Music Box Theatre to close main auditorium for three weeks of rehab

The main auditorium of the Music Box Theatre — famed for its red curtain and starry ceiling — soon will boast another amenity: cupholders.

The theater on Monday is announcing a major renovation that improve the room’s lighting, refinish the floor and carpet, and install seats capable of storing that fountain Coke.

To allow for the work, the 740-seat auditorium will be closed from Aug. 12 to Sept. 5. The Music Box will continue to operate, showing movies in its smaller theater and its outdoor garden patio.

The venerable theater at 3733 N. Southport in Lake View is approaching its 95th anniversary.

The upgrades also will include installation of a T-coil hearing loop system for patrons needing help with sound.

The Music Box promises the new seats will be be in the same style but more comfortable than the notoriously creaky, pokey ones of old. To help fund the replacement, seat sponsorships are being offered for $750 each, or $1,400 for a pair, and each will be recognized by an engraved plate on the seat’s armrest. To sponsor a seat or make a donation, go to

New homes for the old seats are being arranged through the nonprofit Rebuilding Exchange.

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