iO Theater of Chicago is for sale, a sad week for Chicago comedy

At the end of what has been a stunning week for Chicago comedy and improvisation, the venerable iO Theater announced Friday that it, too, has put itself up for sale.



a group of people standing in front of a brick building: Theater-goers line up for the grand opening of the iO Theater, at 1501N. Kingsbury St., in Chicago in 2014. The theater had moved from its previous Wrigleyville location.


© Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Theater-goers line up for the grand opening of the iO Theater, at 1501N. Kingsbury St., in Chicago in 2014. The theater had moved from its previous Wrigleyville location.

The announcement came just days after news that its much bigger rival, Second City, declared itself also to be on the block.

The iO (once ImprovOlympic) only dates to 1981, as compared to 1959 for Second City. Nonetheless, both theaters are privately held, for-profit operations that share a parallel history, rivalry and centrality in the history of American comedy, along with associations with now-famous talents like Tina Fey, Mike Myers and Amy Poehler and reputations for making stars of the entertainment

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