Music Box Theatre

3733 N. Southport Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60613

Unfavorite 64 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 75 comments

camillecat
camillecat on August 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Just saw Cropsey at the Music Box! I felt a strange presence in the front right hand corner of the theatre and there was a strange seat light flickering in a way that seemed inexplicable throughout most of the film. There were also some weird sounds over there, even though that area remained vacant. I thought about asking a staff person if a ghost lived in the theater, but didn’t. Now that I have come online and see that a ghost does in fact hang out at the theatre I am intruiged. I have been to old theatres before, by myself and not noticed anything like this. Has anyone noticed/felt the ghost?? If so, where and what did you feel, see or hear?

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Foreign films on some days, art films on others. They are soon to start a Film Noir series in August I believe.
It’s always an eclectic line up of films at the Music Box.

0123456789
0123456789 on July 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I just went to the Music Box Theatre Yesterday, and they are now showing forign films there.

CharlesR
CharlesR on May 18, 2010 at 12:41 am

Hello, gentle readers.
I am a graduate student writing a recent (since 1970) history of the Music Box Theatre. I am looking for people who have firsthand experience attending or working at the Music Box prior to 1983. Maybe this is a longshot, but if anyone is or knows a possible source, please contact me here or at Any help or leads would be greatly appreciated.

Michael D. Jackson
Michael D. Jackson on April 4, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I just visited the theater for the first time and it is really great. Saw THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, a Fritz Lang from 1944 with Edward G. Never saw the movie before and it was quite suspenseful. I felt like I was back in time. Only disappointment was that there was no organ player that day, even though it was promised on the theater’s website. The smaller 100 seat screen is decorated to match the rest of the building and it is cute, though I would hate to see a movie there because it is hardly a “big screen” experience.

Eponymous1
Eponymous1 on March 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I did indeed, Paul2!

broken36
broken36 on March 11, 2010 at 10:34 am

thanks Eponymous1! did you find this by way of public record archives of the Trib?

Eponymous1
Eponymous1 on March 11, 2010 at 12:19 am

Paul2: I have your answer(s): Charles Bickford in “The Sea Bat” and Gary Cooper in “Man From Wyoming”. That day’s ad in the Tribune also reassures the films are “all talking”.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Great photos od the MUSIC BOX Life,s too short.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Nice interior and exterior Music Box photos toward bottom:

View link

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on January 25, 2010 at 3:54 am

You could also try the Harold Washington Library 3rd floor microfilm room. They have rolls of microfilm of newspapers dating back to 1849. Good Luck. Let us know what you find.

broken36
broken36 on January 19, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Thanks David. Sounds like a great place to start.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm

To paul2, there is a store opening in Skokie (on Oakton) called Bob’s Newstand.
They specialize in vintage newspapers & magazines. Copies from specific dates bought as gifts for birthdays & anniversaries etc.

Perhaps you could purchase a Chicago newspaper from that day, and the films at the Music Box would be listed inside.

broken36
broken36 on January 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Might anyone know what feature played the Music Box, Friday, October 10, 1930?

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

FYI. Director Harold Ramis premiered his new film “Year One” at the Music Box Theatre last night. He still lives near Chicago. Some of the exterior footage may still be up on WGNTV’s website. WGN’s Dean Richards interviewed Ramis out front in the rain.

kpdennis
kpdennis on April 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm

It was a cloudy day when this shot was taken in 1995:
View link

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Reactivate Notification Status.

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on March 27, 2009 at 8:13 pm

On Sunday, September 29, 1929 the Music Box Theatre was robbed of about $1,000 at gunpoint. A few hours later a robber burst into the McVicker’s Theatre manager’s office on the mezzanine floor where the assistant manager, Bernard Cobb, had just gotten about $4,500 in box-office receipts from a cashier. The robber herded the employees at gunpoint into an adjoining office overlooking the corridor and locked the door from the outside, then moved toward the exit. Meanwhile Cobb had grabbed a handgun from a desk drawer and stuck the barrel through a wall peephole, firing two bullets into the robber’s head, dropping him dead on the floor of the corridor. The day before, two other Chicago theatres had been robbed of about $200 in that fashion.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on December 31, 2008 at 11:08 am

Thank you. I figured that was same from seeing the theatre in their logo.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on December 31, 2008 at 11:01 am

Yes, Music Box Films is owned by the same company that operates Chicago’s Music Box Theater. Further information here:
http://www.musicboxfilms.com/about/

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on December 31, 2008 at 9:23 am

Do the owners of this theatre also run Music Box Films (the US distributors of films such as Tell No One and OSS 117) or is that company run by other Chicago people who happened to name their company after the theatre?

MPol
MPol on December 27, 2008 at 4:42 pm

What a fabulous-looking theatre!! Sure wish there were more of these great varied-movie movie palaces here in the United States, including Boston.

ncmark
ncmark on October 15, 2008 at 12:37 am

This is probably my favorite movie theater anywhere. Always a great mix of art and classic films presented in one of the most charming small scale atmospheric theaters I’ve seen. I attend films here often and would be crushed if the Music Box were to ever go away.

I do usually find things that could be improved upon though. The beautiful light fixtures always have lots of burned out bulbs. The electric stars in the ceiling were down to about 5 until a recent relamping got most of them back in order. The cloud projection equipment is either gone or hasn’t worked in some time. The sound system isn’t always great but that’s probably due to the film prints rather than the house sound system. None the less, attending a film at the Music Box is always a treat and any theater architecture buff visiting Chicago should make a trip inside to enjoy a show.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 18, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Great post, David.

I was only at the Music Box once, and your report really captured the vibe of a unique theater run by people who truly love movies and showmanship. Well done.