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 87 comments)

DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 7:34 am

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


DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 9:53 am

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


DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 10:18 am

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


DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 10:19 am

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


DavidZornig on May 6, 2020 at 8:17 am

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


DavidZornig on November 10, 2021 at 9:35 pm

Paul Dimler photo.


DavidZornig on January 2, 2023 at 8:43 pm

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


Hachidan8 on November 7, 2023 at 12:24 pm

The movie “The Godfather” played here for over a year then the martial arts movies lived here for a awhile. I think that was in 74.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on November 7, 2023 at 12:45 pm

Hachidan8….THE GODFATHER never played at the Loop Theatre. It played a few feet north at the Chicago Theatre. The Loop Theatre played all kinds of movies; from Russ Meyer to Walt Disney. From kung fu to blaxpoitation. From Hollywood movies to soft core porno movies. The Loop played anything. It was a unique theatre.

DavidZornig on November 7, 2023 at 4:36 pm

Hachidan8, for reference all films shown at the Loop Theater 1964-1978 are listed on page 3, in a post from 2007. Same with most of the other downtown theatres.

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