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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Second City Comedy Theater For Sale For 2nd Time In 60 Years

CHICAGO, IL — Chicago’s Second City comedy theater — where performers including Bill Murray, Steve Carell and Jordan Peele honed their skills — has been put up for sale.

In a statement released Tuesday, co-owner Andrew Alexander said a sale presents the opportunity for Second City to succeed well into the future.

“What we are seeking is critical re-investment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection in an increasingly complex world,” Alexander said in the statement released by Los Angeles investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, which is advising Second City’s owners on the sale.

Privately held throughout its 61-year history, Second City suspended all its shows and classes in early March until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second City also faced controversy

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Second City comedy theater for sale, 2nd time in 60 years | National News



Second City comedy theater for sale, 2nd time in 60 years

FILE – This March 6, 1982, file photo, shows the home of the famed improvisational troupe, Second City, in Chicago’s Old Town section. Chicago’s Second City comedy theater is up for sale. The sale, announced Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, is the second in the company’s 60-year history.




CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s Second City comedy theater — where performers including Bill Murray, Steve Carell and Jordan Peele honed their skills — has been put up for sale.

In a statement released Tuesday, co-owner Andrew Alexander said a sale presents the opportunity for Second City to succeed well into the future.

“What we are seeking is critical re-investment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection in an increasingly complex world,” Alexander said in

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Chicago’s famed Second City comedy theater is now fully up for sale

CHICAGO — In June, in an attempt to take the fall for internal turmoil, Andrew Alexander, the longtime co-owner of Second City, announced plans to remove himself from the famed comedy theater and put his share up for sale. On Tuesday, a Los Angeles-based investment bank put the whole institution up for sale. Second City is a mainstay of Chicago’s famed theater scene but also is a for-profit, live-entertainment operation devastated by a forced closure.

“What we are seeking is critical reinvestment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection in an increasingly complex world,” Alexander said in a statement released by the bankers, Houlihan Lokey.

“I do think the plan to sell the whole company presents the opportunity for Second City to continue

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Second City comedy theater for sale, 2nd time in 60 years

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s Second City comedy theater — where performers including Bill Murray, Steve Carell and Jordan Peele honed their skills — has been put up for sale.

In a statement released Tuesday, co-owner Andrew Alexander said a sale presents the opportunity for Second City to succeed well into the future.

“What we are seeking is critical re-investment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection in an increasingly complex world,” Alexander said in the statement released by Los Angeles investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, which is advising Second City’s owners on the sale.

Privately held throughout its 61-year history, Second City suspended all its shows and classes in early March until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second City also faced controversy

Read More Read more

Chicago’s famed Second City comedy theater is now fully up for sale

In June, in an attempt to take the fall for internal turmoil, Andrew Alexander, the longtime co-owner of Second City, announced plans to remove himself from the famed comedy theater and put his share up for sale. On Tuesday, a Los Angeles-based investment bank put the whole institution up for sale in its entirety. Second City is a mainstay of Chicago’s famed theater scene but also is a for-profit, live-entertainment operation devastated by an enforced closure.



a person standing in front of a building: A man walks past the Wells Street entrance to Second City in Chicago in August. The famed comedy theater is now entirely up for sale.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A man walks past the Wells Street entrance to Second City in Chicago in August. The famed comedy theater is now entirely up for sale.

“What we are seeking is critical re-investment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection

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Chicago’s Second City comedy hub is for sale

The Second City, the Chicago improv comedy hub that launched the careers of a host of comedians, is for sale.

The sale, announced Tuesday, is only the second one in the company’s 60-year history. It said it has hired the investment bank Houlihan Lokey to provide advice in the sale.

“While all our lives have been affected by the pandemic, The Second City has found green shoots that have further highlighted our growth potential,” said Steve Johnston, president, in a statement. “The company’s growth plan leverages Second City’s unique position in the comedy ecosystem as the leader in both education and live sketch and improv performance to capture market share in the short to medium term, as well as accelerate a transition toward digital delivery of programming, which is already off to a great start.”

Live theater venues across the country have suffered immeasurable financial losses due to the COVID-19

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Comedy Powerhouse The Second City Is for Sale (EXCLUSIVE)

The Second City, the comedy institution that launched the careers of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray and Tina Fey, is being put up for sale. It marks only the second time in the brand’s 60-year history that it has been on the block. Investment bank Houlihan Lokey will advise on the sale.

The announcement comes as COVID-19 has upended the live events business that helped define and popularize The Second City. Despite the pandemic, some of the company’s theaters are open. The Second City’s live shows are still taking place in Toronto, where infection rates are lower, and the company says it is closely monitoring the “evolving situations” in Chicago and Los Angeles, where it also has venues. The Second City’s brand of improvisational stage comedy made it a feeder for Hollywood and, most prominently “Saturday Night Live,” which populated its casts heavily with veterans of the stage shows.

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