4743 W. Belmont Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp., Plitt Theatres
Architects: George W. Leslie Rapp
Firms: Rapp & Rapp
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Luna Theatre opened November 11, 1937 with Loretta Young in “Love Under Fire” & George Murphy in “London by Night”. It was designed in an Art Moderne style with seating originally for around 1,200 (later reduced to 871). The theatre was located in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood of Chicago and was just around the corner from the 2,004-seat Belpark Theatre.
The Luna Theatre was the 47th theatre to operate by the Balaban and Katz chain, and they operated it for much of its entire time in operation, apart from later years when it was part of Plitt Theaters chain. The Luna Theatre closed in the early-1980’s and was demolished in 1986. A Walgreens now operates on the site.
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Recent comments (view all 34 comments)
Paul: This never made it to C-O. I’ve heard the Will Rogers was closed in favor of their new Brickyard Cinema. In hindsight, considering the ghetto reputation of the Brickyard, they might have been better off with the Will. I think it did OK business and there was no crime problem that I am aware of.
I went to the Luna many times in my youth. I remember seeing West Side Story there.
I remember my late dad taking my brother and I here in 1980 to see a double feature of Silent Scream and The Octagon…I was 10 and my brother was 9. Lol…thanks, dad!
I wish my dad took me see those types of flicks..dammit
This is where I saw my first live-action movie when I was 5 years old, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It was a re-release. My dad yelled at the staff when they started cleaning the popcorn machine during the movie, which made a racket. Then at the end, before Bowman finished his trip through deep space, the film broke and they couldn’t fix it! Never saw the end of this movie until 10 years later.
Here is a THSA photo of the Luna
This opened on November 11th, 1937. The grand opening ad can be found in the photo section.
I remember my dad taking me to see a double feature at the Luna: Patton, and M.A.S.H. I don’t think he knew quite what he was in for with the latter. We also saw 2001 there; he was not a science fiction fan, and really wondered about that one. By the time I turned 18, the Luna had converted into an adult theater.
One year the Trib featured great little neighborhood pizza places. A little bar around the corner on Cicero was cited as the best Sicilian pizza in the city. The son of the proprietor was a classmate of mine in elementary school – surprise!
While the Adam West / Burt Ward Batman series was playing on TV from 1966 to 1968, the Luna replayed all of the 1940’s serial episodes on Saturdays. I remember spending hours in the theater with neighborhood friends.
Had Plitt continued to own this theater, Cineplex Odeon would’ve taken it over.