Chicago Movie Theaters: A Complete Guide

chicago-web
Sawyer Bengtson

It’s time to go to the movies and enjoy all the latest new movie releases out now in theaters!

In a city as culturally significant and beautiful as Chicago, there are so many amazing local movie theaters near you from which to choose that it can be tough to know where to start. Just searching “movie theaters near me” can be totally overwhelming — what’s the difference between one theater versus another? Is it worth the trek across town to go to one local movie theater with reclining seats versus the one around the corner? Do I want to go all out and get drinks served at my seat, or keep it chill at an independent movie theater with drinks and unique food offerings? With over dozens of movie theaters within the Chicago area, it’s no wonder you don’t know where to start!

“Chicago has always been a city of neighborhoods, each with its own vibe and ‘town center,’” says Jennifer Joyce, a Chicago resident. This means that multiplexes and movie palaces have always been a big Saturday night choice across Chicago, from the Harper Theater on the South Side to the Logan Theatre, Music Box Theatre, and Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema on the North Side. Neighbors walk to the theater to meet up with one another and perhaps grab a drink at the ubiquitous wine bars attached to the theaters. Now that Chicagoans are resurfacing, they’ll likely double down on neighborhood ties and tendencies.

“The movie theater has always been part of the fabric of life in each neighborhood,” says Jennifer Joyce, “and now that sense of normalcy is something to be cherished.”

No worries, though! Grab some movie theater popcorn and get comfy as we share what’s happening at 11 of the most beloved theaters in many of Chicago’s legendary neighborhoods:

Not in Chicago? Check out our New York City Movie Theater Guide and Los Angeles Movie Theater Guide here. 

Chicago Movie Theaters: Music Box Theatre

Lucky Lakeview dwellers have this gorgeous gem, with its Spanish architecture, enchanting ceiling, and majestic organ. The attached Music Box Lounge & Garden, opened in 2015, serves specialty cocktails, craft beers, and wine you can carry into the theater. You can also hang in the Lounge and Garden to play board games or discuss movies. “Stay awhile, Cinephile” is the motto here.

The Music Box Theatre shows an outstanding mix of classic, cult, foreign, and arthouse films. Travelers from distant neighborhoods rush to get to the theater early to hear the organist play, and the holidays are a specialty for this theater intent on community building. By fall, pre-pandemic normal should return, and the theater’s Halloween festivities should be back on track as well, with costume contests and midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The White Christmas family sing-a-long is another cherished tradition. This theater with its red neon letters spelling out Music Box beckons to the community year-round. The theater hosts several film festivals, including Chicago Critics Film Festival, Chicago Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and the Chicago International Film Festival. It also hosts live discussions with directors and actors, from Wes Anderson to Kristen Wiig, who stand on stage and answer questions from the audience.

And guess what – Cinema Paradiso is right around the corner (wink). It’s coming on June 5th  to the Music Box, and what a perfect venue for this tribute movie depicting the life-changing power of cinema.

After reading through reviews, it’s clear that for thousands of Chicagoans, it’s worth heading here for the unique movie theater experience. One Google reviewer said of the Music Box Theatre: “This is my single most favorite cinema in the world. It’s an incredibly beautiful space accompanied by a great selection of films.”

Music Box Theatre

3733 N Southport Ave

Chicago, IL 60613

View Music Box Theatre movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: Showplace ICON Theatre at Roosevelt Collection 

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 they’ll 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.

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

Showplace ICON Theatre at Roosevelt Collection

1011 S Delano Ct,

Chicago, IL 60605

View Showplace ICON Theatre at Roosevelt Collection movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: AMC River East 21

Enjoy all the new movies in AMC’s 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 theater’s 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.

It is hard to pick a favorite from the more than 5,000 positive reviews on Google for AMC River East 21, but here’s 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

322 East Illinois Street,

Chicago 60611

View AMC River East 21 movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema

Located on the 4th, 5th, and 6th levels of a glittering mall situated in the Lakeview/Lincoln Park neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, this seven-screen arthouse cinema is operated by the Landmark Theatres chain. There’s something about the grandeur of this theater with its stadium seating that feels like a big night out for Chicagoans (let’s face it: the convenient validated parking helps!). It shows first-run movies, as well as independent and foreign films.


 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rudy Roman (@rudy.roman.2)

One reviewer on Google, who said this about the Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, is feeling the vibes for all of us, saying “Went here April 2021, they had good COVID safety rules. It was not crowded and very clear what seats were blocked for social distancing. Concessions were open! Great night at the movies, wonderful to be vaxxed and back for some flicks!”

The Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema

12828 N Clark Street

Chicago, IL 60657

View The Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

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 Chicago’s 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.


 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Erik Island (@erikisland)

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. You’re probably never going to get disappointed.”

The Logan Theatre

2646 N Milwaukee Ave

Chicago, IL 60657

View The Logan Theatre movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: Regal Webster Place 

This theater is located in Sheffield Neighbors, part of the larger Lincoln Park neighborhood on the North Side of the city. You can see all the new movies in plush seating. All summer long this theater hosts $1 Family Movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Bonus: Get ready for the 2021 Summer Movie Express series that will feature Teen Titans Go!, Wonder Park, A Dog’s Way Home, and many more.

In sharing their experience with Regal Webster Place, this Google reviewer gets right to the point: “It’s my go-to theater for sure. The reclining seats are so nice and they sell booze so it’s a win-win.”

Regal Webster Place

1471 W. Webster Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614

View Regal Webster Place movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: The Harper Theater

Located in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago’s 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, it’s happening. Steeped in community spirit, the theater offers Chicago’s own Metropolis Coffee in its artisanal café. Coffee cravers and film fanatics unite!

Someone on Google shared this 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! It’s a cozy theater in Hyde Park and me and all my friends prefer it over other theaters.”

The Harper Theater

5238 S Harper Avenue

Chicago, IL 60615

View The Harper Theater movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre

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.


 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rhonda (@rhonda90)

One reviewer on Google shared their excitement about returning to the Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre: “Welcome back, Lake Theatre!! It’s been more than a year, and I missed you. I’m 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 (5% back) and you have the best popcorn!”

Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre

1022 Lake St,

Oak Park, IL 60301

View Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: The Davis Theater

This quintessential Lincoln Park neighborhood theater is over 100 years old. It’s 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.


 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Davis Theater (@davistheater)

One reviewer on Google shared their love for The Davis Theater, saying: “Art Deco splendor. Stadium seating. Recent Renovation. Don’t miss the Carbon Arc projector.

The Davis Theater

4614 N Lincoln Ave,

Chicago, IL 60625

View The Davis Theater movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

Chicago Movie Theaters: AMC Dine-In 600 North Michigan 9

Talk about dinner and a movie! This AMC theater has the signature luxury seats, the array of new movies, and restaurant-quality food delivered right to your seats. Order ahead of time and choose from burgers, quesadillas, and artisan flatbreads, to salads and delicious bowls (steak/shrimp, southwest chicken). Don’t forget the milkshakes and check out the chocolate hazelnut churros.


 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Alicia Babich (@alicia.babich)

Dine-in movies make for the perfect relaxing night out. Just ask this person sharing their experience with AMC Dine-In 600 North Michigan 9 via Google Reviews: “A lovely movie theater! The service was excellent, and the staff was both knowledgeable and polite. If you like to sit and be served, the seats are very cozy. If you want to unwind, this is the place to be. This was not my first tour here, and it would most certainly not be my last.” 

AMC Dine-In 600 North Michigan 9

600 North Michigan

Chicago, IL 60611

View AMC Dine-In 600 North Michigan 9 movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

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 it’s 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.


 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cinemaniac (@cinemaniac2021)

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

The Gene Siskel Film Center

164 N State Street

Chicago, IL 60601

View The Gene Siskel Film Center movie showtimes and buy movie tickets here.

We hope this rundown of some of our favorite Chicago movie theaters inspires you to go out and see all of the latest new movies out now in theaters.

View all of our local movie theater guides here.

More Entertainment News Like This: 13 tweets that will convince you to go to the movies

More Entertainment News Like This: Theatre? Theater? Cinema? Who cares let’s go to the movies!

More Entertainment News Like This: Movie showtimes for every type of theater hangout

Hollywood.com is a place where entertainment news actually entertains you. We’re sharing the good in Hollywood, spotlighting the feel-good stories that matter about any and every kind of celeb. Be a part of the good in Hollywood in your very own neighborhood with our movie ticketing app (coming soon!) that gives you a whole new way to buy movie tickets. Compare movie showtimes, movie theaters, and seats near you in seconds. Follow us on Instagram for more feel-good celeb stories.

SIMILAR ARTICLES