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Best Movie Theaters In Chicago

The Coolest Movie Theater In Every State

2 drive-in movie theaters opening in Chicago area

For film geeks across the country.

Between 3-D, 4-D, luxury, and IMAX theaters, theres no shortage of ways to see the latest blockbusters. But for the real movie nerd the person who wants to take in indies, foreign films, classics, and perhaps even blockbusters what are the best theaters in the country? Cosmopolitan.com did some digging to find the quirky cinema pubs, tiny art-house theaters, and historic landmarks across the country. Most are locally owned or nonprofit, and all share the same goal of bringing a unique movie-going experience to their guests.

This small, independently owned theater, located in Mobile, only shows one movie at a time, including mainstream and indie picks, but customers rave about its charm and the hospitality of its owner. Bonus: You dont need to worry about your movie being disturbed by latecomers the theater, which also serves beer and wine, locks its door as soon as the movie starts.

The Bear Tooth Theatrepub & Grill is a favorite “dinner and a movie” spot in Anchorage. The 275-seat theater has tables in front of the seats so moviegoers can have their meal pizza, burritos, salads, and more delivered right to them as they watch a second-run or independent film. In addition to a dine-in experience, the theatrepub serves its own craft beer, Broken Tooth Beer, along with wine and margaritas.

Best Movie Theaters In Chicago

Planning on seeing a movie this weekend? From Andersonville to Wicker Park, we’ve got an A-Z list of some of the best movie theaters in Chicago.

While some theaters are for Hollywood blockbusters, others are where to go for a vintage black and white classic. From IMAX to Indie, this list has a theater for everyone.

Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre

1022 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60301

This Classic Cinemas location in Oak Park offers affordable ticket prices and the phrase we all want to hear: free refills on popcorn and soda. This theater also has a good selection of indie films and older classics. So make sure you check their website and social media regularly to see what hidden gem is on the schedule!

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Chicago Movie Theaters: The Harper Theater

Located in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicagos South Side, this beautifully renovated theater is owned by the University of Chicago. Having offered private screenings recently, the theater officially reopened to the public on Friday, May 28th. Yes, its happening. Steeped in community spirit, the theater offers Chicagos own Metropolis Coffee in its artisanal café. Coffee cravers and film fanatics unite!

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Someone on Google about The Harper Theater in their 5-star review: Staff are very nice and the snacks are delicious. I like how they make different drinks or mini snacks to match the theme of the movies that are out. I recently went here and got a Queen and Slim alcohol beverage and it was delicious. Then, on another day I took my three-year-old to see Frozen 2 and she got a mini snack that came with popcorn, two frozen themed toys, candy, and a drink! Its a cozy theater in Hyde Park and me and all my friends prefer it over other theaters.

The Harper Theater

Chicago Movie Theaters: Showplace Icon Theatre At Roosevelt Collection

34 Best Images River Oaks Movie Theater Chicago / River Oaks Theatre in ...

This beautiful modern theater located in the South Loop neighborhood features luxury recliner seats and yummy eats. The swanky Lobby Lounge is temporarily closed until the new menu is complete. Hint: the bacon popcorn and gourmet flatbread pizzas are fan favorites, so hopefully theyll still be on the menu. In the meantime, the concession stand menu is available and includes cocktails, wine, and beer. The theater shows new movies and is a great date night.

Telling you that you should go to the #movies without telling you that you should go to the movies. #MemorialDayWeekend#Chicago#summertimechi

ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection May 26, 2021

One reviewer on Google said this about the Showplace ICON Theatre at Roosevelt Collection with ICONX: I have kept coming to this theater since it was first opened, the food is delicious, the staff is respectful, and the movies are epic. Highly recommend coming here for a fun time.

Showplace ICON Theatre at Roosevelt Collection

1011 S Delano Ct,

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The 13 Best Movie Theaters In Chicago

Ericka Yeoman: Great seats. Very clean. Nice place to watch a movie

Ana Arrendale: Nice place comfy seats

Jeramie Bizzle: Love the chairs

C Rey: Recliner seats and great concessions. Easy parking options as well. My favorite theater in the city for a casual movie experience.

Matt: Tickets are a waste of money. Just stride in with confidence

Amy Le: Need a good place to eat before your movie? Check out Pequod’s across the street for some pizza and beer. But make a reservation first, b/c the restaurant is packed on weekends.

Swati Gupta: Phenomenal!

Time Out Chicago: The technology that runs the Sky Theater isnt just an overhead projector. Chief technology officer Doug Roberts says, Fourteen years ago, this wouldve been the worlds fastest supercomputer.

Time Out Chicago: The technology that runs the Sky Theater isnt just an overhead projector. Chief technology officer Doug Roberts says, Fourteen years ago, this wouldve been the worlds fastest supercomputer. -MN Read more.

Time Out Chicago Kids: If you can’t do without popcorn, the New 400 serves it old-fashioned, with real butter. It also offers a dozen popcorn toppings, including Cajun, ranch, jalapeno, caramel and apple cinnamon.

Time Out Chicago: A small, friendly theatre with a full bar, showing all the new releases. What more could you ask for?

Time Out Chicago: A small, friendly theatre with a full bar, showing all the new releases. What more could you ask for? -LB Read more.

Chicago Movie Theaters: The Gene Siskel Film Center

A public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, this film center sits in the heart of the theater district a fitting location since the center embodies Chicago icon Gene Siskel and belongs to everyone in the city of Chicago, says Jennifer Joyce. Because its in the Loop, Chicagoans can catch a movie after work. The famous film critic Gene Siskel wrote for the Chicago Tribune and hosted a TV program At the Movies with his colleague Roger Ebert. Gene Siskel passed away in 1999, but his keen eye and mind are legendary. The film center presents breakthrough cinema and hosts film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures. It champions independent filmmakers and revivals from cinema history. The center also hosts discussions with filmmakers and media artists.

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Google Reviews are filled with positive things to say about the Gene Siskel Film Centerlike this one: New seats! Same wonderful atmosphere! I just love the staff!

The Gene Siskel Film Center

164 N State Street

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The Chicago Theatre District

Downtown Chicago offers more than incredible architecture and shopping. The Loop is where youll find Chicagos vibrant theatre district, a bustling area in the heart of the city with a glittering marquee just about everywhere you turn.

The Chicago Theatre District is a hub for world-class productions and premieres, particularly at the districts three Broadway In Chicago theatres:

The Theatre District is also home to the Goodman Theatre, Chicagos oldest and largest not-for-profit theatre. The Tony Award-winning theatre produces both classic and contemporary works, giving voice to a wide range of artists and visions.

Just a few blocks south from the heart of the Theatre District, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is another Chicago gem. A National Historic Landmark known for its staggering size and unparalleled acoustics, the theatre is the resident home of The Joffrey Ballet.

Insider tip: Do dinner and a show! Heres our guide on where to eat near Chicago theatres.

Chicago Movie Theaters: Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre

2 drive-in movie theaters opening in Chicago area

Located in the Oak Park neighborhood, this beautifully restored historic theater prides itself on movie traditions. Theatergoers enjoy their free soda and ICEE refills and free mints given as a gift at the end of every movie.

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One reviewer on Google about returning to the Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre: Welcome back, Lake Theatre!! Its been more than a year, and I missed you. Im always able to get a good seat at the theater, movie tickets & concessions are not over-priced, lines are quick, free refills on soda & popcorn, best rewards program and you have the best popcorn!

Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre

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My Best Friends Wedding

Whether shes driving on Lake Shore Drive or eating at Charlie Trotters, Julia Robertss Julianne Potter is all over the city in this hit romantic comedy. Some films use Chicago as a rather personality-less backdrop, but P.J. Hogan hops all over the Windy City in what feels like an effort to highlight its beauty and vibrance. From Comiskey Park to Union Station, you could make a tourist trip out of just the places featured in My Best Friends Wedding, ending up at the gorgeous Fourth Presbyterian Church on the Magnificent Mile.

Showplace Icon Theatre At Roosevelt Collections

1011 South Delano Court East, Chicago, IL 60605

This sophisticated South Loop theater features a lounge with food and drinks to enjoy before the show. Purchase the VIP tickets for reserved seating and personalized service. Stop by during Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays for discounted drinks. Showplace Icon also has unique movie selections you cant view anywhere else. For example, theyre the only theater showing subbed and dubbed version of Belle, an anime masterpiece.

Featured Image Credit: Slash Film

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Movie Theaters Worth Traveling For

Even though you can watch a movie on your TV, laptop or iPad these days, great theaters still make going to the movies worth buying a ticketand sometimes even worth a trip. Reclining stadium seats, historic backstories and snacks beyond popcorn and Red Vines reel us in to theaters across the country. Forbes Travel Guide found 10 great places to see a filmthe theaters are destination-worthy, so we included hotel recommendations so you can stay awhile after the credits roll. Curtains up! Here are our picks for the 10 best movie theaters in the U.S. :

Sundance Kabuki Cinemas. Photo courtesy of Sundance Cinemas.

1. AMC Loews Uptown, Washington, D.C.

Heres the ticket: Local movie critics will tell you The Uptown is the best place to see a movie in the Washington, D.C. area. Opened in 1936, its not a movie theater, but a movie palace featuring a single screena curved, 70-foot long and 40-foot high screen, one of the largest in the area. The theater features a big balcony thats perfect for couples who want to sneak upstairs and hold hands where generations have done the same.

Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C. is the only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star in the city, located in center-of-it-all Georgetown.

2. ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood,Los Angeles

3. Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, San Francisco

Tampa Theater. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Klavens.

4. Tampa Theatre, Tampa, Fla.

Water Flicks At Navy Pier

The Top 10 Theaters in Chicago

StreetervilleIt makes sense that Navy Pier, an almost infamously family-friendly tourist attraction jutting into Lake Michigan from Streeterville, would host an outdoor film series dedicated exclusively to family-inspired movies. Another free option, movies are aired in the grassy Polk Bros Park on pop-up screens overlooking the water. Held every Monday night through August 29, familial fare includes the requisite Encanto, Rent, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Minari, and Meet the Parents. Attendees are welcome to bring their own provisions, or grab something to-go from any of Navy Piers myriad fast-casual eateries, like I Dream of Falafel, Americas Dog & Burger, Big Bowl Chinese Express, Big City Chicken, and Frankies Pizza by the Slice.Drive from Chicago: Noneits right on the lake downtown.

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Inactive Historic Companies And Venues


Chicago Movie Theaters: The Davis Theater

This quintessential Lincoln Park neighborhood theater is over 100 years old. Its the longest continually-operated movie theater in the city. The theater shows first-run movies on three screens. A beautiful Art Deco vibe and the adjoining Carbon Arc Bar & Board make this theater an exciting night out for friends, couples, and families. The bar/restaurant features plush blue booths for a cozy pre- or post-movie artisanal cocktail, orange cream soda, comfort food, or ice cream sundae. At the Davis Theater Shop, you can also buy bags of your favorite popcorn to go, including flaming cheddar, ranch, Bloody Mary, Everything But the Bagel, and a caramel/cheddar mix.

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One reviewer on Google for The Davis Theater, saying: Art Deco splendor. Stadium seating. Recent Renovation. Dont miss the Carbon Arc projector.

The Davis Theater

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Chicago Movie Theaters: The Logan Theatre

With its stained-glass arch over the doorway, Art Deco design, and vintage movie posters, the Logan Theatre in Logan Square has the movie mojo of a theater over 100 years old. The beloved theater on Chicagos Northwest side just reopened on May 21, offering its usual fare of independent and blockbuster films. Stay tuned for its late-night screenings of classic movies. Monday Open Mic night for local comedians and Tuesday Movie Trivia Night for film buffs are not yet on the schedule, but will be soon enough.

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Thousands of reviewers on Google adore The Logan Theatre, with one recently sharing this about it: Incredible House of Cinema! I did not think that my heart would be in that place. I will definitely be awarding this place my precious 5 stars! Fries liked the delicious snacks they made that were very sweet. It was nice to hang out with your friends and family in a movie house as well. Uh, trust me. Youre probably never going to get disappointed.

The Logan Theatre

Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer

Chicago’s Best Theater: Chicago Theatre

A great majority of the films on this list use the city of Chicago in glamorous, touristy ways, with trips to iconic places like the Sears Tower and Wrigley Field. Not Henry. This movie has become a fascinating document of the working class neighborhoods of Chicago in the mid-80s, something not often seen on film. As Henry and Otis scour their small part of the world, including the effectively used Lower Wacker Drive, one can feel how easy it is to get lost in a city as crowded as Chicago. Its an ideal hunting ground for a lunatic.

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Heres Where To Watch Beloved Classic Movies And New Blockbusters Al Fresco In The Windy City

At once nostalgic and COVID-safe, drive-in movie theaters have experienced a deserved resurgence over the past couple years, including throughout the Chicagoland area. For those averse to being price gouged over popcorn or crowding into indoor packed theaters , outdoor and drive-in movies provide that same cinematic wallop and communal experience, minus the exorbitant prices or risk of catching the latest Omicron variant while catching the latest Marvel romp.

In and around Chicago, al fresco films provide a family-friendly alternative. Although drive-in theaters have dwindled since their Americana heyday, a few holdouts are still going strong in the burbsand well worth the mini road trip for affordable double features and old-school concessions like cash-only candy and hot dogs. Meanwhile, if youd rather unfurl a picnic blanket and BYO snacks, Chicago has plenty of outdoor movie experiences happening all summer long throughout the city. Whether youre looking for an all-American blast from the past or a casual neighborhood outing in a park, here are the best outdoor and drive-in movie theaters near Chicago.

Chicago Movie Theaters: Amc River East 21

Enjoy all the new movies in AMCs signature luxury reclining seats. You can also skip the line at the snack stand by ordering snacks ahead of time and have them ready when you get there.

Bonus: The theaters MacGuffins bar offers specialty cocktails, wine, and craft beers. The term macguffin, the website notes, was coined by Alfred Hitchcock to refer to a plot device that propels a movie forward. This bar adds a little twist to your experience by offering movie-themed drinks.

Make it a party with Private Theatre Rentals at #AMCTheatres for up to 20 guests and enjoy savings on movie snacks with our new Party Packs & Platters! Available at participating locations, book now!

AMC Theatres May 26, 2021

It is hard to pick a favorite from the more than 5,000 positive reviews on Google for AMC River East 21, but heres one that seems to capture many moods: I love coming to this theatre. The seats are comfy and the movie treats are yummy. It is my favorite movie theatre in the city.

AMC River East 21

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