Luna Theatre

4743 W. Belmont Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60641

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

moviebuff82 on September 23, 2017 at 5:29 am

Had Plitt continued to own this theater, Cineplex Odeon would’ve taken it over.

LaughlinFalconer on September 22, 2017 at 9:23 pm

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.

LaughlinFalconer on September 22, 2017 at 9:18 pm

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!

rivest266 on November 13, 2016 at 4:44 am

This opened on November 11th, 1937. The grand opening ad can be found in the photo section.

Broan on January 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Here is a THSA photo of the Luna

CrustyB on September 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm

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.

darrenparlett on August 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I wish my dad took me see those types of flicks..dammit

macmanmk on August 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

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!

RiisPark on March 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm

I went to the Luna many times in my youth. I remember seeing West Side Story there.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 29, 2012 at 8:16 am

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.

rso1000 on June 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm

As mentioned above, the alley east of Cicero at one time ran all the way to Belmont until Walgreens was built. The west wall of the theatre bordered the alley.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on March 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

So this theatre never made it into the Cineplex-Odeon chain? It’s counterpart up the street, the Will Rogers, was briefly in the C-O chain.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on November 30, 2010 at 10:22 am

Amazing photos of the Luna. I lived not too far from there, but I’d never been to the Luna. My friends and I did go to the Will Rogers though (The Willy as we called it). I don’t believe I’d ever even seen the Luna.

GFeret on August 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

no the senior home parking lot is not the right place

the exact LUNA theatre bldg site was in fact where the walgreens building is now. mind you i said walgreens building, not walgreens parking lot. the building per se is at the southwest corner of belmont and keating, and that’s just where the luna once stood

p.s.: the alleyway behind cicero used to go fully to belmont (between the luna theatre and the luna lounge mentioned above) but when walgreens opened and built their parking lot they gobbled up that end of the alley, unfair to their neighbors and the public in general

mikey2 on May 12, 2010 at 11:03 am

I saw the double-bill “Last house on the left” and “Don’t look in the basement” here sometime in the mid-70’s because I was in early HS at the time. The theatre was NOT on the corner of Belmont and Cicero where Walgreens is now, as someone said earlier, because that was the Luna Lounge, a very interesting dive that had much better days. That was closed then demolished not long ago, less than 10 years ago. The theatre was down the block a little ways from the bar, I think it’s now the parking lot next to the senior home.

KenC on April 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

And- THE POM-POM GIRLS, MANIAC, MOTHER’S DAY,a number of FRIDAY THE 13TH flicks and- as mark h noted, a few John Carradine titles (FRANKENSTEIN ISLAND), one of the most ridiculous movies ever. By the way, does anyone recall one of the managers of the Luna? If memory serves, he looked much like director John Waters…tall, lean, thinning hair, and a little moustache. This would have been around 1981.

DonsGrillHumburger on April 22, 2010 at 3:14 am

great photos! life’s too short and ken mc! caveman,blood beach,superfuzz,zombie,motel hell,revenge of the bushido blade,private lessons,my tutor,doctor butcher m.d {medical deviate}kung foo triple features. followed by Small cheese and a can of r.c at johnnys pizza next door. PAC man fever! that was a great area to grow up around. 20th century bowling alley,golden tiara bingo. please post more photos of that area. brings back great memories F-LORDS!

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm

The Luna, looking very much like a neighborhood theatre, not long before it closed for good:

View link

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JonPutnam on December 20, 2007 at 2:02 pm

CHICAGO TRIBUNE (November 17, 1986)

“The Luna: Sticky Floors, Sticky Seats and 3 Years of Ben Hur”

by Joseph Marconi

You might say that the package that arrived with the Wednesday morning mail hit me like a brick.

Actually it didn’t hit me at all. It was a real brick, however, like the ones houses are made of. It was gift-wrapped.

Having spent several weeks immersed in research for a book on the Mafia, I looked for the symbolism. Alas, there was none. But there was a note from my childhood friend Richard informing me that enclosed was the last of it: The Luna Theater was now officially dust.

“Oh, no!” I shouted.

As is the custom in Chicago these days, my shouts went unnoticed. I quickly phoned Richard for the details of the demise of the movie palace of my youth on Belmont Avenue, a few buildings east of Cicero.

“That’s it,” he said matter-of-factly. “The whole block’s flat. Nothing’s left of the old Luna except the brick. I sent it to you because I know you’re sentimental about those kind of things.”

Sentimental indeed, I thought, reflecting on a time well past when I, then much younger than my children are now, would join the line at the Luna for… .

But wait!

As I think about it, there never was a line at the Luna. Not even for the big blockbuster movies that played there about a year after everyone in town had seen them.

And I guess it wasn’t really a palace either, being kind of seedy, as I recall. It was a very small theater by almost any standard. It didn’t even have a real lobby, just a curtain behind the last row of seats.

Anyway, I remembered the Luna. I think “Ben Hur” played there for about three years. Tickets were cheaper than at nearby rivals, the Portage and Will Rogers theaters, but that didn’t help.

The Luna, like the barely lamented DiGeorgio’s Pizzeria next door to it, is gone. Today’s audiences want cushy seats in multi-screen movie houses with parking lots and Dolby sound. I guess they want franchised generic pizza places, too.

Who shall eulogize or mourn the Luna, that place where little children were taken to see their first cartoons on a big screen and where we neighborhood kids would walk with our dates when we were too young to drive? Who will recall the confusion we experienced when the intermission elves sang “Let’s go out to the lobby … ” and we had nowhere to go? The memories of the sticky floors, the sticky seats, gone now … forever.

I hadn’t been to the Luna in about 20 years. So what? I haven’t watched “American Bandstand” for 20 years, but I liked knowing it was still there.

If you remember the Luna, please join me in a moment of silence. If you don’t remember the Luna, but if you ever went to a neighborhood movie house in your youth, feel free to join in. And be glad, at least, that we still have Dick Clark.

GFeret on December 19, 2006 at 9:46 am

LUNA was able to thrive years longer than other small neighberhood theatres because of the economics when the projectionist/operator also is the owner (or so the popular story went then). One funky aspect was only a heavy black (fabric) curtain separated the lobby/ entrance from the auditorium! The dates given in the heading for closure/demolition are accurate ‘cause I went there till the end, and yes in their final years seemed to specialize in the gorier product. To their credit they were the only ones here to run (1969?) POOR COW w/Terence Stamp ('Genl. Zod’).

Senorsock on October 3, 2006 at 11:35 am

The newspaper account was accurate. I don’t know when you lived there, paigevan, but when I lived there in the 1960’s the Luna played many family films on Saturday mornings. I believe they were sponsered by Craigin Savings. The Will Rogers was THE house to see the latest in Disney releases, but the Luna showed its share back then as well.

Paigevan on January 9, 2006 at 7:21 pm

The site is currently occupied by a Walgreen’s Drug Store- it was on the SW corner of Kilpatrick & Belmont- I remember that one of the papers ran something about childrens' shows and obviously did no fact-checking- they listed the Luna as a place that frequently showed family movies- during the time I lived nearby that was the one thing they NEVER showed- the Daily News was obviously talking about the Will Rogers.

Broan on December 6, 2005 at 2:06 pm

This must have been one of the very last new theaters Rapp & Rapp built.