Appreciation: A Tribute to Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on its 90th Anniversary

Chicago – There are movie exhibitors, screening rooms, multiplexes and grindhouses, but there is only one Music Box Theatre, and Chicago is privileged to have it. The movie theater of all movie theaters opened on August 22nd, 1929, and is celebrating its 90th Anniversary all week at the venue, in the Southport Corridor neighborhood.

As a transplant from small town Indiana to Chicago, I wasn’t used to the Windy City history of grand neighborhood movie theaters, and was gobsmacked when I first entered the Music Box, shortly after it reopened as a film “double feature” house in the 1980s. I had never visited a glory days example of the urban movie theater, where each neighborhood had its own film venue in the days before television. The Music Box was a smaller example of the escape-from-real-life atmosphere of these theaters, with its luxurious architecture and welcoming lobby, twinkling stars with projected clouds
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