or follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @DavisTheater.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1553617519041-1'); });

News Stories