After a fire destroyed the old horse auction barn at Chicago’s Union Stockyards in 1934, a huge amphitheater was erected to replace it. The new building hosted the International Livestock Exposition, which showcased the very best horses, cattle, and sheep and put them literally on parade.
For decades, the International Amphitheatre was also the place for car shows, circuses, sporting events, flower shows, political conventions (including the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention) – if it was big, it was in the International Amphitheatre.
It also played host to big stars. Internationally known entertainers, from Elvis to the Beatles to Michael Jackson, all played the International Amphitheatre.
But every star must wane. The International Amphitheatre struggled after the stockyards closed in 1971, and as convention and big event business moved to other, shinier new venues on the lakefront and in Rosemont.
The building was demolished in 1999.