The 14 best movie theaters in Chicago
Written by Taylor Walton

The 14 best movie theaters in Chicago

From gorgeous historic theaters to bougie multiplexes.

Over the years, Chicago has served as the backdrop for films like The Dark Knight, The Blues Brothers and just about every movie made by John Hughes. While it’s always thrilling to see a movie being filmed, it’s just as fun to see the finished product put together at the movie theater. Thankfully, the city’s home to a wide array of great theaters, from multiplexes with massive recliner seats and in-theater dining service to art houses where you can catch up on all of the latest indies or catch an international flick at one of the city’s film festivals. And, like any respectable Chicago institution, many of them come stocked with a long list of beer and cocktail options. No matter what movie you want to catch, you’ll find the perfect place to watch among our list of the best movie theaters in Chicago.

1. Music Box Theatre

For movie lovers who aren’t out to see the latest Hollywood blockbusters, there's no better theater than the Music Box, a two-screen cinema that shows the latest art-house films and documentaries. The theater itself is gorgeous, and regularly hosts director Q&As as well as weekly midnight screenings of cult classics. Another plus? The concession stand here tops its popcorn with real butter.

2. Gene Siskel Film Center

Named in honor of the late Chicago film critic, this theater is operated by the School of the Art Institute and showcases a wide range of movies, including indies, foreign films and celebrated classics. The theater is also the home of several different international film festivals, including the Chicago Palestine Festival and the Festival of Films from Iran.

3. Logan Theatre

This renovated theater in the heart of Logan Square features an upgraded sound system, new screens and projectors, and perhaps best of all, a lobby bar and lounge that hosts events like live comedy and movie trivia. You'll find a diverse mix of second run studio movies and indie flicks in addition to a robust lineup of midnight screenings each weekend.

4. Doc Films, University of Chicago

Founded more than 80 years ago, the University of Chicago's single-screen Doc Films theater is on record as the longest continuously running student film society in the country. While it began featuring documentaries, hence the name, the modern screening schedule showcases classic films from a variety of genres, appealing to film aficionados as well as casual moviegoers.

Written by

Taylor Walton

Taylor Walton

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