Mars Theater

2542 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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The Logan Square, named for the northwestern Chicago neighborhood it was situated in, opened in 1913. It was originally a vaudeville house, but was soon acquired by the Lubliner & Trinz circuit and converted into a movie theater. It could seat almost 1320. The theater was renamed the Rio in 1934, and renamed the Mars in 1949.

The Logan Square Theater was different from another Logan Square neighborhood movie house, the Logan Theater, which is still open and operating as a quad, and originally was called the Paramount.

The Mars was demolished in 1968. Today, most of the site of the theater is occupied by the parking lot of the nearby Mega Mall shopping center. A portion of the theater property is also now the Blue Line “El” tracks, specifically where the tracks start to go underground at Milwaukee Avenue.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Broan on December 10, 2006 at 6:30 pm

Part of the Logan Square is visible in this photo of the Logan Square El Terminal.

GFeret on January 3, 2007 at 7:32 am

This LOGAN SQUARE theatre was called the MARS in its final years (had large marquee), and its' demolition I would place @ 1965 (technically before the subway ramp began in 1969). I used to go right past it then although shuttered for (apparently) years, when you rode the Kimball CTA bus from the north entering the old ‘L’ terminal bus lanes. Another name for the LOGAN SQUARE / MARS theatre would be the RIO. The MegaMall bldgs alluded to elsewhere here definately were not the theatre(s); they’d be a couple doors south of the original site. Hope I’ve been of some help.

Broan on January 3, 2007 at 9:21 am

It was under demolition (not undermining) on October 10, 1968 when the cutting of a steel support in the theatre caused a three-story brick wall to collapse, raining debris on cars and el tracks.

Broan on January 3, 2007 at 9:31 am

It was renamed the Rio after a 1934 remodeling, and the Mars in 1949. Interestingly the mars name was the original one announced in 1934, but apparently not adopted for 15 years.

rso1000 on January 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Finally a photo and a name ! ! ! !

The Logan Square Theatre can be seen on the front page and it is also the photo of the month of October in the NEW / C.T.A. calendar.

The Auditorium stood were the incline to the subway is now. Obviously an OLD photo as the side sign is still advertising Vaudeville. You can see it was no SMALL theatre! My Guess is the east end of the building was flush against the remaining buildings.

You can also see it in the background here of photos logansquare07 and crt223 .

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm


I was wondering which Logan theatre that October photo referred to. Then I realized that the old Logan Square ‘L’ terminated to the southeast of the present, surviving Logan Theatre.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Fourth photo down. What is this?

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