Music Box Theatre

3733 N. Southport Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60613

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DavidZornig on May 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm

This article outlines the expansion plans for the Music Box.

Giles on February 21, 2014 at 6:46 am

got some more info via facebook from the theater – Eastman ‘25’ projector for 16mm playback. Kinoton FP-20 for 35mm projection in the second auditorium. The NEC projector is not 3D capable. No word on if a 7.1 movie could be played back as such though.

Giles on February 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

can the NEC do 3D projection? obviously there are five speakers (plus subwoofer) for 70mm features, but can they playback newer 7.1 discrete mixed films?

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on February 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Main auditorium: 2 Century JJs (35mm/70mm). NEC digital projector. 16mm Eastman projector. Small auditorium (Theatre 2): Barco digital projector. Two 35mm projectors recently installed. I don’t know what kind; I will try to find that out and post info later.

Giles on February 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

so the Music Box can show 35mm, 70mm and DCP on the main screen – right? what type of projector do they have?

GFeret on November 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm

MB bulletin: crystal ball foresees screen #3

humor aside there’s news the theatre is expanding by purchasing the north adjacent property, ostensibly for the purpose of building a third auditorium in the existing building there. the sale just closed i think

RickB on May 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

The second screening room will be closed for nearly a month for renovations. Add: a much larger screen and digital capability. Subtract: 28 seats, reducing the seating capacity to 70. Story at DNAinfo.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 1, 2012 at 6:32 am

Saw Vertigo here in 2005; auditorium is lovely. And took a peek at the mini-cinema, which is wildy decorated like an outdoor garden (I think). It was great to a see a 100 seat “atmospheric.”

matthew1964 on July 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

excellent i will visit the theater,,it sounds very interesting,,and nostalgic

camillecat on September 1, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Interesting! Thanks for the info. Maybe it was someone/something else….I mean so many people (living and now dead) have come through that space…

HughJazz on August 31, 2010 at 1:08 am

My father is the reputed “ghost” known as “Whitey” who reportedly “haunts” the Music Box. The Music Box Theatre’s website tells about him. A few years ago, I visited the Music Box with my teenage daughter to check things out. The employees we spoke to were all familiar with “Whitey”, and had many questions about him for me. The manager invited us to explore the theatre. We walked all around inside, but “Whitey” never made his appearance known to us. He and my mother, who worked as cashier at the Music Box until my fathers death in 1977, are buried in Graceland Cemetery.

camillecat on August 5, 2010 at 8:45 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 on July 27, 2010 at 4:16 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 on July 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm

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

CharlesR on May 17, 2010 at 9:41 pm

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 4:36 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 on March 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I did indeed, Paul2!

broken36 on March 11, 2010 at 7:34 am

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

Eponymous1 on March 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

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”.

jwballer on March 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Old theaters have ghosts and The Music Box is no exception. “Whitey”, as was his neighborhood nick-name, was the manager of The Music Box from opening night 1929 to November 24, 1977. His wife was the cashier and they raised their family two blocks away from the theater. According to one of Whitey’s daughters and his daughter-in-law, he spent most of his time at the theater. Young people who grew up in the neighborhood tell tales of working for Whitey, being tossed out by Whitey and accidentally-on-purpose skinning their knee to get a free piece of candy from Whitey. Parents speak of the embarrassment of having their child’s instamatic photo in the cashier’s station “rogues gallery” of children not allowed back in the theater for any of a myriad of offenses. On Thanksgiving eve, 1977, Whitey returned to close the theater. He fell asleep on the couch in the lobby and never woke up.

Whitey is a tireless protector of The Music Box Theatre. He helps solve problems and has been known to express his opinion of a bad organist by causing the drapery to drop in both organ chambers simultaneously. He is a positive contributor to the audience’s comfort and enjoyment of his theater. He is sometimes felt to be pacing Aisle 4 (protecting the alley doors where kids used to sneak in). If you see him, be sure to say hello and thank him for his 48 years of care and operation of The Music Box and his continued service to the patrons. He is the Manager Emeritus.

TLSLOEWS on February 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

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

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Nice interior and exterior Music Box photos toward bottom:

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