Loop Theater

165 N. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Showing 51 - 68 of 68 comments

GrandMogul on April 10, 2007 at 12:37 pm


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 on March 29, 2007 at 4:04 pm

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


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.

GrandMogul on February 19, 2007 at 1:01 pm

First 3-D movie shown in Chicago was at the Telenews, here’s the ad from Chicago Tribune, Thursday, January 22, 1953, s. 3, p. 7, c. 1:

There is Only 1 perfect Tri-Opticon 3 Dimension motion pictures, color by technicolor—-5th dazzling week! “Adventure in Space” “The program marks a milestone in motion picture history!”—Chicago Tribune; “brilliant visibility!”—Sam Lesner, Daily News; Telenews, State and Randolph.

Broan on November 28, 2006 at 12:35 pm

Here is a shot of the building when it was new and considerably less ugly.

Broan on November 20, 2006 at 11:38 am

Video clips of the Telenews Marquee from 1951 are available at http://www.wttwdigitalarchives.com/searchres.php by searching for 25327 or 25328. 1954 views of the Loop marquee are found by searching for 26438 or 26439.

barryr on February 8, 2006 at 8:41 pm

I remember seeing a film at the Loop called “Equinox.” Truly awful. Not even sure how to categorize it (monster movie? sci-fi/horror flick?). I see someone in a previous post referred to it as a grade z thriller—that captures it perfectly. But my friends and I had a ball making fun of it. I also saw “The Sting” there when it first opened. Don’t recall going there too often…it was a smaller venue on a boulevard of cavernous movie palaces.

Broan on November 17, 2005 at 5:43 am

The Loop is presently being demolished. Also, during the 1950s it briefly reverted to the Telenews name and format before returning to the Loop name.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on September 14, 2005 at 10:14 am

I believe that the Walgreens has already closed.

paytonc on September 14, 2005 at 9:35 am

Not quite on topic, but the Walgreens is due to be shut: I believe that the one recently opened on Washington (the old Woolworth’s) was to replace that location. Gap signed most of the ground floor retail at MoMo.
The history of this 1939 “taxpayer” building is covered pretty extensively in “Here’s the Deal”—Arthur Rubloff at one point wanted to move the Greyhound terminal to this location.

reiermann on July 12, 2005 at 11:00 am

My parents took me here in the late 60’s to see the god-awful “Equinox.” The audience was unlike what we were used to seeing in the neighborhood theaters at the time. We felt a little “unsafe.” I guess this was the turning point in the Loop’s decline in the 70’s. I saw a couple live shows at the “Loop” theater on Randolph in the past year. I was hoping to see the old theater but as stated above, the live theater was not a part of the old auditorium (even though the information in the lobby leads one to think that the live theater was the same space as the movie theater). When the building is demolished later this year to make way for the new condos, I’d love to see if any hints of the former movie theater are visible in the rubble.

Broan on June 28, 2005 at 10:00 am

Some 1953 views of the Loop and several other loop theatres are available at Real Chicago: Chicago in the Fifties. The Capitol building was actually rather attractive in its original design, before it was modernized.

Englewood on January 15, 2005 at 1:01 am

While in Chicago last summer, I looked for the old Loop Theater site and found a State of Illinois Off-Track Betting facility, not a retail shop in its place. Correct me if I’m wrong. (I even went in and put down a few bets—and lost.)

Broan on July 20, 2004 at 11:24 pm

Upon slightly closer examination, the marquees date this as a May 1963 photo. The movies booked seem to bespeak a great deal about each theater, indeed, excellent representations of each theater’s clientele. At the Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie is showing. At the State-Lake, the Ian… indicates that Dr. No is showing, and the Loop is showing Mondo Cane.

Broan on July 20, 2004 at 11:11 pm

http://www.geocities.com/boc2400/thchicago1970.jpg An excellent shot of the State-Lake, Chicago, and Loop theatre marquees is visible in this 1970s Postcard

cgeall on June 1, 2004 at 4:24 pm

Here’s some a press release on the theaterical programs currently located in the LOOP THEATER –


Programs Feature Mix of Chicago Premieres and Remounts May-Dec. 2004

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs proudly announces the extension of programs at the Loop Theater, 8 E. Randolph St., from May â€" Dec. 2004. Originally scheduled for demolition in June 2004, the City now anticipates selling the land to a developer by Jan. 2005 and will continue programming until that time.

“Since we opened in August 2003, the Loop Theater has both provided performing space to nomadic theater companies and drawn diverse audiences,” says Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg. “We’re excited to continue to make good use of this transitional space and strengthen our contribution to the vibrant theater district.”

Featured performances for 2004 include: CIF Sketch as part of the Chicago Improv Festival, May 7-8; two performances presented by Hook and Mouth Productions, BASSPROV and the Chicago premiere of The Humperdink Family Reunion, May 13-22; Nomenil Theatre Company’s Love Pollution: A Tekno-popera, May 29 â€"
June 27; National Showcase of New Plays 2004, July 16 â€" 21, featuring the best new American plays from national theater companies; greasy joan & company’s production of Antigone, Sept. 10 â€" Oct. 10; 500 Clown Frankenstein, Oct. 15 â€" Nov. 13; and Hell In A Handbag Productions’ farcical holiday programs Rudolph the Red Hosed Reindeer, Dec. 2 â€" 31, and A Very Special Fa La La This Christmas, Dec. 10 – 18.

Tickets can be purchased by phone at 312-744-LOOP (5667), on-line at www.ticketweb.com, or in person at the Loop Theater box office, 8 E. Randolph St. Box office is open one hour before performance time. For more information, visit www.chicagoculturalcenter.org

The Loop Theater is an extension of the Studio and Storefront Theaters currently operated by the Department of Cultural Affairs on Randolph Street. The Loop Theater’s mission is to create an interim theater complex in downtown Chicago by maximizing city resources and utilizing unused space; provide space and marketing support to theater companies for free to encourage the growth of new creative talent; bring performances of cultural and artistic merit to downtown audiences; keep ticket prices low; and provide day and evening rehearsal space to various emerging theater companies at an inexpensive rate.

chitownwill on February 13, 2004 at 5:16 pm

The loop theater has been operating as a live theater venue as of last fall as i saw a play there “Judgment at Nuremburg”. There is
information on the history of the theater in the small lobby.

JohnSanchez on January 14, 2004 at 3:38 pm

The Loop was known as the “little giant” in the area where 8 other palaces were within one block. The Loop only sat around 600 people but was always a big hit because of the ingenuity of co-owner Oscar Brotman, who always had some sort of gimmick to promote his features at the Loop. When “Flipper” played in the 60’s Brotman set up a giant tank on State street that had a dolphin inside. For a grade z thriller called “Equinox” he had staff parading around in ape costumes. The Loop really came into its own in the late 60’s with a 60 week run of Russ Meyer’s “Vixen”. Because of the popularity of the theater the Loop was able to outbid other palaces for some of the bigger film product. The most notable example was the Loop getting the exclusive rights to play “Dirty Harry” as their Christmas film for 1971. In the 70’s the Loop had continued success with different types of movies. The two biggest successes of the 70’s were the X-rated “The Stewardesses” which ran 42 weeks and “The Sting” which ran 27 weeks. The theater must have run into tough times in the late 70’s as the Loop finally closed its doors with no fanfare in 1978. It’s final presentation was the Dustin Hoffman film “Straight Time”.

paytonc on January 13, 2004 at 1:59 am

The Noble Fool comedy troupe was using this building for performances before moving into their new space in the old Heidelberg building (Block 36); I don’t know whether they used the theater space or not, though.

The city owned the site, but recently sold the site for about $11 million to Smithfield Properties, which will build a 32-story, retail/residential building on the site.
– pc