University of Chicago – Film Studies Center
5811 S. Ellis, Cobb Hall 307
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Film Studies Center’s website
Film scholars and cinephiles flock to the U of C Film Studies Center to catch the best in documentaries, avant garde cinema and hard-to-find relics. University faculty and visiting guests often lead pre-film discussions offering unique insight on the featured film. With a year-round calendar of lectures, screenings and other film-related events open to the public (and free); the FSC is like film school without the homework.
The Music Box Theater
3733 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613-3718
Originally opened in 1929, the Music Box Theater has been a staple on the Southport corridor for movie fans that love the theater’s ornate look and old-timey touches. In the past two decades the theater has been host to fringe festivals, midnight movie screenings and Saturday morning matinees where an organist occasionally fires up the pipes to accompany a show. According to local legend, the theater remains haunted by “Whitey,” the original manager of the theater in the ‘20s.
Movies in the Parks
Located in Parks through out Chicago
Movies in the Park Schedule
“The Cheap Seats” don’t come any cheaper—or with better views—than the Park District’s summertime movies in the park. Starting over June, park sites around the city play host to outdoor film screenings at dusk. The movies range from family-friendly cartoons to cult-pop favorites to classics from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Movie-goers can picnic or partake in the free popcorn usually offered at smaller shows, or get lost in the crowd when the city’s biggest movie nights take place in downtown’s Grant Park.
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601-3505
One half of the famous “Two Thumbs Up,” Gene Siskel was the Chicago Tribune’s movie critic and favorite sparring partner of Roger Ebert. After his death, the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which has been screening a variety of the most currently interesting and provocative films for over forty years, was renamed in Siskel’s honor. Apart from hosting festivals, film retrospectives and opening nights, the theater also brings in live events with writers, directors, actors and producers giving fans insights on their favorite films.
1517 West Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
The former “Cinémathèque” is a multimedia non-profit that specializes in foreign films, documentaries and art-house fare. Screenings come with a dose of education on the current films, with classes offered at the theater’s in-house film school. Membership with the theater comes with added perks like special screenings, DVD offerings of hard-to-find films and access to discussions and events.