Loop Theater

165 N. State Street,
Chicago, IL 60601

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Brotman & Sherman Theaters, Telenews Theaters

Architects: Charles F. Murphy, Sigurd Naess, Alfred P. Shaw

Firms: Shaw, Naess & Murphy

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Telenews Theater

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News About This Theater


Originally known as the Telenews Theater when it opened on December 23, 1939, this small theater was once the place where moviegoers could see a couple of cartoons, a newsreel, a comical short, and the famous “March of Time” news reports, all in a single hour.

Keeping with its newsy theme, a United Press teletype clacked away in the lobby where an usher would spike the copy on the wall behind the machine.

The Telenews Theater had seating provided in orchestra and balcony levels. It was renamed the Loop Theater April 8, 1950 and began to show first-run features. In July of 1950, the newsreel policy was restored, as was the Telenews name. In August of 1953, the theater again switched to first-run films, and the name was changed, this time for good, to the Loop Theater.

In the mid-to-late-1960’s, the theater began to show a lot of B-grade films as well as Russ Meyer-type adult films, in addition to continuing to screen first-run features. The theater thrived during this mixed-format programming. The Loop Theater closed April 2, 1978.

For years, the former Loop Theater had housed a retail store but had been vacant for some time. The building was demolished in November and December 2005 to make way for a mixed-use 31-story high rise originally called MoMo (for Modern Momentum), but now called the Joffrey Tower, for the Joffrey Ballet, which is now housed in the building. The tower also is home to the Residences at the Joffrey Tower condominiums and two floors of retail space.

Contributed by Ray Martinez, John Keating

Recent comments (view all 84 comments)

rivest266 on November 11, 2016 at 12:10 am

December 23rd, 1939 grand opening ad as Telenews and April 8th, 1950 ad as Loop can be found in the photo section.

GintGotham on February 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm

My mother took me to the Telenews prior to the Chicago or the Oriental when I was 5 years old. (They didn’t send me to kindergarten.) That’s where I saw my first teletype machine; and my first tv set (although there was nothing on at the time). That’s where I saw the Empire State Building crash; where I learned how to stand during the National Anthem; and where I got to see FDR declaring war. When I was at Northwestern, I went there (The Loop Theatre) and saw After Mein Kampf. It was a nudie documentary. And then in 1967, I took my new wife there to see the Graduate, with Dustin Hoffman. That theatre—inside a taxpayer—was one, classy place.

DavidZornig on October 4, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Flickr link with a 1964 postcard. (April `63 image) “Mondo Cane” at the Loop.


DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 5:34 am

Saul Smaizys mid `70s pic via Flickr. Will enlarge in link.


DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 7:53 am

3/14/75-4/17/75 Saul Smaizys photo via Flickr. Will enlarge in link.


DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 8:18 am

9/16/77-10/06/77 Saul Smaizys photo.


DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 8:19 am

Additional 9/16/77-10/06/77 Saul Smaizys photo.


DavidZornig on May 6, 2020 at 6:17 am

Photos of Loop, Chicago & Shangri-La Theatres in below link.


DavidZornig on November 10, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Paul Dimler photo.


DavidZornig on January 2, 2023 at 6:43 pm

11 seconds of footage from 6/15/73-6/28/73.


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