Mars Theatre

2556 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60647

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Undated photo courtesy of the Logan Square Preservation Facebook page.

The Logan Square Theatre, 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 theatre. It could seat almost 1,320. The theatre was renamed the Rio Theatre in 1934, and renamed the Mars Theatre October 7, 1949.

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

The Mars Theatre was demolished in 1968. Today, most of the site of the theatre is occupied by the parking lot of the nearby Mega Mall shopping center. A portion of the theatre 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 13 comments)

Broan on January 3, 2007 at 8:31 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 2:18 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 11:06 am


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 1:40 pm

Fourth photo down. What is this?

DavidZornig on October 13, 2015 at 8:18 am

Undated photo as the Logan Square Theatre added, courtesy of the Logan Square Preservation Facebook page. They listed the address as 2556 N. Milwaukee Ave., not 2542. Anyone have an official address source?

Broan on October 13, 2015 at 11:10 am

Here is another. Gives architect as Horatio Wilson, who also designed the Harper Theater.

GFeret on October 13, 2015 at 2:18 pm

the 2556 address street number to me makes much more sense (than 2542), from remembering the Mars in the mid-‘60s

rivest266 on November 13, 2016 at 6:55 am

The October 7th, 1949 grand opening ad as Mars can be found in the photo section.

DavidZornig on August 3, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Demolition photo added credit Dennis Popiela. Description copy credit Logan Square Preservation Facebook page.

View through the front arched window of the Mars Theater (originally the Logan Square Theatre) on Milwaukee south of the Square under demolition during the Blue Line extension in 1968-1969. It’s site was most recently used as a parking lot for the Discount Mega Mall. The building visible at the left across the street is current the home of Sparrow.

Mister_Comics on September 23, 2017 at 9:34 am

Old newspaper ads show the address as 2540 Milwaukee. But newspapers are known to have made mistakes.

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