Loop Theater

165 N. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Showing 26 - 50 of 66 comments

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Great story Tim. I still stay in touch with the former manager of the Carnegie during it’s heyday in the mid `70’s.
I’ve posted before that he called all the promotions the “Genius of Oscar Brotman”.
I’ve in the past informed him of CT’s existence and it’s importance in keeping these long lost gems alive.
I patiently await his finally adding the many insights and stories he has of Oscar Brotman.
As a courtesy, I have not named him until he submits to CT on his own.

I also have some recently found some pics of the Carnegie I will add when I can.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on November 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I’d like to tell an Oscar Brotman story I heard back in 1981 when I was working at the the Cinema Theatre. The story goes something like this: Back in 1971, the legendary schlock producer Jack H. Harris was about ready to release a movie called SHELIA. The legendary Oscar Brotman made a brilliant proposal to Mr. Harris. Brotman proposed changing the title of the movie to HONKY. Harris went along with the idea and the movie was a box-office hit. I’m telling you all, there is NO showmanship like that anymore.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on October 29, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Hey teddy666. I used to work with you at the Village Theatre. If you have any idea into getting in touch with Channel 2 News, maybe we could go down there and see if they will dig up old video tape from around 1975 when Gene Siskel did a popcorn tasting test at the concession stand at the Loop Theatre. Also, if you can get in touch with any of Oscar Brotman surviving relatives, maybe they’ll have old photos of the Loop. I used to work for the late, great Don Klein at the Adelphi Theatre and he had old photos of the Loop. I know of a historical society that may have old pictures of that theatre that Mr. Klein’s relatives donated to. I fondly recall the electic line-up of films at the Loop. One week they’ll be playing a John Cassavette’s movie, the next week a kung-fu movie. I remember THE STING playing there for 6 months. I remember the X -rated CINDERELLA playing there for a long time. They also had 3-D; Russ Meyer movies; blaxploitation; Walt Disney movies. What a place, and I never saw a movie there. It closed in March, 1978 with a masterpiece entitled STRAIGHT TIME, starring Dustin Hoffman. Loop Theatre 1939-1978. It was a small gem.

teddy666
teddy666 on June 26, 2009 at 1:47 am

I would love to see a lobby shot of this theater.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Oh, how I miss those street lights.
It sure was a sight looking South down State Street from the “L” tracks.
All the vintage buildings with the “modern” `60’s street lights hanging over the traffic with their cold glow. Lower Wacker still had all the green lighting too.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 12, 2009 at 6:25 am

Reactivate notification status.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on December 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm

In the 40s and 50s,The Loop was also a place for bus travelers who were making connections to catch up on the news and spend a few minutes relaxing. It was located around the corner from the Trailways bus station, which can be seen in the 1988 movie “Red Heat” Before the new Greyhound station was built, their buses used a storefront across State street from the Loop Theater, near the State Lake theater. So, it was just a quick dash across the street to catch a newsreel.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm

What a telling picture. You can see the transition from electric buses to gas. The bus further back is still powered by the trolley line above, while the bus in the foreground isn’t tethered. They still used the electric trolleys as late as 1970 on some routes. I was on one at North & Clark whose trolley connection popped loose from the roof on a turn. The driver simply climbed up top and reattached what was needed.

The Capitol place on the corner of the alley reads as a lounge. Of course the larger marquee to the left is the Chicago Theatre with a Tyrone Power flick. Funny that the Loop Theatre is running newsreels as entertainment.

You can just see the famous Marshall Fields clock in the background. The Walgreens was just replaced a few years ago.

Broan
Broan on November 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Here is a 1948 photo from LIFE magazine.

jclaudio
jclaudio on September 24, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Teddy666 you sound like a guy named Rocky I used to know back in my Cinema Theatre/Village Theatre days!

teddy666
teddy666 on September 6, 2008 at 12:14 am

It would be amazing to see any pictures of the interior of this theater. Jerry supposedly had stacks of pictures, but unfortunately I never had a chance to see them. Does anyone have any pics of this place inside?

teddy666
teddy666 on September 5, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I worked and trained as a manager for years with Jerry Usher (RIP), one time manager of Cinema Theater & Loop Theater from 1966-1978. He told me all sorts of stories about movie theater life in Chicago at that time and I’d like to share some stories with you. About the Loop Theater: Jerry mentioned how lines of people wrapped around and down the alley between the Chicago and Loop and across the back of the building every day for months and months when Russ Meyer’s Vixen premiered. He said he had never seen anything like it. He spoke how one day when he was in the lobby Russ Meyer himself dropped in with two envelopes; one with $1000 cash for him and another with $500 to be split amongst the workers who helped make Vixen such a success in Chicago. Jerry said Russ Meyer paid for his trip to Puerto Rico that year! He spoke of Ilsa being the nastiest movie the theater played and how furious the owner was with it when he finally saw it. He also mentioned that he would walk around outside the theater dressed in a tux holding a mic and a small amplifier and announce what movies were playing (true showmanship!). He used ‘Harry Cherry & Raquel’ in his example. He said the theater was on a year to year lease and they never knew when it would be up. He said it lasted much longer than he thought it would. When it did finally close in 1978 he was recruited by then owner Bob Taylor and longtime associate to run The Village Theater. And he did until his death in 2004.

JRS40
JRS40 on August 20, 2008 at 10:07 am

David – Yes “The Front Page” is on the schedule I listed, December 1974. It’s easy to miss but it’s there.

KenC
KenC on August 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

My first trip to the Loop Theatre was in 1958. “THE CRAWLING EYE” plus “COSMIC MONSTERS”, a double feature I couldn’t resist.About a decade later, a very different movie: “VIXEN”. Although the Loop played some great movies- both serious and exploitation- I didn’t care much for the theatre. Way too small for a downtown theatre; when it played a hit(more often than not) the crowds did not help my claustrophobia. A bit of trivia: The manager of the Loop in the early 70s was a short, jolly man with glasses -Mr. Milstein(sp?).In the early to late 60s, he was the manager of the United Artists. To David- I remember the Treasure Chest. I’m sure it was on Randolph, a little West of State St. on the South side of the street. Not far away was a bookstore with a wild (for the time) adult section. Close by was a restaurant- the 17, if memory serves.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 17, 2008 at 11:42 pm

I remember seeing the “The Sting” at The Loop Theatre the day of my grade school graduation in June of `74. Still in my red velvet bow tie. Yikes. Also saw the Ben Hecht film “The Front Page” there, though it’s not listed above.

What some may not remember is on the corner above the neighboring Walgreen’s, was the longtime Winston billboard that had a giant face that blew out smoke rings. I think it also had a giant clock, and was reduced to just the clock when cigarette ads took a beating.

Years later when the Loop Theatre was reduced to being an electronics store of sorts, they had hanging speakers that were obviously blown. Blasting music out of their doorway towards the street. Like that was somehow the hook to get folks inside. You almost had to hug the curb to avoid it.

Which reminds me of another Loop area legend. A place called the Treasure Chest. An arcade type place filled with old time pinball & bowling machines with wooden balls. Glass counters everywhere filled with everything from playing cards to glass pipes. Even switchblades on request. Why? I think it was South of Randolph though. Closer to Madison.

tombrueggemann
tombrueggemann on March 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Sound of Music in the theatres it played for a year or more was shown as a road show – that is with one or two shows a day at most, so that would severely cut down on the total exposure one projectionist would have.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 16, 2008 at 7:37 am

I was thinking about “The Sound of Music” playing in Downtown Chicago for over two years, and if that was some kind of a record so I did some checking.

It played, reserved seat at the Dominion Theater in London, England for 170 WEEKS (that’s 3 YEARS and 14 WEEKS in one theater!).

If a projectionist worked a 5 day week and only ran 6 shows (it could be as many as 8 depending on which days they work when matinees play) and taking into account vacations the projectionist would see and hear SOM about 380 times!

It played in Sydney, Australia at a combination of the Mayfair and Paris Theaters for a total of 180 WEEKS (that’s 3 YEARS and 24 WEEKS!).

“The hills are alive with the sound of music” Oscar Hammerstine II 1895-1960

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 15, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Tell us more about “the legendary (and difficult) Oscar Brotman.” I’ve forgotten, what theaters did he have?

Yes I seem to remember “The Sound of Music” being at the Loop. It started out at the Michael Todd as a roadshow in 70mm TODD-AO on March 17, 1965 and ran for 93 WEEKS! That would mean it wouldn’t be able to get to the Loop till the end 1966. So after I typed the preceding I looked at the list of movies that JRS40 listed and both tombrueggemann and myself missed The “Sound of Music” listed at 12/28/1966! So it played another 16 weeks that we know of downtown. That’s a total of 109 weeks it played in a row!

“And now you know—-The Rest of The Story.” Paul Harvy 1918-

tombrueggemann
tombrueggemann on March 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm

I booked the Loop from 1976-1978 working for the legendary (and difficult) Oscar Brotman. What a bunch of grade Z movies were included – it clearly was at the end of an era.

On the list of movies before that – I could have sworn I saw a post-road show engagement of The Sound of Music there sometime in 1966, but don’t see it listed among the films.

JRS40
JRS40 on April 28, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Here are the movies that played here from 1964 until its closing in 1978.

1/03/1964 – WHO’S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED?
1/24/1964 – FANTASIA
3/06/1964 – TWO WOMEN plus THE SKY ABOVE, THE MUD BELOW
3/20/1964 – THE SILENCE
5/01/1964 – THE EMPTY CANVAS
5/15/1964 – WEEKEND
6/05/1964 – THE CHRISTINE KEELER STORY
6/19/1964 – HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM plus HOUSE OF FRIGHT
6/26/1964 – ZULU
7/24/1964 – YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW
9/25/1964 – ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO
10/16/1964- SHOCK TREATMENT
10/23/1964- MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH plus BLACK SABBATH
10/30/1964- LOS TARANTOS
11/6/1964 – LILI
11/27/1964- DIARY OF A BACHELOR
12/18/1964- SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS plus SANTA’S MAGIC KINGDOM
12/25/1964- GOODBYE CHARLIE
1/22/1965 – MARRIAGE – ITALIAN STYLE
3/19/1965 – ZORBA THE GREEK
7/02/1965 – THE PAWNBROKER
8/06/1965 – CASANOVA 70
10/8/1965 – DARLING
11/17/1965- UNDER AGE? – THE VERDICT IS YOURS
11/26/1965- PARIS SECRET
12/22/1965- THE 1OTH VICTIM
2/11/1966 – THE SLENDER THREAD
3/10/1966 – DARLING
4/22/1966 – THE SHOP ON MAIN STREET
6/03/1966 – MALE COMPANION
6/24/1966 – AROUND THE WORLD, UNDER THE SEA
7/27/1966 – DEAR JOHN
8/17/1966 – THE WILD ANGELS
10/21/1966- GIGI
11/18/1966- HOTEL PARADISO
11/30/1966- MATA HARI plus THE THIN MAN
12/7/1966 – NINOTCHKA plus MIN AND BILL
12/14/1966- ANNA KARENINA plus GO WEST
12/21/1966- CAMILLE plus THE BIG STORE
12/28/1966- THE SOUND OF MUSIC
4/21/1967 – THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
9/27/1967 – ENTER LAUGHING
10/13/1967- BLACKBOARD JUNGLE plus A PATCH OF BLUE
10/27/1967- THE FLIM FLAM MAN
11/10/1967- OUR MOTHER’S HOUSE
12/1/1967 – HOUSE OF 1000 DOLLS
12/22/1967- THE GRADUATE
1/18/1968 – FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD
2/23/1968 – THE GRADUATE
6/14/1968 – BLUE
7/03/1968 – THE PRODUCERS
8/14/1968 – TARGETS
8/28/1968 – ANYONE CAN PLAY
9/18/1968 – THE PRODUCERS
10/4/1968 – THE YOUNG RUNAWAYS
10/25/1968- THERESE AND ISABELLE
12/27/1968- SKIDOO
1/10/1969 – LES BICHES
2/21/1969 – VIXEN
12/19/1969- JOHN AND MARY
3/13/1970 – CHERRY, HARRY AND RAQUEL
8/26/1970 – WITHOUT A STITCH
12/16/1970- EQUINOX
2/10/1971 – UNCLE TOM’S CABIN
3/19/1971 – THE STEWARDESSES
6/30/1971 – EVIL KNIEVEL
7/28/1971 – BILLY JACK
9/24/1971 – HONKY
11/5/1971 – THE ANIMALS
11/12/1971- THE BUS IS COMING
11/19/1971- HOUSE OF WAX (IN 3-D)
12/17/1971- THE STEWARDESSES
12/25/1971- DIRTY HARRY
4/21/1972 – BUCK AND THE PREACHER
7/28/1972 – FRITZ THE CAT
9/22/1972 – A GROUP MARRIAGE
10/13/1972- IS THE FATHER BLACK ENOUGH?
10/27/1972- PRIVATE PARTY
11/3/1972 – BUCK AND THE PREACHER plus COOL BREEZE
11/17/1972- RAGE
12/1/1972 – SUPERFLY plus MELINDA
12/20/1972- TRICK BABY
2/02/1973 – BLACK GIRL
2/23/1973 – SHAMUS
3/14/1973 – DELIVERANCE
3/23/1973 – WATTSTAX
4/13/1973 – SCHLOCK
4/22/1973 – DUEL OF THE IRON FIST
5/11/1973 – THE MACK
6/01/1973 – THE MAN FROM DEEP RIVER
6/15/1973 – KUNG FU: THE INVISIBLE FIST
6/29/1973 – EMPEROR OF THE NORTH
7/06/1973 – DUEL OF THE IRON FIST plus KUNG FU: THE INVISIBLE FIST
7/27/1973 – CAHILL – U.S. MARSHALL
8/10/1973 – THEY CALL ME TRINITY plus TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME
8/24/1973 – HEAVY TRAFFIC
10/5/1973 – LAST TANGO IN PARIS
11/16/1973- DAY OF THE JACKAL plus PETE N TILLIE
11/22/1973- BLACKBELT
11/30/1973- BLACK GIRL plus ACROSS 110TH STREET
12/20/1973- TROUBLE MAN plus HAMMER
12/25/1973- THE STING
7/19/1974 – THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH
8/02/1974 – BUSTER AND BILLIE
8/16/1974 – THE CHINESE GODFATHER
9/04/1974 – BLAZING SADDLES plus BLUME IN LOVE
9/13/1974 – EXORCISM’S DAUGHTER
9/20/1974 – VIXEN/CHERRY, HARRY, RAQUEL/BEYOND VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
10/18/1974- UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT plus THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE
10/25/1974- LAW AND DISORDER
11/8/1974 – THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR/5 ON THE BLACK HAND SIDE
11/15/1974- THE MANDARIN MAGICIAN
11/22/1974- GOLD
12/6/1974 – LOVE UNDER 18 plus SENSUOUS YOUTH
12/20/1974- THE FRONT PAGE
1/15/1975 – VOODOO BLACK EXORCIST
1/31/1975 – YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
3/14/1975 – A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
4/25/1975 – SUPERVIXENS
6/20/1975 – DOLEMITE
6/27/1975 – SHAMPOO
7/04/1975 – THE GROOVE TUBE plus FLESH GORDON
7/11/1975 – LOVE (IN 3-D)
8/08/1975 – ILSA – SHE WOLF OF THE SS
8/29/1975 – SUPERVIXENS/CHERRY,HARRY,RAQUEL/VIXEN/FINDERS KEEPERS LOVERS WEEPERS
10/3/1975 – THE MASTER GUNFIGHTER
10/31/1975- LENNY plus LAST TANGO IN PARIS
11/21/1975- BLACK ALLEYCATS plus THE BLACK BUNCH
12/19/1975- VIXEN/CHERRY,HARRY,RAQUEL/FINDERS KEEPERS LOVERS WEEPERS
12/26/1975- SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
1/16/1976 – THE NAUGHTIEST SHOW IN TOWN plus HOT TIMES
1/23/1976 – THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR
1/30/1976 – THE ADVENTURES OF FRONTIER FREEMONT
2/11/1976 – NO DEPOSIT, NO RETURN
2/27/1976 – BLACK HOOKER plus COME BACK, CHARLESTON BLUE
3/12/1976 – MAN FRIDAY
3/19/1976 – BRUCE LEE – ALIVE OR DEAD?
4/16/1976 – DEEP JAWS
5/07/1976 – TAXI DRIVER
5/28/1976 – JACKSON COUNTY JAIL plus MEAN FRANK AND CRAZY TONY
6/18/1976 – VIGILANTE FORCE
6/15/1976 – PETER PAN
7/09/1976 – A SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS
7/16/1976 – THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES
8/06/1976 – INFRA-MAN plus WONDER WOMEN
8/27/1976 – THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR
10/1/1976 – APE (IN 3-D)
10/15/1976- ADIOS AMIGO plus THE KILLER ELITE
10/20/1976- THE POM POM GIRLS plus SWINGING STEWARDESSES
10/29/1976- WOODSTOCK
11/5/1975 – RUSS MEYER’S UP
12/24/1976- MARATHON MAN
1/14/1977 – TRICK BABY plus BLACKBELT JONES
1/28/1977 – IN SEARCH OF NOAH’S ARK
2/18/1977 – THE ENFORCER
3/04/1977 – MANDINGO plus DRUM
3/11/1977 – ANDY WARHOL’S FRANKENSTEIN
4/22/1977 – FANTASTIC INVASION OF PLANET EARTH (IN 3-D)
5/06/1977 – THE STEWARDESSES (IN 3-D)
5/20/1977 – FRITZ THE CAT plus HEAVY TRAFFIC
6/03/1977 – CINDERELLA (X-rated)
10/14/1977- SHORT EYES
12/21/1977- OH, GOD! plus AMAZING GRACE
12/30/1977- CINDERELLA plus ALICE IN WONDERLAND (X-rated)
1/27/1978 – THE ADVENTURES OF THE WILDERNESS FAMILY
2/03/1978 – LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR plus LIPSTICK
2/10/1978 – EMMANUELLE IN BANGKOCK
2/24/1978 – WHICH WAY IS UP? plus THE BLACK BIRD
3/17/1978 – STRAIGHT TIME

CLOSED AFTER PERFORMANCES SUNDAY APRIL 2, 1978

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on April 11, 2007 at 11:20 am

GOSSIP COLUMN ITEM:

Chicago Tribune, Friday, May 13, 1954, s. 2, p. 2, c. 7:
Tower Ticker, by Herb Lyon

“… . Biggest box office clicks in town are "Blackboard Jungle” at the Woods and G. Garbo in the oldie, “Camille,” at the Loop [she’s doin' just greta].

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on April 10, 2007 at 10:37 am

GOSSIP COLUMN ITEM:

Chicago Tribune, Friday, May 13, 1954, s. 2, p. 2, c. 7:
Tower Ticker, by Herb Lyon

“… . Biggest box office clicks in town are "Blackboard Jungle” at the Woods and G. Garbo in the oldie, “Camille,” at the Loop [she’s doin' just greta].

GrandMogul
GrandMogul on March 29, 2007 at 2:04 pm

NEWS ITEM:
Chicago Daily News, Thursday, November 30, 1939, p. 26, c. 5:

TELENEWS THEATER IS SET TO OPEN DEC. 23

The new Telenews theater on State street, between Lake and Randolph, is scheduled top open Dec. 23. it will be devoted exclusively to the presentation of newsreels and selected short subjects. Each weekly program will be especially edited from the product of all the newsreel companies.

The Telenews will afford patrons some innovations for their comfort and relaxation as well as entertainment. Particular care has been given to a spacious lounge and recreation room, and a new type of streamlined orchestra chair will be featured. The world’s first exclusive newsreel theater was established in 1929 in New York City and is enjoying great popularity with theatrgoers.